Tea Garden Express

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Tea Garden Express
Service type Regional rail Express
Status Operating
Locale Tamil Nadu & Kerala
First service 1944 (73 years ago) (1944)
Current operator(s) Southern Railway zone
Former operator(s) South Indian Railway
Start Karaikal (KIK)
Stops 26
End Ernakulam Junction (ERS)
Distance travelled 593 km (368 mi)
Average journey time 14 Hours 15 Minutes
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 16187 / 16188
Line used Jolarpettai–Shoranur line (ED – SRR)
Shoranur–Cochin Harbour section (SRR – ERS)
On-board services
Class(es) 1A, 2A, FC, 3A, SL, SLR and UR / GS
Disabled access Handicapped/disabled access
Seating arrangements Corridor coach
Sleeping arrangements Couchette car
Auto-rack arrangements No
Catering facilities No
Observation facilities Windows in all carriages
Entertainment facilities No
Baggage facilities Overhead racks
Baggage carriage
Rolling stock Locomotive:
One First AC (HA1)
One AC 2–Tier (2A)
One First Class (FC; non–A/C)
One AC 3–Tier (3A)
Seven II Sleeper
Five UR / GS
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Operating speed 42 kilometres per hour (26 mph)
Track owner(s) Southern Railway zone
Timetable number(s) 86 / 86A[1]
Route map
Tea Garden Express (Karaikal-Ernakulam) Route map.jpg

Tea Garden Express (Officially known as Karaikal – Ernakulam Express) is a overnight regional rail connecting Karaikal in Union territory of Puducherry with Ernakulam in Kerala via Thanjavur Junction, Tiruchirappalli Junction,Karur Junction, Coimbatore Junction, Palakkad Junction.


The train introduced during the 1940s,[2] as Ooty–Cochin express to transport tea and related products from the Nilgiris to Cochin Port and further exported to Europe and world over, hence came the name of the train. It ran in narrow gauge between Udhagamandalam and Mettupalayam and broad gauge between Mettupalayam and Cochin Harbour Terminus.[3] Post Indian independence, the Ooty–Mettupalayam trip was cut–off and the train ran as No.565/566 between Cochin Harbour Terminus and Mettupalayam, since the 1970s.[4] Then, the MettupalayamCoimbatore Junction portion was cut–off and was re-routed to Tiruchirappalli Junction from Cochin (Ernakulam Junction), numbered as 6865 / 6866.[5] In the 2009–2010 Railway Budget, it was announced that the service will be extended to Nagore,[6][7][8] and the extension was effected on 30 March 2010.[9] The number of train was changed from the 6865 / 6866 to 16865 / 16866, since December 2010 onwards as a part of train management system over the entire Indian Railways network.[10][11] The train services were further extended to Karaikal from 17 December 2011 onwards[12] and re–numbered from 16865 / 16866 to 16187 / 16188, since 1 September 2013.[13][14]


This train provides connectivity for the people of Kerala and western districts to educational institutions[15] and places of worship in delta districts, viz., Navagraha temples[16] like Tirunallar Saniswaran Temple and Thyagaraja Temple, Tiruvarur others, Nagore Dargah and Velankanni Matha shrine.[17]


This train has 18 bogies composing all six classes: one First AC (HA1), one AC 2–Tier (2A), one First Class (FC) (non–A/C), one AC 3–Tier (3A), seven II Sleeper coaches (SL), five Unreserved (general) coaches (UR / GS) and two Luggage rakes (SLR).[a]

Loco 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
BSicon LDER.svg SLR GS GS GS S1 S2 S3 S4 S5 S6 S7 FC HA1 A1 B1 GS GS SLR


The train numbered 16187 departs Karaikal railway station as Ernakulam Express at 16:10 hours, arrives Tiruchirappalli Junction at 20:00 hours, reverses loco and departs at 20:10 hours and finally arrives Ernakulam Junction at 06:25 hours, the next day.[18] On the return direction, the train numbered 16188 departs Ernakulam Junction as Karaikal Express at 22:05 hours, arrives Tiruchirappalli Junction at 07:40 hours, the next day, reverses loco and departs at 07:50 hours and finally arrives Karaikal railway station at 11:50 hours. Some of the prominent stoppages for the train are Nagore, Nagapattinam, Thiruvarur, Thanjavur, Karur, Coimbatore, Palakkad, Shoranur, Thrissur and Aluva.[19][b]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The coach composition is subject to change.
  2. ^ The timings are in Indian Standard Time.


  1. ^ "Trains at a Glance July 2013 - June 2014". Indian Railways. Railway Board. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "The end of the road for the Harbour Terminus?". The Hindu. Kochi. 4 January 2005. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Jimmy, Jose. "Cochin Harbour Terminus". Trainweb.org. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  4. ^ "Waiting for the TRAIN of Hope". The Hindu. 24 June 2004. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Jimmy, Jose. "Old time table from 1975". IRFCA. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "Interim Railway Budget 2009-10: 14 trains extended". Press Information Bureau. Ministry of Railways (India). 13 February 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "Salient features of Time Table - November 2009" (SWF). Mathrubhumi. 30 October 2009. p. 3. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "New train timings to come into force on Sunday". The Hindu. Thiruvananthapuram. 31 October 2009. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  9. ^ P. V. Srividya (31 March 2010). "Ernakulam-Tiruchi train extended up to Nagore". The Hindu. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Railways to Switch to ‘Five’ – Digit System for Numbering all its Passenger Carrying Trains from December 2010". Press Information Bureau. 23 September 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  11. ^ "Railways migrate to 5-digit number scheme to monitor trains". The Times of India. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "Union Minister to inaugurate new BG line today". The Hindu. Chennai. 17 December 2011. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Jaideep, Shenoy (27 August 2013). "Indian Railway renumbers trains starting September 1". The Times of India. Mangalore. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "Change in train numbers / Line Block / Onam Special". Southern Railway zone. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Hell of a ride for ‘T Garden’ passengers". Deccan Chronicle. Kochi. 13 October 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  16. ^ "Suggestions galore to improve Chemmozhi Express services". The Hindu. Coimbatore. 14 June 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Syed Muthahar, Saqaf (22 February 2009). "Extension of Ernakulam train, a rude shock to passengers". The Hindu. Tiruchi. Retrieved 9 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Train Time Table for KIK-ERS" (PDF). Indian Railways. Railway Board. p. 3. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  19. ^ "Train Time Table for ERS-KIK" (PDF). Indian Railways. Railway Board. p. 2. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 

External links[edit]