Coromandel Express with WAP-4 Loco at Nalpur
|Locale||West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu|
|First service||6 March 1977|
|Current operator(s)||South Eastern Railway zone|
|Distance travelled||1,661 km (1,032 mi)|
|Average journey time||26 hours 25 minutes|
|Class(es)||AC first, AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier, Pantry Car, Sleeper Class, General - 24 coaches.|
|Auto-rack arrangements||Not Available|
|Observation facilities||CBC Coaches|
|Entertainment facilities||Not Available|
|Rolling stock||Standard Indian Railway coaches|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
120 km/h (75 mph) maximum65 km/h (40 mph) (average with halts)
The Coromandel Express is one of the flagship carriers of the Indian Railways. It is an important prestigious superfast train which runs down the east coast of India between Howrah station (HWH) in Howrah (Kolkata) and Chennai Central (MAS) in Chennai daily. It is one of the first earliest superfast express in the history of IR. The Eastern Coast of India along the Bay of Bengal is called the Coromandel Coast and hence the name was given to this train, as it traverses the entire length of the Coromandel coast. This train belongs to the South Eastern Railway Zone. Most of the people going to Chennai prefer this train as the train arrives early than Howrah Chennai Mail. The train runs jampacked throughout the year. The train has CBC coupling which gives passengers easy and comfortable journey with less jerks while travelling and the coaches strongly hold each other.
The land of the Chola dynasty was called Cholamandalam in Tamil, literally translated as “the realm of the Cholas”, from which Coromandel is derived. The Coromandel Coast is the name given to the southeastern coast of the Indian peninsula.
The train numbers are 12841 and 12842. 12841 departs from Howrah at 14.50 hrs and arrives at Chennai Central at 17.15 hrs the next day. 12842 departs from Chennai Central at 8.45 hrs and arrives at Howrah at 11.50 hrs (again, the next day). The route covers a distance of 1661 km each way.
This train is hauled by CLW manufactured WAP-4 class electric locomotives maintained by Electric Loco Shed Santragachi of South Eastern Railway from Howrah to Visakhapatanam and thereafter by Royapuram-based loco to Chennai as per loco links approved by Railway Board. These 5000 hp locomotives are fit to run at 140 km/h but due to limitation of sectional speed, coromandel express runs at a maximum permissible speed of 120 km/h. Immediately after electrification, this train was hauled by Secunderabad (Lallaguda) based WAP-4 loco from Chennai to Howrah but due to difficulty and excessive time required to reverse loco at Vishakhapatnam, subsequently it was decided to run it by Santragachi-based Loco from Howrah to Vishakhapatnam and from Vishakhapatnam to Chennai by Erode-based loco. When Royapuram shed came up near Chennai, Royapuram based loco is utilized to haul it from Vishakhapatnam to Chennai.
Prior to completion of electrification of east coast line, there was no alternative but to run this train by single-diesel WDM (From Kharagpur Diesel Loco Shed) later on with twin-diesels WDMs. Reason for using two diesel locomotives was limited hauling capability of single WDM diesel locomotive to run this 24 coach train at 110 km/h and this train has the permissible speed of 120 km/h. After electrification, single WAP4 electric locomotive is adequate. Thus there was straightway saving of one locomotive for Indian Railway. There was saving of time as well due faster acceleration.
This train had a serious accident in which apart from other damages and casualties the Santragachi-based WAP4 22330 loco got damaged beyond economical repair and therefore had to be condemned.
This train traverses the total distance of 1661 km in a total time of 26h 25m with the maximum speed of 120 km/hr and its speed and acceleration is completely different from other superfast trains in IR, passengers travelling by this train feel like they are in Rajdhani Express or Shatabdi Express. The train is also the second version of Rajdhani/Shatabdi Express. Most of the time the train runs 45 mins earlier. This train is one of earliest superfast train in the history of I.R, this train is commonly known as the king of SER , the legend of SER and also "Speed King" the train has different names. and also one of the fastest trains on this route of Indian Railways also it receives one of the highest priorities, during its run from Howrah to Chennai and Chennai to Howrah in the south eastern zone then any other train in this route. Presently, this train is the first most important train on the Howrah-Chennai main line after the Chennai Mail and also the fastest train after other trains like Rajdhani Express, Duranto Express, Shatabdi Express and other superfast express trains of I.R.
