For the first time in the 150-odd year history of Railways, the four-digit number of trains will give way to five-digit numbers, the switchover process starting with the superfast and express trains with effect from December 20.
The shift is being undertaken with the exhaustion of the four-digit series, what with the Railways running over 10,000 trains daily.
Under the new five-digit numbering scheme, all express trains will have the existing four-digit numbers. The addition will be in the form of a prefix 1 (one). The name of the trains will remain the same.
The new five-digit number will be applicable to all scheduled and regular express and superfast trains, including the Durontos, Yuva trains, Rajdhani Express, Shatabdi Express, Jan Shatabdi Express, Garibrath Express, Sampark Kranti Express and all categories of mail and express character trains, according to a Railway Board circular.
Special express and superfast trains run to clear holiday and festival rush shall be numbered with zero as their prefix.
The Railways also intends to re-number all passenger and suburban trains. At present, some trains carry three-digit numbers and alpha-numeric numbers as well.