Introduction of New System

The committee’s recommendations for a revised system were accepted by the Railway Board, with some modification. All the Railway zones witched Zones switched over to the new system of classification of stores in 1969.

In the revised system, each item is identified by an 8-digit code as follows:



Barrel “A”

The first barrel “A” consists of two digits representing the group of store to which the item belongs.

The materials used on the Railways have been divided into 75 groups represented by these to digits. The first digit of this barrel has the following significance:

0 – Steam Locomotives – Parts and Fittings
1 – Diesel Locomotives – Parts and Fittings
2 – Electric Locomotives – Parts and Fittings
3 – Carriage – Wagon & EMU and Fittings
4 – Electrical stores
5 – Signal & Telecommunication Stores
6 – Engineering Stores, Plant & Machinery Stores
7 to 9 – General Sores and Scrap

The second digit of the barrel “A” subdivides the above broad classification of stores into groups.

Steam locomotive parts have been divided into nine groups, three for broad gauge, three for meter gauge and one for narrow gauge. Two groups have been allotted to rail cranes. The broad and meter gauge groups have been divided into: (a) Indian railways standard locomotives like YP, WG, etc., (b) old standard locomotives like XD, YB, etc., (c) non-standard locomotives like HS, G, M, etc.

Diesel locomotive spares have not been divided gauge wise, but on the type of locomotives, viz., diesel electric, diesel hydraulic etc. The former are main line locomotives and separate groups have been allotted for power pack vehicle and electric stores and equipment.

Electric locomotives have been divided into AC and DC locomotives.

Carriages are manufactured in India by the Integral Coach Factory and Bharat Earth Movers Limited. Separate groups have been allotted for the coaches of these two units. There are groups for EMUs and diesel rail cars. Wagon parts have been mainly divided into 3 groups – non-standard, new standard (like BOX, BCX) and standard.

Some of the important general stores groups are: Hardware (73), Small tools (72), Cloth and Clothing (79), Lubricants (80), Ferrous Metals (90), Scrap (98).

Barrel “B”

The Barrel “B” consisting of two digits represents sub-groups. Each group has been divided into sub-groups.

The sub-grouping for most of the rolling tock groups is on the basis of the major assembly of which the item is a part. All brake fittings are in sub-group 15. Similarly there are sub-groups for bogies, buffer, springs etc. However, for the main line diesel locomotives, built by the Diesel Locomotive works, Varanasi, a separate system has been adopted viz., process of manufacture or trade source. For example, forgings, ferrous castings, gaskets, etc. have been allotted separate sub-groups. This has been necessitated by the large number of components which are used in more than one assembly.

The basis of division for general stores is mainly the trade classification generally adopted in the market. The hardware group (73) is divided into sub- groups like nuts, bolts, rivets, screws etc. The paint group (77) is divided into distempers, enamels, ready mixed paints etc. For steel, the classification (90) used by the Joint Plant Committee has been adopted.

Barrel “C” & “D”

The barrel “C” consists of three digits n is the serial number of the item.

The last barrel “D” is of one digit and has a special significance with reference to the computer. This is a check digit.

To cite an example, in the P.L. Code 85010078, ‘85’ indicates ball and roller bearings followed by sub-group “01” and the serial number of item is “007”. The final digit 8 is, of course, the check digit. A facile arithmetic formula, known as Modulus – 11, has been adopted. How the computer checks whether the code has been correctly given, is shown below:

8 5 0 1 0 0 7 Multiplied by

8 7 6 5 4 3 2

64+ 35+ 0 + 5 + 0+ 0+ 14 = 118 divided by 11 = 10 Reminder 8

This remainder 8 or computerization purposes should tally with 8 – the last digit of the stores item quoted above. Of the said last digit is anything other than 8, the identity of stores is not in accord with the system. Modulus – 11 is considered more suitable for check purposes.

With nearly a million transactions in a month, originating at hundreds of points, check of this kind is extremely useful in detecting errors and eliminating wrong posting of ledgers.