Express trains in India

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Indian locomotive class WAP-5 hauling the fastest train of India Bhopal Shatabdi Express to New Delhi
Indian Railways Rajdhani/Shatabdi Lines[1]

Mail/Express trains are Regular Express rail service of India. Express trains make small number of stops, unlike Passenger/Local train. In some cases, trains run express where there is overlapping local train service available, and run local at the tail ends of the line, where there is no supplemental local service. Because of their limited stops, these trains are able to obtain the highest speeds of any trains in India.

An express train is one where the average speed, excluding halts, is greater than 36 kmph. Including halts speed may sometimes fall into the region of around 20kmph, for express trains.

The Duronto Express trains introduced in 2009 (which run between major cities without any intermediate halts) are projected to be the fastest train in India when new services are introduced with a higher speed limit of 110 km/h. Despite being limited to a lower speed limit, they take as much time as a Rajdhani or Shatabdi on the same route, courtesy the non-stop nature of their journey (see Tracks and Speed sections). Rajdhani Express which connects New Delhi with the state capitals in India was introduced in 1969, travels at speeds up to 130 km/h.

Competition[edit]

Like elsewhere, railways in India compete with air travel and road transport. The advantages of travelling by air between cities are the greater frequency of flights, and shorter travel time. Rail travel, with few exceptions (if any), offers lower cost.

Rail transport also faces competition from the use of roads improved under National Highways Development Project. People owning cars can, for short distances, benefit in terms of shorter travel time, given the lack of commute to and fro a railway station at both ends of a journey. This is also balanced against the need to maintain one's vehicle and its security during such trips.

Tracks[edit]

Duronto, Shatabdi, and Rajdhani trains run on Indian broad-gauge which is 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm). These tracks are multi-purpose supporting all passenger and freight traffic, and are not made exclusively for lighter load fast-express passenger trains. They run on tracks with classifications Group A, permitting speed up to 160 km/h, and Group B for speed up to 130 km/h. Lower speed limits apply when they are on tracks or railway switches, which have lower speed limits. The design of the railway switches, with a speed limit of 15–75 km/h, is the major bottleneck to higher speed.[2] Another constraint is the need to accommodate freight trains at the current top speed of 70 km/h.[3] These constraints to speed are consequences of sharing tracks with freight and lower speed suburban passenger trains. But currently, as of 2010, a separate freight corridor construction work is in progress with land acquisitions and other hurdles being slowly overcome.

Locomotives[edit]

Duronto, Shatabdi, and Rajdhani trains are hauled by powerful electric locomotives built by the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, such as WAP-4, WAP-5, or WAP-7, each with an output of more than 5,000 hp. WAP-5 design originated from Bombardier-Adtranz-ABB, and it is capable of pulling trains to speed of 160 km/h without modification.[4][5] WAP-7 is more powerful, and can haul longer trains, to a speed of 140 km/h.[5][6]

Coaches[edit]

The coaches in these trains are of crash-worthy design from Alstom-LHB, built by Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala.[7][8] These Alstom-LHB coaches can be pulled to a speed of 160 km/h without any modification.[9] New fast-express coaches are made partly or completely of stainless steel, primarily motivated by lower maintenance, and higher availability. Stainless steel construction also reduces empty weight, enabling more passengers per coach.[10] The bogies, design from Fiat, has 2 disk brakes per axle[9] essential for safe operations especially at the speed of fast-express trains.

Speed[edit]

The average speed of superfast trains,excluding halts, range from 59 to 93 km/h. Of 80 routes (each direction counting as one route) in the Indian schedule, 3 are 90 km/h or faster, 15 have an average speed between 80 and 90 km/h, 16 are below 70 km/h, remaining 45 have an average speed between 70 and 80 km/h. The speed of express trains is calculated from Indian Railways schedule.

