|Service type||Superfast Train|
|Locale||Telengana, Andhra Pradesh|
|First service||1 February 1974|
|Current operator(s)||South Central Railway|
|Ridership||Classic Sleeper - 864
Third Class - 192
Second Class - 96
First Class - 18
Total - 1170
|Distance travelled||710 km (440 mi)|
|Average journey time||12 hours,25 minutes|
|Class(es)||Sleeper, Ac 1,2,3 General|
|Catering facilities||No Pantry car, Paid Food service is available|
|Observation facilities||Large windows in all carriages, cleanliness|
|Baggage facilities||Below the seats|
|Track gauge||Broad (1,676 mm)|
|Operating speed||57 kilometres per hour (35 mph)|
The Godavari Express is one of the most prestigious trains of South Central Railway and runs between Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. It was introduced as the Waltair-Hyderabad express on 1 February 1974 with the train numbers being 7007 and 7008. Its current train numbers are 12727 and 12728. The extremely high demand for this train, especially for the air-conditioned coaches of the train has resulted in the inauguration of a fully air-conditioned Garib Rath and the introduction of a Duronto. Despite the two new trains, the demand for the Godavari Express is so high, that sometimes an unreserved coach is replaced with an extra Classic Sleeper or Third Class coach. The train is considered the best way between the two cities and is maintained very neatly by the South Central Railway. Proposals on extension of this train up to Bhubaneshwar were strongly opposed by both passengers and politicians as earlier, another train, namely Visakha Express was extended to the city considerably increasing its journey time. The Godavari Express serves the purpose of connecting the cities of four coastal districts in Andhra Pradesh to the state capital Hyderabad. The train stops at four stations in the Visakhapatnam district, six stations in the East Godavari district, three stations in the West Godavari district and Vijayawada in the Krishna district.
On 1 February 1974, the Indian Railways announced the first railway service between Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad, with the Waltair-Hyderabad Express. The train was run on a daily basis and would depart Visakhapatnam at 5:30 pm and arrive in Hyderabad at 6:45 am, the next morning. On the return journey, it would depart Hyderabad at 5:15 pm and arrive in Visakhapatnam at 6:45 am the next morning. As the train provides rail connectivity to at nine stations in the deserted cities of East and West Godavari districts, it was officially named Godavari Express. It was regularly hauled by a steam locomotive and had 17 coaches. It reached its highest speed of 50 km/h between Samalkot and Rajahmundry. A slip service was introduced in the train during 1975, and the train was run up to Kakinada. Five more coaches were added, as a result. The train also entered a Rake Sharing Agreement or RSA with the Simhadri Express which ran between Visakhapatnam and Rajahmundry. However, in 1980, both the slip service and the RSA were cancelled as the Simhadri Express was extended up to Bhimavaram and the Kakinada-Secunderabad Goutami Express was introduced.
The train retained its 5 new coaches and ran with a diesel locomotive end to end. By 1990, the train had become very popular and two more coaches were introduced, taking the total to 24. It then became one of the longest trains in India. As the Visakhapatnam-Vijayawada line and the Vijayawada-Kazipet-Hyderabad lines were electrified, the train started running with the WAP 4 electric locomotive. Soon, the Godavari Express became the first train belonging to the South Central Railway to run with 5 air-conditioned coaches. In June 1999, the train met with its first incident, as it derailed at Ghanpur near Warangal. In the year 2000, the Godavari Express became the first train in the South Central railway to run with its own air conditioned first class coach and was also the first train in the Zone to have 6 air-conditioned coaches.
In the year 2011, the train was re-numbered to 12727 on becoming a Superfast train and was hauled by a WAP 7 between Vijayawada and Hyderabad. The train timings were modified again and the journey time was further reduced by 15 minutes. In July and August 2011, the passengers of the air-conditioned coaches of the Godavari Express were robbed twice and a hoax call was made regarding a bomb in the sixth coach of the train. As a result, safety was enhanced and the train started running with a WAP 7 from end to end. This train then became the first to run with a WAP 7 between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. On 2 April, The Indian Railways decided to increase reservation fares of the second and first classes in all trains, which resulted in the fares of the train's second and first classes going up from 1058 (US$17) and 1771 (US$29) to 1170 (US$19) and 1990 (US$33) respectively.
