Express trains in India

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Indian locomotive class WAP-5 hauling the fastest train of India Bhopal Shatabdi Express to New Delhi
Indian Railways Rajdhani/Shatabdi Lines[1]

Mail/Express trains are Regular Express rail service of India. Express trains make small number of stops, unlike Passenger/Local train. In some cases, trains run express where there is overlapping local train service available, and run local at the tail ends of the line, where there is no supplemental local service. Because of their limited stops, these trains are able to obtain the highest speeds of any trains in India.

An express train is one where the average speed, excluding halts, is greater than 36 kmph. Including halts speed may sometimes fall into the 20s, for express trains.

The fastest train in India is Kolkata Rajdhani between New Delhi – Howrah with a maximum speed of 161 km/h (100 mph) and an average speed of 87.17 km/h (56.5 mph), excluding stops. The Duronto Express trains introduced in 2009 (which run between major cities without any intermediate halts) are projected to be the fastest train in India when new services are introduced with a higher speed limit of 110 km/h. Despite being limited to a lower speed limit, they take as much time as a Rajdhani or Shatabdi on the same route, courtesy the non-stop nature of their journey (see Tracks and Speed sections). Rajdhani Express which connects New Delhi with the state capitals in India was introduced in 1969, travels at speeds up to 130 km/h.

Competition[edit]

Like elsewhere, railways in India compete with air travel and road transport. The advantages of travelling by air between cities are the greater frequency of flights, and shorter travel time. Rail travel, with few exceptions (if any), offers lower cost.

Rail transport also faces competition from the use of roads improved under National Highways Development Project. People owning cars can, for short distances, benefit in terms of shorter travel time, given the lack of commute to and fro a railway station at both ends of a journey. This is also balanced against the need to maintain one's vehicle and its security during such trips.

Tracks[edit]

Duronto, Shatabdi, and Rajdhani trains run on Indian broad-gauge which is 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm). These tracks are multi-purpose supporting all passenger and freight traffic, and are not made exclusively for lighter load fast-express passenger trains. They run on tracks with classifications Group A, permitting speed up to 160 km/h, and Group B for speed up to 130 km/h. Lower speed limits apply when they are on tracks or railway switches, which have lower speed limits. The design of the railway switches, with a speed limit of 15–75 km/h, is the major bottleneck to higher speed.[2] Another constraint is the need to accommodate freight trains at the current top speed of 70 km/h.[3] These constraints to speed are consequences of sharing tracks with freight and lower speed suburban passenger trains. But currently, as of 2010, a separate freight corridor construction work is in progress with land acquisitions and other hurdles being slowly overcome.

Locomotives[edit]

Duronto, Shatabdi, and Rajdhani trains are hauled by powerful electric locomotives built by the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, such as WAP-4, WAP-5, or WAP-7, each with an output of more than 5,000 hp. WAP-5 design originated from Bombardier-Adtranz-ABB, and it is capable of pulling trains to speed of 160 km/h without modification.[4][5] WAP-7 is more powerful, and can haul longer trains, to a speed of 140 km/h.[5][6]

Coaches[edit]

The coaches in these trains are of crash-worthy design from Alstom-LHB, built by Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala.[7][8] These Alstom-LHB coaches can be pulled to a speed of 160 km/h without any modification.[9] New fast-express coaches are made partly or completely of stainless steel, primarily motivated by lower maintenance, and higher availability. Stainless steel construction also reduces empty weight, enabling more passengers per coach.[10] The bogies, design from Fiat, has 2 disk brakes per axle[9] essential for safe operations especially at the speed of fast-express trains.

Speed[edit]

The average speed of superfast trains,excluding halts, range from 59 to 93 km/h. Of 80 routes (each direction counting as one route) in the Indian schedule, 3 are 90 km/h or faster, 15 have an average speed between 80 and 90 km/h, 16 are below 70 km/h, remaining 45 have an average speed between 70 and 80 km/h. The speed of express trains is calculated from Indian Railways schedule.

