With the number of trains run by the Indian Railways exceeding 10,000 trains per day, the Indian Railways has switched over to a new 5-digit scheme for numbering the trains. According to the Railways, the new scheme will enable it to monitor trains more effectively and also make the system more scientific, computer friendly and logical. The migration to the 5-digit scheme from the 4-digit one has been smooth as the Railways carried out the date upgrade overnight in December 2010, thus avoiding inconvenience to the passengers.
The 5-digit numbering will apply to all regular, express, mail and super-fast trains including the Durontos, Rajdhani and Jan Shatabdi trains. To ensure a smooth and trouble-free changeover to the 5-digit numbers, the new number has an added prefix in the form of the digit 1. For special trains running during holidays and festivals, the prefix ‘0’ will be added to the existing 4-digit numbers. The Indian Railways’ online reservation website www.irctc.co.in has already begun printing five digit train numbers on its e-tickets and i-tickets.
The Railways also has modified the All-India train inquiry number 139 by adding ‘7’ to the existing menu options. The ‘7’ option would give the passengers the new numbers when they type in the existing number of the train.
The new 139 menu will now be: One for PNR status, two for arrival/departure, three for accommodation availability, four for fare enquiry, five for booking ticket by cash, six for delivery of tickets by courier and seven for new train numbers.