The IRCTC handles the online ticket booking for this train. The fares of luggage-cum-sleeper cars and the unreserved general coaches are flexible and change from time to time. The cost of traveling on this train starts at 297 (US$4.90) for journey in the classic Sleeper Class coach, which has no air-conditioning facilities available. The cost of traveling in the air-conditioned sleeper class coach, which is the Third Class is 779 (US$13). The Second and the First classes provide luxury travel and are fully air-conditioned just like the third class. However, they are more spacious and are evidently sound-proof. The cost of traveling in the Second and First classes is 1170 (US$19) and 1990 (US$33), respectively. The train has no pantry car, but excellent catering is still provided. The cost of food on board is merely 50 (82¢ US). Free blankets and pillows are provided for sleeping at night. Coffee, tea and milk are also served and cost around 10 (16¢ US) each. In 2013, the cost of travel in all classes of the Godavari Express was increased by nearly 25%.
The train is a set of two luggage-cum-sleeper vans, Two unreserved general coaches, Twelve Classic sleeper class coaches, Three Third class coaches, Two second class coaches and one first class coach. It is one of the longest trains running with 24 coaches, and the first to get 6 AC coaches among the South Central Railway trains. In cases of extreme demand, one of the two unreserved general coaches is replaced with another Third Class/Classic Sleeper Class coach. The train is considered to be one of the best ways to commute between the two important cities of Telengana and Andhra Pradesh. Though Indian trains are notorious for their punctuality, the Godavari Express is one of the few which are known for being punctual. It is also known for its better maintenance of coaches. The train is regularly hauled by a single Lallaguda based WAP 7 locomotive with a reversal at Vijayawada. Sometimes, due to non-availability of the WAP 7, it is hauled by a Lallaguda based WAP 4. Throughout its journey, the train stops at 18 stations. The train stops at Vijayawada Junction for locomotive reversal, at Rajahmundry and Secunderabad Junction for 5 minutes, at Khammam, Warangal and Kazipet for 2 minutes and at Duvvada, Anakapalle, Elamanchili, Narsipatnam Road, Tuni, Annavaram, Pithapuram, Samalkot Junction, Anaparti, Nidadavolu Junction, Tadepalligudem and Eluru for one minute each.
Karur Vysya Bank
On 30 March 2012, the Godavari Express was spotted with a new livery near Ghatkesar, a few kilometers from the Secunderabad Junction. Soon, it was understood that the livery was nothing but advertisements of the Karur Vysya Bank. Passengers claimed that though advertisements certainly generate revenue for the railways, they spoil the charm and beauty of the train. A passenger said that it was an unwelcoming sight for the eyes. In 2013, the train's rakes were sent for overhaul and the old livery was restored.
- The Central Railway had also operated a Godavari Superfast Express between Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (Kurla, Mumbai) and Manmad Junction junction since 1993. The Godavari Express was a superfast train running daily, covering a distance of 245 kilometres (152 mi) in 4 hours 25 minutes. The train is still operated.
- Falaknuma Express, Visakha Express and other trains of South Central Railway
- "Move to extend Godavari Express up to Bhubaneswar opposed". The Hindu. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Godavari Express's stoppage on the Visakhapatnam - Vijayawada section". Indiarailinfo.com. Retrieved 4 April 2012.
- "Godavari SF Express a.k.a "The Prestigious train of SCR"". Indiarailinfo.com. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Raised railway fares become operational". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Time Table of Godavari Superfast Express". Indiarailinfo.com. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "LGD WAP7 Godavari Express With a New livery". YouTube. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- "Critical response to New Livery". Indiarailinfo.com. Retrieved 8 April 2012.