The Grand Trunk Express
|Service type||Superfast Express|
|First service||01 January 1929|
|Current operator(s)||Southern Railway|
|Stops||37 (T.No.12615) / 36 (T.No. 12616)|
|Distance travelled||2,181 km (1,355 mi)|
|Average journey time||35 hours 5 minutes|
|Train number(s)||12615 / 12616|
|Class(es)||AC First, AC Two Tier, AC Three Tier, Sleeper Class, Unreserved|
|Observation facilities||Large and Small windows|
|Baggage facilities||Luggage-cum-Brake Van|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||61.78 km/h (38.39 mph) average with halts|
The Grand Trunk Express, (commonly called G.T. or G.T. Express) Tamil:கிராண்டு டிரங்க் எக்ஸ்பிரஸ்),(Hindi/Marathi:ग्रैंड ट्रंक एक्स्प्रेस), (Train Number: 12615/12616) is a daily superfast express train on Indian Railways, running between New Delhi railway station and Chennai Central. It is a historic and one of the oldest trains operated by the Indian Railways.
Introduced by Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway, with its headquarters in erstwhile Madras (now Chennai) in 1929, to run between Peshawar, then part of British India and capital of North West Frontier province in present day Pakistan and Mangalore, then part of Madras province, almost the entire length of the country and beyond. The historic route passed through New Delhi and Madras, (now Chennai). Later sometime the route got shortened and ran between Lahore(now in Pakistan) and Mettupalayam, near Coimbatore, connecting Ooty and Coonoor, thus making the GT Express probably one of the longest running trains in the country at that time.
The Peshawar to Mangalore run took about 104 hrs in all, later the end points were changed and to this day it provides a daily service between New Delhi, the capital of India, and the capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai. It covers the distance of 2,186 kilometres (1,358 mi) in exactly 35 hrs 35 mins., with 38 halts (inclusive of the terminals). The train is still one of the longest train routes in India.
Schedule and Service
As per the numbering of the Indian Railways, the train has been assigned the numbers 12615/12616, with 12615 being assigned for the Chennai - New Delhi run and 12616 for the New Delhi - Chennai run.
Time for arrival and departure Train No.12615 leaves Chennai Central (MAS) at 07:15 PM and reach the last stop, New Delhi (NDLS) at 06:30 AM on the third day. Train No.12615 leaves New Delhi (NDLS) at 06:40 PM and reach the last stop, Chennai Central (MAS) at 06:15 AM on the third day.
Rake and Coach
The normal composition of the GT is 24 coaches (cars) of the following classes ("AC" indicates air conditioned coach):
- 1 x AC I Class cum AC II tier
- 2 x AC II tier
- 3 x AC III tier
- 13 x III tier Sleeper
- 4 x General/Unreserved
- 1 x Pantry
Sometimes an extra III tier sleeper coach is added to bring the total up to 25 coaches.
The GT is hauled for the entire route by a single WAP-7 AC electric locomotive from the Royapuram shed. The train's name - and the name of the route on which it runs, the arterial North-South route, which is doubled and fully electrified, the Grand Trunk route—derives from the famous Grand Trunk Road.
The GT is no longer the fastest or most prestigious train on the route. Presently there is also another train, the Tamil Nadu Express, which operates the same route, but is a bit faster as it has only 10 stops.
G.T. Express At Ghoradongri Railway Station
Comparison with Other Trains
The GT, or Grand Trunk Express now runs between New Delhi and Chennai Central with 34 intermediate stops, excluding the terminals. The Tamil Nadu Express runs on the same route with only 9 intermediate stops. Technically speaking, the Chennai Rajdhani Express between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Chennai Central shares the honour of being the fastest train on this route, taking 28 hours and 10 minutes to do the run, currently with 7 intermediate stops (to be increased to 9 with Tuglakabad and Balharshah added at a later date), along with the Chennai Garib Rath Express, with 9 intermediate stops and exactly the same duration between New Delhi and Chennai. The Tamil Nadu Sampark Kranti Express between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Madurai Junction travels between Hazrat Nizamuddin and Chennai Egmore in 34 hours and 50 minutes, with only 4 intermediate stops (the 5th stop at Chennai Beach station to be added later). Yet, the TN Sampark Kranti Express further continues on to Madurai.
- "VIII". Report by the Railway board on Indian Railways for 1929-30:Volume I (PDF). Calcutta: Central Publication Branch, Government of India. 1930. p. 71.
- S. Shankar. "Classic Trains of India". Indian Railways Fan Club Association. Retrieved 5 November 2013.
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