Each of the trains that runs in India is allotted a unique 5-digit number with which it is
identified. Most of the passengers would have noted the numbers but would not have
any clue regarding those.
Each of the digits has a significance attached to it.
The first digit can be any of the digits from 0-9. If it is 0 it means it is a special train
like a summer special or a holiday train.
The first digit is 1 or 2 it is a long distance
train. Digit 3 is Kolkata suburban train. 4 is for metropolitan trains of cities like
Chennai, Hyderabad, new Delhi and so on. the digit 5 is allotted to the passenger
train. 6 and 7 for MEMU and DEMU respectively, 8 is not allotted at present kept as
reserve and 9 is for Mumbai suburban trains.
Coming to the second digit denotes the zone that operates the train and third digit
the division in that zone by which the train is controlled. This division is responsible
for the overall cleanliness and maintenance of the trains in its jurisdiction. Then the
last two digits represent the serial number of the train.
Initially the trains just had four digits. As the number of trains increased a better
system was needed to accommodate the increase in their number. Thus the five-
digit formula is being followed now.
On the coaches the passengers can see some number painted. These are also five
digit numbers. The first two digits represent the year of its manufacture and the last
three digits the type of the train.
026 -050 – joint 1 AC+AC-2T
051 -100 – 1AC
100-150- AC -3T
151-200- AC Chair car
201-400 – SL
This is the way the numbers can be deciphered on the trains. So next time you travel
by train you can notice them and know some details about the kind of trains and from
it originated and belongs to which zone. Happy journey!