The rake consists of 12 Sleepers, 6 AC Coaches(1AC, 2AC, 3AC), 1 Pantry car, 3 General sitting and 2 SLRs. This train shares its rakes with the Howrah Chennai Mail Since 2008. Thus a rake of the Coromandal Express consists of 24 coaches with CBC. Soon this train will also get one pure LHB 22 coached rake sharing wtih MAS Mail.
This train runs non-stop between Chennai and Vijayawada , 12842 has a stop at Ongole for Pantry purposes, hence it became a commercial stop with time covering 432 km in 6 hours. Then it runs up to Visakhapatnam with a single stop at Rajamundry. However the run between Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam is slower (6 hrs 25 min) as compared to other superfast expresses like (Ratnachal Express/Falaknuma Express), but this train still now has the top priority in south eastern zone, in this route, despite only a single stop in this section. The other stops are Brahmapur, Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore and Kharagpur. Hence, it has a net of four stops in Andhra Pradesh, six in Odisha, two in West Bengal. When it was introduced in 1977, it had stops only at Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Bhubaneswar it used to bypass Cuttack and Khurda Road was a technical halt. Later stops like Bhadrak, Balasore etc. were introduced. The run has slowed down considerably as compared to the earlier days. It had a distinct livery when it was introduced in 1977. On an experimental basis, an additional stops at Jajpur Keonjhar Road (JJKR), Odisha , Tadepalligudem (TDD), Andhra Pradesh and Eluru (EE), Andhra Pradesh are introduced.
This train passes over some important rivers of India:
- Krishna river in Vijayawada: 1.10 km Speed-110 km/h
- Godavari in Rajmundhry: 2.74 km Speed-110 km/h
- Mahanadi in Cuttack: 2.1 km Speed-110 km/h
- Kathjori(Mahanadi distributary) in Cuttack Speed-110 km/h
- Kuakhai(Mahanadi distributary) near CuttackSpeed-110 km/h
- Subarnarekha near Balasore. Speed-110 km/h
- Brahmani. Speed-110 km/h
- Chilka Lake. Speed-110 km/h
- Sea backwater near Ennore chennaiSpeed-50 km/h
- Pennar near Nellore. Speed-110 km/h
- Damodar near Bagnan. Speed-70 km/h
- Rupnarayan near Kolaghat/Mecheda. Speed-70 km/h
Accidents and Incidents
On 15 March 2002 about seven bogies of the Howrah-Chennai Coromandel Express derailed around 2.40 pm at the Padugupadu road over-bridge in Kovuru mandal in Nellore district leaving as many as 100 passengers injured. The poor condition of the main rail track in Nellore district between Vijayawada and Chennai was suspected of being the cause of the accident.
On 13 February 2009 the train derailed near Jajpur Road about 100 km away from Bhubaneswar in Orissa killing at least 15 people and leaving several injured, some critically. The reason for the derailment is not known. A high level inquiry was ordered by the Railways following the incident. Hence after the accident the train when reaches Jajpur Keonjhar Road it decreases its speed until 1 km far from the station and far from the accident spot. Coromandel Express was moving at 115 km/h when the accident occurred. The average speed of the train is 65 km/h, though it can travel at 120 km/h.
Six elephants including two calves were killed after being hit by Coromandel Express in Odisha's Ganjam district early on 30 December 2012. A bedroll attendant on the train also died in the accident, but the circumstances of his death were unclear.
On 14 January 2012, a fire broke out in a general compartment of Chennai-Howrah Coromandel Express near Lingaraj railway station.
However, the flames were extinguished before they could spread. The fire was spotted in the coach, second from the engine, when the superfast express train was proceeding towards Bhubaneswar main station, a spokesman of East Coast Railway (ECoR) said.
No injury was caused to anyone as the fire brigade was called in immediately and the fire was controlled in within 20 minutes. All those on board the superfast train are safe. Prompt steps prevented the fire from spreading, he said. The affected compartment was detached at Bhubaneswar railway station as a precautionary measure and the train proceeded to its destination, the spokesman said.
Preliminary information indicated that the fire might have erupted due to carelessness of some travellers and an inquiry has been ordered into the incident, he added.
On 18 April 2015, The train catches fire at Nidadavolu Junction. Two of the bogies were damaged says report. No casualties were reported the during the incident.
- "Indian Railways Reservation Enquiry Website". Retrieved 23 February 2007.
- "Fifteen dead in India train accident". Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- "Six elephants run over by speeding train in Odisha". Retrieved 30 December 2012.