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Coromandel Express with WAP-4 Loco at Nalpur
|Locale||West Bengal, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu|
|First service||6 March 1977|
|Current operator(s)||South Eastern Railway zone|
|End||Chennai Central (MAS)|
|Distance travelled||1,661 km (1,032 mi)|
|Average journey time||25 hours 55 minutes|
|Class(es)||AC first, AC 2 tier, AC 3 tier, Pantry Car, Sleeper Class, General|
|Auto-rack arrangements||Not Available|
|Observation facilities||CBC Coaches|
|Entertainment facilities||Not Available|
|Baggage facilities||Below the Seats|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
120 km/h (74 mph) maximum65 km/h (40 mph) (average with halts)
The Coromandal Express is one of the flagship carriers of the Indian Railways. It is an important superfast train which runs down the east coast of India between Howrah station (HWH) in Kolkata and Chennai Central (MAS) in Chennai daily. It is one of the first earliest Superfast in the history of IR. The Eastern Coast of India along the Bay of Bengal is called the Coromandal Coast and hence the name was given to this train, as it traverses the entire length of the Coromandal 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 then Howrah Chennai Mail. The train runs jampacked throughout the year.
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 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.
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.
Since 2017 (Lallaguda) based WAP-7 loco pulls the train from Vishakhapatnam to Chennai and Chennai to Vishakhapatnam. From Howrah to Vishakhapatnam and Vishakhapatnam to Howrah Santragachi based WAP 4 loco pulls the train.
This train runs non-stop between Chennai and Vijayawada , and it runs up to Visakhapatnam with a single stop at Rajamundry. 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. 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 traverses the total distance of 1661 km in a total time of 25 hours 55 minutes with the maximum speed of 120 km/hr. It is one of the high priority superfast train of Indian Railways and also a very important train for Chennai division of South Eastern Railway.
This train passes over some important rivers of India:
- Krishna river in Vijayawada - 120km/hr.
- Godavari in Rajmundhry - 120km/hr.
- Mahanadi in Cuttack - 120km/hr.
- Kathjori(Mahanadi distributary) in Cuttack - 120km/hr.
- Kuakhai(Mahanadi distributary) near Cuttack - 120km/hr.
- Subarnarekha near Balasore - 120km/hr.
- Brahmani - 120km/hr.
- Chilka Lake - 120km/hr.
- Sea backwater near Ennore chennai 120km/hr.
- Pennar near Nellore - 120km/hr
- Damodar near Bagnan - 110km/hr.
- Rupnarayan near Kolaghat/Mecheda - 110km/hr.
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 Rake.
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 Keonjhar 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, 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.
- "Fifteen dead in India train accident". Retrieved 14 February 2009.
- "Six elephants run over by speeding train in Odisha". Retrieved 30 December 2012.