Bhopal Shatabdi Express (fastest train in India)
|Main Operation(s):||India 1988 -|
|Parent company:||Indian Railways|
Shatabdi Express trains are a series of fast (called superfast in India) passenger trains operated by Indian Railways to connect Metro cities with other cities important for tourism, pilgrimage or business. Shatabdi Express are day-trains and they return to the station of origin the same day.
The Shatabdis are among the fastest trains in India and the Indian Railways considers them as prestigious. The Shatabdi Express trains run over short to medium distances while the Rajdhani Expresses are long-distance trains connecting the nation's capital New Delhi to capitals of states. Both series of trains have a regular speed of about 140 km/h (87 mph). The 12001 Bhopal Shatabdi express, however, runs at a peak speed of 160 km/h (99 mph), which makes it the fastest train in India.
The word "Shatabdi" means centenary in Sanskrit, Hindi and several Indian languages. The first Shatabdi train was started in 1988 to commemorate the centenary of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru's Birthday (the First Prime Minister of India) by Madhav Rao Scindia, minister for railways. It operated from New Delhi to Jhansi, later extended to Bhopal. It is now known as the Bhopal Shatabdi Express.
Vehicle and rolling stock
The Bhopal Shatabdi is the fastest train in India and it runs at an average speed of around 93.05 km/h (57.82 mph) (Please see : Fastest trains in India) between the origin and the destination though it runs at speeds at 160 km/h (99 mph) on some stretches between Agra and New Delhi stations. These trains are now using latest LHB Coaches to provide extra comfort in the train.
The Lucknow - Delhi Shatabdi has a recorded speed of 145 km/h (90 mph) although it lingers in the neighborhood of 130 km/h (81 mph) for most of the cruising distance.
Shatabdi Express trains offer fast connectivity with only a few intermediate stops. They are fully air-conditioned and of a much higher standard than most Indian trains. Shatabdi travelers are provided with bottled water, juice, coffee or tea, and meals relevant to time of day of the journey.
Shatabdi trains are also further distinguished from other trains, in terms of convenience in boarding and disembarking. Most stations give them priority berthing at the better platforms, such as ones located close to the station building or waiting halls (generally platform number 1 at most of the stations.
Berths and seats in Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express trains have to be reserved in advance before boarding the train. There is no unreserved accommodation in these trains, unlike most of the other trains in India. A few Shatabdis have a current booking system where tickets can be booked within a couple of hours before departure.
As Shatabdi Express are day-trains and return to the station of origin the same day, coaches (called AC Chair Car or CC) on the train have only seats and not berths. All the Shatabdi Express trains have, however, one or two coaches of first class airconditioned seating. These coaches have wider leg room and offer better food compared to the normal Air conditioned seating (CC).
New on board entertainment systems have also been installed on some of these trains where the passengers can view movies and television serials directly via satellite. One of the first services to have this system is the Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express.
List of Shatabdi trains
Indian Railways operates 23 pairs of Shatabdi Express as on 12 March 2014. These trains are listed here.
A variant of the Shatabdi Express, Swarna Shatabdi Express, is considered more luxurious by Indian Railway. Indian Railways later introduced a lower-priced version Jan Shatabdi Expresses, which are nearly all without air-conditioning and much more affordable.
The former railway minister Laloo Prasad Yadav had also introduced Garib Rath (chariot of the poor). These are fast trains (like the Rajdhani and Shatabdi), are fully Air-Conditioned and with lower fares. These trains are quite successful and compete with low cost airlines on some long-distance routes.
All Shatabdi trains cover the whole journey up and down on the same day with average distance between 300 to 700 km and average time anywhere between 4 to 8 hours. Bhopal Shatabdi is the first and longest route covered by a Shatabdi with reaching the highest speed while Agra - Jaipur Shatabdi is the shortest route. Agra, Ambala, Amritsar, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Etawah, Ghaziabad, Jaipur, Kalka, Kanpur Central, Ludhiana, Howrah and New Delhi are served by more than one Shatabdi Express.
Ambala Cant Junction station is served by maximum shatabdi connections with 6 shatabdi trains 12013/14, 12031/32,12029/30,12005/06,12011/12 and 12045/46.
Shatabdi extended to Moga, twice a week Now every Monday and Saturday, the train would go up to Moga, which would entail an extended run of an hour and 15 minutes, while on the other five days it would chart its normal route of New Delhi-Ludhiana.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shatabdi Express.|
- Complete list of Shatabdi Express trains
- List of all Shatabdi Express trains
- "'Shatabdi is the heart of Indian railways' - The Times of India". articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2014-05-30.
- "No halts, new Shatabdi Express to fly to Delhi - The Times of India". articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2014-05-30.