New Delhi: The Indian Railways will switch over to a five-digit numbering system for passenger trains from the present four-digit one from December, the railway ministry said Thursday.
It said the new system has become necessary as the four digit numbering system can be used to enumerate a maximum of 9,999 trains, while the Indian Railways runs more than 10,000 trains every day, said the ministry in a statement.
The new numbering system would be more scientific, logical, uniform and computer-friendly, it added.
The need to use a new numbering system has also arisen to integrate the passenger and suburban train services in various information systems and software applications.
While switching over to the new numbering system, the names of various trains will remain unchanged.
To make the transition smooth, digit one will be prefixed to the exiting 4-digit numbers of all the regular regular express, mail and superfast trains, which have a mail or express character during any part of their journeys.
Such trains with their numbers starting with digit one will include all Durontos, Yuva Trains, Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, Garibrath Express and Sampark Kranti Express.
On the other hand, the number of special trains run by the Railways to clear holidays or festival rush, would start with digit zero with its remaining four digit numbers styled as the numbers of equivalent mail or express trains, running between the two destinations.
This numbering scheme shall also apply to special trains run on full tariff rates (FTR) basis, the ministry said.
It added that the passenger trains and the suburban trains are also proposed to be renumbered and brought under this new five-digit system. Separate notifications on such changes will be issued by the respective zonal railways.
The new system will go a long way in monitoring the movement of trains more effectively on all-India basis and in facilitating dissemination and management of train information more scientifically benefiting the public, it said.
This major initiative will also create a unique "train number" which will be a national level identity for each train and will cover all the passenger trains, said the ministry.