Tamil Nadu Express

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Tamil Nadu Express
Tamil Nadu Express.jpg
Current operator(s) Indian Railway
Start Chennai
Stops 9
End New Delhi
Distance travelled 2,181 km (1,355 mi)
Average journey time 33 hours
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 12621 / 12622
On-board services
Class(es) AC First, AC Two Tier, AC Three Tier, Sleeper Class, Unreserved
Seating arrangements Yes
Sleeping arrangements Yes
Catering facilities Yes
Observation facilities Large windows
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Operating speed 66 km/h (41 mph) average with halts
Route map
Grand Trunk Express and Tamil Nadu Express (NDLS-MAS) Route map.jpg

The Tamil Nadu Express or T.N. Express is a passenger train route of the Indian Railways. The train was first started on 7 August 1976 by then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi.[1] Introduced as a tri-weekly, it was the first State named train of the south. It runs between Chennai (Chennai Central) and New Delhi (New Delhi railway station). It is considered as the fastest non-Rajadhani Express train. In 1976, it was a tri weekly train, then made four times a week just before the 1982 Asian Games and then converted to a daily train by Madhav Rao Scindia in June 1988 and who added Gwalior to the stoppages.[2] Numbered 12621/12622, this train belongs to the superfast category of Indian Railways.


When first introduced, the train was numbered 121/122 and the train had 13 compartments and was hauled by a single WDM2 locomotive. After the Madras to Vijayawada line was electrified, the train was hauled by a single WAM/4 electric on that stretch, and a single WDM/2 from Vijayawada to New Delhi. When the Chennai-New Delhi line was partially electrified in the late 1980s, it had to change engines twice in the route, from WAM/4 to WDM/2 at Vijayawada and then from WDM/2 to WAM/4 at Itarsi.[2] When it was a non-daily train, it shared time slots with AP Express and KK Express. The train from Delhi previously split at Katpadi (Vellore) or Jolarpettai, with corresponding train sets departing got Bangalore and Trivandrum (now called Thiruvanthapuram). Similarly, the two portions used to combine at one of these stations and operate to New Delhi.

The first Superfast to connect the Southern Metro with the state capital the train beat the record of GT Express which held the superfast train status of the South that time and fastest to reach New Delhi. Timings were not convenient for Delhi travelers, leading to daily and timings altered to leave Chennai in the evening. The Tamil Nadu Express faced a problem with the engine when it had to haul 18+ coaches. The train could not cover the terrains near ET and was regularly late by 2–3 hours while on its way to New Delhi. Mr George Fernandes as Railway Minister, introduced the concept of twin engines and tried to fix the problem. Later the travel time was increased to 33 hours. The train was rescheduled to night later.

Tamil Nadu Express sleeper coach
Tamil Nadu Express AC coach

Though the name is Tamil Nadu Express, the train has only one stop in Tamil Nadu i.e., Chennai.


This train runs via Vijayawada, Warangal, Ballarshah, Nagpur, Itarsi, Bhopal, Jhansi, Gwalior, Agra Cantt and Hazrat Nizamuddin to reach New Delhi station. There is no stop between Vijayawada and Chennai. The train takes around 6 hours and 20 minutes to reach Vijayawada from Chennai, and 6 hrs and 45 minutes to reach Chennai, from Vijayawada.[3] The non-stop run of 431 km between Vijayawada and Chennai is the longest inter-halt journey for any train other than the Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani or the Duronto Express, Kochuveli Dehradun Super Fast Express, Kochuveli Amritsar Super Fast Express and Kerala Sampark Kranti (between Kota and Vododara 525 km non stop).[2]


The train has a lot of demand and gets about 24 coaches. The rake generally comprises 6 AC coaches, 13 Sleeper class coaches, pantry car, two general unreserved second class coaches and two SLRs.


Tamil Nadu Express has traditionally been accident-prone, with many accidents occurring due to its speed. The top speed of the train was reduced after the derailment of 14 coaches on August 31, 1981 at Asifabad Road Station in Andhra Pradesh, in which 15 persons were killed and 39 injured.[4] The following table enlists the accidents that happened on Tamil Nadu Express.

List of Accidents on Tamil Nadu Express[4]
Year Location Cause of Accident Casualties
1977 Vijayawada Derailment none
1978 Nagpur-Itarsi section Derailment none
1981 Asifabad Road Station Derailment 15 killed
39 injured
1983 Kazipet Derailment none
1984 Vijayawada Derailment none
1984 Delhi Fire in one
of the coaches
Two coaches
partially damaged
1986 Agra-Gwalior Section Fire in one of the
first class coaches
3 injured
1987 Amla-Nagpur Derailment of
13 coaches
2 killed
30 injured
1990 Mathura Collision with
an empty train
2012 Nellore Fire in S11 coach 32 killed
27 injured


  1. ^ "Tamilnadu Express - Everything about India!". Retrieved 22 Aug 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c "Classic Trains of India". Indian Railways Fan Club. Retrieved 23 Aug 2012. 
  3. ^ "Tamil Nadu Express - 12622". MakeMyTrip.com. Retrieved 23 Aug 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Is Tamil Nadu Express jinxed?". The Hindu. July 31, 2012. Retrieved August 24, 2012. 

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