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|Service type||Superfast Express|
|First service||August 15, 1977|
|Current operator(s)||Southern Railway Zone|
|Start||Chennai Egmore (MS)|
|End||Madurai Junction (MDU)|
|Distance travelled||497 km (309 mi)|
|Average journey time||8 Hours|
|Class(es)||CC, 2S, SLR & UR|
|Seating arrangements||Open coach
|Observation facilities||Windows in all carriages|
|Baggage facilities||Overhead racks
WAP 7 (RPM)
Three AC Chair Car (CC)
Thirteen Second Seating (2S)
One Pantry car
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Operating speed||63 km/h (39 mph) average with halts|
|Track owner(s)||Southern Railway zone|
The Vaigai Express is a super fast Intercity express train running daily between Madurai and Chennai via Tiruchirappalli operated by Southern Railway zone of the Indian railways. The name 'Vaigai Express' has been always popular among not only rail users but also among rail fans of two different generations as the train has won the hearts of thousands of people who have known and experienced it from the early days. Due to the demand for a day train between Madurai and Madras, which gradually began to increase from the 1970s, the Southern Railway decided to introduce a super fast train for the first time on the MG in Southern railway.
On 15 August 1977 at 6 am, Down Train No. 135 Vaigai Express began its inaugural journey from Madurai to Madras Egmore, with 16 yellow and green livery coaches and a matching YDM4 diesel loco. When it was introduced in 1977, this train had 16 coaches, hauled by twin-YDM4 diesel locos, and by 1984 it was bifurcated as the Pallavan Express, comprising eight coaches. The Vaigai express clocked the fastest run between Madurai and Madras Egmore over a distance of 497 kilometres (309 mi) on the first day in 7 hours and 5 minutes when it entered Madras Egmore at 1.05 p.m. that afternoon, matching the speed of many Broad Gauge super fast trains on the SR. For safety purposes the train, was slowed down to a journey time of 7 hours and 40 minutes later on. It was the only train in SR which had completely tube lighted interiors and sun control sliding glass shutters installed for the first time in all its eight-second class coaches. The driver and the guard also had a corded telephone system to communicate. With the turntable facility available at Trichy, Chennai and Madurai, the operations staff always ensured that the YDM4 hauling the Vaigai Express always had the short hood facing the front every time its started it journey.
This train also was one of its kind in SR which had its livery changed a number of times from its original yellow-green combination to white-gray-red livery and then again to vermillon red - cream livery and again to cream-brown livery on the MG. The YDM4 for the Vaigai Express had been fitted with a double-tone horn which made it easy for rail users and railway staff alike to identify the loco as well as the train, which was never on use on the other YDM4s which operated on the same route for other trains.This the only MG train on the SR to be fitted with specially enhanced buffers and certified to run at 110 km/h. For the first time on the MG, the ICF manufactured two 40-seat AC chair car coaches exclusively for the Vaigai and Pallavan express. From 12 February 2014, the Vaigai Express is being hauled by electric locomotive WAP-7 from Royapuram Loco Shed from Madurai to Chennai Egmore.
Train number 12636 leaves Madurai Junction at 7:00 am and arrives at Trichy Junction at 9:00 am before reaching Chennai Egmore at 2:40 pm. Since the rakes of these service are utilised for the Pallavan Express, the rakes of the Chennai-bound Pallavan Express leave Chennai Egmore as the Vaigai Express at 1:30 pm and arrive at Trichy Junction at 6:30 pm before reaching Madurai Junction at 9:20 pm at an average speed of 62 kilometres per hour (39 mph)
In popular culture
As it is the fastest train on the Chord line between Chennai-Trichy, it is nicknamed Horse of Chord line and has a good reputation for punctuality. Its popularity amongst fans is high in the area served by Southern Railways. It was the first train in Madurai Division hauled by the most prestigious loco of Indian Railways, the WAP-7 (RPM).
The 38th anniversary of the train was celebrated by rail fans who brought a special cake with a picture of the Vaigai Express and porcelain mugs printed with photographs of the train depicting its evolution since 1977.
A group of rail fans celebrated 39th Anniversary of Vaigai Express on 15/8/2016 , rail fans decorated the loco of Chennai bound vaigai express(12636) and they did Cake cutting once the Madurai Bound Vaigai Express Arrived at Madurai (12635)
Railfans Celebrate 39th Birthday for Vaigai
39th Birthday Celebration for Vaigai Exrpress http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Rail-fans-celebrate-39th-anniversary-of-Vaigai-Express-launch/articleshow/53709203.cms
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