SlTrain NoTrain TypeSource – DestinationZoneStopsTotal stop time-h:mDistance- km (mile)Total time-h:mAvg Speed km/h (mph) [excluding halts]Remarks
112002ShatabdiNew DelhiBhopalNR50:21701 (436)8:0591.82(57.06)Fastest Shatabdi & fastest train in India
212951RajdhaniMumbai CentralNew DelhiWR50:301384 (860)15:5791.42 (56.81)Fastest Rajdhani Train in India
312259DurontoSealdahNew DelhiER30:201453 (906)16:2091.13 (56.62)Fastest Duronto
412034ShatabdiNew DelhiKanpurNCR20:04448 (278)4:5591.11 (56.61)
512302RajdhaniNew DelhiHowrahER60:281447 (902)16:5588.21 (54.81)
612274DurontoNew DelhiHowrahER30:201441 (902)17:1087.06 (54.1)
722913PremiumMumbai-New DelhiWR20:101386(861)15:5587.00(54.0)
812276DurontoNew DelhiAllahabadNCR10:02634 (394)7:2086.85 (53.97)
912313RajdhaniSealdahNew DelhiER60:321458 (906)17:3085.93 (53.4)
1012910Garib RathH. NizamuddinBandraWR70:361366 (849)16:3085.91 (53.38)Fastest Garib Rath
1112004ShatabdiNew DelhiLucknow (Swarna Shatabdi)NR50:13513 (319)6:1585.03 (52.83)
1212247YuvaH. NizamuddinBandraWR50:321366 (849)16:4084.67 (52.61)Fastest Yuva Express
1312953RajdhaniMumbai CentralH. Nizamuddin (August Kranti)WR120:491377 (856)17:0084 (52.50)
1412249YuvaHowrahNew DelhiER50:241447 (899)17:4083.80 (52.07)
1512309RajdhaniRajendranagarNew DelhiECR40:281002 (623)12:3583.01 (51.58)
1612285DurontoSecunderabad- H. NizamuddinSCR40:351658 (1030)21:0580.88 (50.26)
1712281DurontoBhubaneswarNew DelhiECoR40:301726 (1072)21:5580.59 (50.08)
1812306RajdhaniNew DelhiHowrahER60:361531 (951)19:4080.30 (49.89)
1912290DurontoMumbai CSTNagpurCR30:32838 (521)11:0080.06 (49.75)
2012269DurontoChennaiH. NizamuddinSR60:352174 (1351)27:5579.54 (49.42)
2112439RajdhaniRanchiNew DelhiNR60:251309 (813)16:5579.33 (49.3)
2212612Garib RathH. NizamuddinChennaiSR90:462174 (1351)28:1579.10 (49.15)
2312437RajdhaniSecunderabadH. NizamuddinNR50:371658 (1030)21:3579.08 (49.14)
2412187Garib RathJabalpur JunctionMumbai CSTWCR100:481726 (1072)22:4078.93 (49.05)
2512224DurontoErnakulamLokmanya Tilak (T)CR40:301598 (993)20:4578.91 (49.03)The length of Konkan Railway is inflated by 40% to calculate fare
2612213DurontoYesvantpurSarai RohillaNR70:502384 (1481)31:1078.59 (48.84)
2712877Garib RathRanchiNew DelhiSER110:311341 (833)17:4078.19 (48.59)
2812264DurontoH. NizamuddinPuneNR60:421509 (938)20:0078.19 (48.58)
2912262DurontoHowrahMumbai CSTSER50:501968 (1223)26:1077.68 (48.27)
3012453RajdhaniRanchiNew DelhiNR40:221341 (833)17:4077.51 (48.17)
3112222DurontoHowrahPuneSER61:102021 (1256)27:1577.48 (48.15)
3212156SuperfastHazrat NizamuddinBhopal HabibganjWCR70:48800 (635)10:1578.33 (48.05)
3322824RajdhaniNew DelhiBhubaneswarECoR100:511800 (1118)24:1077.20 (47.97)
3412009ShatabdiMumbai CentralAhmedabadWR70:20493 (306)6:4576.83 (47.74)
3512060Jan ShatabdiHazrat NizamuddinKotaWCR80:22458 (285)6:2076.76 (47.7)Fastest Jan Shatabdi Express
3612243DurontoChennaiCoimbatoreSR10:10496 (308)6:4076.31 (47.42)