Sl Train No Train Type Source – Destination Zone Stops Total stop time-h:m Distance- km (mile) Total time-h:m Avg Speed km/h (mph) [excluding halts] Remarks
1 12002 Shatabdi New DelhiBhopal NR 5 0:21 701 (436) 8:05 91.82(57.06) Fastest Shatabdi & fastest train in India
2 12951 Rajdhani Mumbai CentralNew Delhi WR 5 0:30 1384 (860) 15:57 91.42 (56.81) Fastest Rajdhani Train in India
3 12259 Duronto SealdahNew Delhi ER 3 0:20 1453 (906) 16:20 91.13 (56.62) Fastest Duronto
4 12034 Shatabdi New DelhiKanpur NCR 2 0:04 448 (278) 4:55 91.11 (56.61)
5 12302 Rajdhani New DelhiHowrah ER 6 0:28 1447 (902) 16:55 88.21 (54.81)
6 12274 Duronto New DelhiHowrah ER 3 0:20 1441 (902) 17:10 87.06 (54.1)
7 22913 Premium Mumbai-New Delhi WR 2 0:10 1386(861) 15:55 87.00(54.0)
8 12276 Duronto New DelhiAllahabad NCR 1 0:02 634 (394) 7:20 86.85 (53.97)
9 12313 Rajdhani SealdahNew Delhi ER 6 0:32 1458 (906) 17:30 85.93 (53.4)
10 12910 Garib Rath H. NizamuddinBandra WR 7 0:36 1366 (849) 16:30 85.91 (53.38) Fastest Garib Rath
11 12004 Shatabdi New DelhiLucknow (Swarna Shatabdi) NR 5 0:13 513 (319) 6:15 85.03 (52.83)
12 12247 Yuva H. NizamuddinBandra WR 5 0:32 1366 (849) 16:40 84.67 (52.61) Fastest Yuva Express
13 12953 Rajdhani Mumbai CentralH. Nizamuddin (August Kranti) WR 12 0:49 1377 (856) 17:00 84 (52.50)
14 12249 Yuva HowrahNew Delhi ER 5 0:24 1447 (899) 17:40 83.80 (52.07)
15 12309 Rajdhani RajendranagarNew Delhi ECR 4 0:28 1002 (623) 12:35 83.01 (51.58)
16 12285 Duronto Secunderabad- H. Nizamuddin SCR 4 0:35 1658 (1030) 21:05 80.88 (50.26)
17 12281 Duronto BhubaneswarNew Delhi ECoR 4 0:30 1726 (1072) 21:55 80.59 (50.08)
18 12306 Rajdhani New DelhiHowrah ER 6 0:36 1531 (951) 19:40 80.30 (49.89)
19 12290 Duronto Mumbai CSTNagpur CR 3 0:32 838 (521) 11:00 80.06 (49.75)
20 12269 Duronto ChennaiH. Nizamuddin SR 6 0:35 2174 (1351) 27:55 79.54 (49.42)
21 12439 Rajdhani RanchiNew Delhi NR 6 0:25 1309 (813) 16:55 79.33 (49.3)
22 12612 Garib Rath H. NizamuddinChennai SR 9 0:46 2174 (1351) 28:15 79.10 (49.15)
23 12437 Rajdhani SecunderabadH. Nizamuddin NR 5 0:37 1658 (1030) 21:35 79.08 (49.14)
24 12187 Garib Rath Jabalpur JunctionMumbai CST WCR 10 0:48 1726 (1072) 22:40 78.93 (49.05)
25 12224 Duronto ErnakulamLokmanya Tilak (T) CR 4 0:30 1598 (993) 20:45 78.91 (49.03) The length of Konkan Railway is inflated by 40% to calculate fare
26 12213 Duronto YesvantpurSarai Rohilla NR 7 0:50 2384 (1481) 31:10 78.59 (48.84)
27 12877 Garib Rath RanchiNew Delhi SER 11 0:31 1341 (833) 17:40 78.19 (48.59)
28 12264 Duronto H. NizamuddinPune NR 6 0:42 1509 (938) 20:00 78.19 (48.58)
29 12262 Duronto HowrahMumbai CST SER 5 0:50 1968 (1223) 26:10 77.68 (48.27)
30 12453 Rajdhani RanchiNew Delhi NR 4 0:22 1341 (833) 17:40 77.51 (48.17)
31 12222 Duronto HowrahPune SER 6 1:10 2021 (1256) 27:15 77.48 (48.15)
32 12156 Superfast Hazrat NizamuddinBhopal Habibganj WCR 7 0:48 800 (635) 10:15 78.33 (48.05)
33 22824 Rajdhani New DelhiBhubaneswar ECoR 10 0:51 1800 (1118) 24:10 77.20 (47.97)
34 12009 Shatabdi Mumbai CentralAhmedabad WR 7 0:20 493 (306) 6:45 76.83 (47.74)
35 12060 Jan Shatabdi Hazrat NizamuddinKota WCR 8 0:22 458 (285) 6:20 76.76 (47.7) Fastest Jan Shatabdi Express
36 12243 Duronto ChennaiCoimbatore SR 1 0:10 496 (308) 6:40 76.31 (47.42)