3712013ShatabdiNew DelhiAmritsarNR50:11449 (279)6:0576.10 (47.29)
3812029ShatabdiNew DelhiAmritsarNR50:11449 (279)6:0576.10 (47.29)
3912031ShatabdiNew DelhiAmritsarNR50:11449 (279)6:0576.10 (47.29)Northern regional express
4012268DurontoAhmedabadMumbai CentralWR00:00493 (306)6:3075.85 (47.13)Western regional express
4122203DurontoVisakhapatnamSecunderabadSCR10:15701 (436)09:3075.78 (47.08)Fastest train in Andhra Pradesh
4222424RajdhaniNew DelhiGuwahatiNR111:311908 (1186)27:2073.91 (45.92)
4312429RajdhaniH. NizamuddinBangaloreNR111:022383 (1481)33:3073.40 (45.61)
4412026ShatabdiSecunderabadPuneCR60:12597 (371)8:2073.40 (45.61)
4512028ShatabdiBangaloreChennaiSWR20:04362 (225)5:0073.38 (45.6)
4612024Jan ShatabdiPatnaHowrahECR120:24532 (331)7:4073.21 (45.49)Eastern regional express
4712007ShatabdiChennaiMysoreSR10:10500 (311)7:0073.17 (45.47)
4812155SuperfastHabibganjH. Nizamuddin (Shaan – E – Bhopal)WCR80:29701 (436)10:0573.02 (45.37)Fastest Superfast train
4912278DurontoPuri-HowrahECoR20:20500 (311)7:1572.29 (44.92)
5012394SuperfastNew DelhiRajendranagar (Sampoorna Kranti Express)ECR20:101002 (623)14:0572.00 (44.74)
5112227DurontoIndoreMumbai CentralWR30:28828 (514)12:0071.79 (44.61)
5212397SuperfastGayaNew Delhi (Mahabodhi Express)ER130:40993 (617)14:3071.78 (44.6)
5312415SuperfastIndoreHazrat NizamuddinNR171:27818 (720)11:2771.41 (44.37)
5412676SuperfastCoimbatoreChennai (Kovai Express)SR100:23496 (308)7:2071.37 (44.35)
5512431RajdhaniThiruvananthapuramH. NizamuddinNR151:252847 (1769)41:2571.18 (44.23)The length of Konkan Railway is inflated by 40% to calculate fare
5612074Jan ShatabdiBhubaneswarHowrahECoR70:21437 (272)6:3071.06 (44.15)
5712042ShatabdiNew JalpaiguriHowrahNFR30:09566 (352)8:0070.75 (43.96)Fastest End-to-End EMD diesel hauled Shatabdi Express
5812452SuperfastNew DelhiKanpur (Shram Shakti Express)NR00:00441 (274)6:1570.56 (43.84)
5912493RajdhaniH. NizamuddinBangaloreNR70:572293 (1425)33:3070.45 (43.77)
6012303SuperfastHowrahNew Delhi (Poorva Express)ER221:221531 (951)23:1070.23 (43.64)
6112246DurontoYesvantpurHowrahSER40:501960 (1218)28:4570.21 (43.63)
6212005ShatabdiNew DelhiKalkaNR30:15269 (167)4:0570.17 (43.6)The length is inflated by 34 km to calculate fare
6312958RajdhaniNew DelhiAhmedabad (Swarna Jayanti)WR60:19935 (581)13:4070.04 (43.52)
6412423RajdhaniDibrugarhNew DelhiNR172:362473 (1537)37:5570.02 (43.51)

Regular unbranded express trains on the same route are only slightly slower, since the same locomotives haul them.

Gallery[edit]

Stops[edit]

Frequent stops reduce the average running speed of a train greatly by preventing it from gaining higher speed. Duronto, Shatabdi, and Rajdhani express trains have very few stops. The distance between stops is as short as 2 km between New Bongaigaon-Bongaigaon on the Howrah-Dibrugarh Kamrup Express, and as long as 528 km between Vadodara-kota on the Trivandrum Rajdhani.

See also[edit]

References[edit]