37 12013 Shatabdi New DelhiAmritsar NR 5 0:11 449 (279) 6:05 76.10 (47.29)
38 12029 Shatabdi New DelhiAmritsar NR 5 0:11 449 (279) 6:05 76.10 (47.29)
39 12031 Shatabdi New DelhiAmritsar NR 5 0:11 449 (279) 6:05 76.10 (47.29) Northern regional express
40 12268 Duronto AhmedabadMumbai Central WR 0 0:00 493 (306) 6:30 75.85 (47.13) Western regional express
41 22203 Duronto VisakhapatnamSecunderabad SCR 1 0:15 701 (436) 09:30 75.78 (47.08) Fastest train in Andhra Pradesh
42 22424 Rajdhani New DelhiGuwahati NR 11 1:31 1908 (1186) 27:20 73.91 (45.92)
43 12429 Rajdhani H. NizamuddinBangalore NR 11 1:02 2383 (1481) 33:30 73.40 (45.61)
44 12026 Shatabdi SecunderabadPune CR 6 0:12 597 (371) 8:20 73.40 (45.61)
45 12028 Shatabdi BangaloreChennai SWR 2 0:04 362 (225) 5:00 73.38 (45.6)
46 12024 Jan Shatabdi PatnaHowrah ECR 12 0:24 532 (331) 7:40 73.21 (45.49) Eastern regional express
47 12007 Shatabdi ChennaiMysore SR 1 0:10 500 (311) 7:00 73.17 (45.47)
48 12155 Superfast HabibganjH. Nizamuddin (Shaan – E – Bhopal) WCR 8 0:29 701 (436) 10:05 73.02 (45.37) Fastest Superfast train
49 12278 Duronto Puri-Howrah ECoR 2 0:20 500 (311) 7:15 72.29 (44.92)
50 12394 Superfast New DelhiRajendranagar (Sampoorna Kranti Express) ECR 2 0:10 1002 (623) 14:05 72.00 (44.74)
51 12227 Duronto IndoreMumbai Central WR 3 0:28 828 (514) 12:00 71.79 (44.61)
52 12397 Superfast GayaNew Delhi (Mahabodhi Express) ER 13 0:40 993 (617) 14:30 71.78 (44.6)
53 12415 Superfast IndoreHazrat Nizamuddin NR 17 1:27 818 (720) 11:27 71.41 (44.37)
54 12676 Superfast CoimbatoreChennai (Kovai Express) SR 10 0:23 496 (308) 7:20 71.37 (44.35)
55 12431 Rajdhani ThiruvananthapuramH. Nizamuddin NR 15 1:25 2847 (1769) 41:25 71.18 (44.23) The length of Konkan Railway is inflated by 40% to calculate fare
56 12074 Jan Shatabdi BhubaneswarHowrah ECoR 7 0:21 437 (272) 6:30 71.06 (44.15)
57 12042 Shatabdi New JalpaiguriHowrah NFR 3 0:09 566 (352) 8:00 70.75 (43.96) Fastest End-to-End EMD diesel hauled Shatabdi Express
58 12452 Superfast New DelhiKanpur (Shram Shakti Express) NR 0 0:00 441 (274) 6:15 70.56 (43.84)
59 12493 Rajdhani H. NizamuddinBangalore NR 7 0:57 2293 (1425) 33:30 70.45 (43.77)
60 12303 Superfast HowrahNew Delhi (Poorva Express) ER 22 1:22 1531 (951) 23:10 70.23 (43.64)
61 12246 Duronto YesvantpurHowrah SER 4 0:50 1960 (1218) 28:45 70.21 (43.63)
62 12005 Shatabdi New DelhiKalka NR 3 0:15 269 (167) 4:05 70.17 (43.6) The length is inflated by 34 km to calculate fare
63 12958 Rajdhani New DelhiAhmedabad (Swarna Jayanti) WR 6 0:19 935 (581) 13:40 70.04 (43.52)
64 12423 Rajdhani DibrugarhNew Delhi NR 17 2:36 2473 (1537) 37:55 70.02 (43.51)

Regular unbranded express trains on the same route are only slightly slower, since the same locomotives haul them.

Gallery[edit]

Stops[edit]

Frequent stops reduce the average running speed of a train greatly by preventing it from gaining higher speed. Duronto, Shatabdi, and Rajdhani express trains have very few stops. The distance between stops is as short as 2 km between New Bongaigaon-Bongaigaon on the Howrah-Dibrugarh Kamrup Express, and as long as 528 km between Vadodara-kota on the Trivandrum Rajdhani.

See also[edit]

References[edit]