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Express trains are express rail services of India. Express trains make a small number of stops, unlike ordinary passenger or local trains. 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 42 km/h. Including halts the average speed often is below 42 km/h. Although this is pretty slow as compared to international standards, the "Express" trains here mean faster than the ordinary passenger and local trains. In some cases, trains run express where there is an overlapping passenger train service available, and run as passenger train, where there is no supplemental passenger service.
Superfast Express trains are express trains which make still fewer stops, as compared to ordinary express trains, achieving still shorter journey times. Tickets cost more than ordinary express trains as they have "superfast surcharge" added to them. Trains with an average speed, excluding halts, equaling or exceeding 55 kilometres per hour (34 mph) (60 kilometres per hour (37 mph) until the early 1990s) on both up and down journeys fall into this category and are numbered with a prefix of 12 or 22 or 20 (previously 2). Including halts the average speed often is below 55 km/h. In some cases, trains run superfast where there is an overlapping express service available, and run as ordinary express trains where there is no supplementary express service.
Mail trains are the trains which earlier exclusively had mail coaches. These coaches were named as "Railway Mail Service" coaches, and were operated with collaboration between the railways and the postal department. Nowadays, mail trains no longer have these coaches. The mail trains carry mail in the luggage coach itself, but the train branding continues to be in use.
Apart from Antyodaya and Jan Sadharan trains, unreserved/general coaches are also present in express trains. A new series of Deen Dayalu coaches has also been proposed for long-distance trains. The Deen Dayalu coaches are more comfortable than the existing old coaches.
The average speed of express trains, range from 36 kilometres per hour (22 mph) to 113 kilometres per hour (70 mph). Of this, counting up and down trains separately, 23 trains have an average speed more than 80 km/h, whereas 72 trains have an average speed between 70 and 80 km/h. The speed of express trains is calculated from the latest Indian Railways timetable.
The design of the railway switches, with a speed limit of 50–90 km/h, is the major bottleneck to higher speed. Another constraint is the need to accommodate freight trains at the current top speed of 70 km/h. These constraints to speed are consequences of sharing tracks with freight and lower speed suburban passenger trains.
The train stops reduce the average running speed of a train by preventing it from gaining higher speed. 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 Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express.
|Train category||Train name||Max. speed||Avg. speed||Notes|
|Gatimaan Express||Jhansi Gatimaan Express||160 km/h||113 km/h*||the fastest train in India according to operational speeds|
|Vande Bharat Express||Varanasi Vande Bharat Express||130 km/h||96.8 km/h||Theoretically the Fastest Train in India ( Capable of 180 km/h )|
|Rajdhani Express||Bandra Rajdhani Express||150 km/h||97.8 km/h||fastest Rajdhani express|
|Shatabdi Express||Habibganj–New Delhi Shatabdi Express||150 km/h||89 km/h|
|Duronto Express||Sealdah–Bikaner Duronto Express||135 km/h||85 km/h|
|Rajdhani Express||Mumbai Rajdhani Express||130 km/h||91.3 km/h||second fastest Rajdhani express between Mumbai and Delhi after Bandra Rajdhani Express|
|Vande Bharat Express||New Delhi Shri Mata Vaishnov Devi Katra Vande Bharat Express||130 km/h||81.8 km/h||second train of Vande Bharat Express series|
|Tejas Express||Mumbai CSMT–Karmali Tejas Express||130 km/h||66.8 km/h||first Tejas express of India|
|Tejas Express||Lucknow–New Delhi Tejas Express||130 km/h||83 km/h||fastest Tejas express. Operated by Private (IRCTC)|
|Tejas Express||Chennai Egmore–Madurai Tejas Express||130 km/h||78 km/h||first Tejas express of South India|
|Tejas Express||Ahmedabad – Mumbai Central Tejas Express||130 km/h||78 km/h||Third dedicated premium train between Mumbai to Ahmedabad|
|Rajdhani Express||Howrah Rajdhani Express||130 km/h||85 km/h||fifth-fastest train in India|
|Shatabdi Express||Howrah–Ranchi Shatabdi Express||130 km/h||74 km/h||sixth-fastest train in India|
|Suvidha Superfast Express||Patna–Mumbai CST Suvidha Superfast Express||110 km/h||63 km/h||fastest Suvidha Express|
|Yuva Express||Howrah–Anand Vihar Yuva Express||130 km/h||82 km/h||fastest Yuva Express|
|Garib Rath Express||Bandra Terminus–Hazrat Nizamuddin Garib Rath Express||130 km/h||82 km/h||fastest Garib Rath Express|
|Duronto Express||Mumbai Central–Rajkot Duronto Express||120 km/h||76 km/h||Runs non stop from Mumbai to Ahmedabad|
|Jan Shatabdi Express||Kota–Hazrat Nizamuddin Jan Shatabdi Express||110 km/h||71 km/h||fastest Jan Shatabdi Express|
|Sampark Kranti Express||Maharashtra Sampark Kranti Express||110 km/h||69 km/h|
|Double Decker Express||Mumbai Central–Ahmedabad Double Decker Express||130 km/h||69 km/h||fastest Double Decker Express|
|AC Express||Lokmanya Tilak Terminus–Hazrat Nizamuddin AC Express||120 km/h||76 km/h||fastest AC Express|
|State Express||Visakhapatnam - New Delhi AP Express||130 km/h||76 km/h||fastest State Express train|
|Superfast Express||Shram Shakti Express||110 km/h||67 km/h||Non-stop train, Superfast.|
|Express||KSR Bengaluru–Nagercoil Express||100 km/h||45 km/h||An ordinary Express train|
- Chauhan, Arvind (6 June 2015). "India's fastest train completes final test run in record time". The Times of India.
- "Routes and Timetables of New Tejas, Uday, Humsafar and Antyodaya Trains". 24 Coaches. 29 September 2016.
- "Deen Dayalu coaches: Indian Railways' swanky new offerings for general class". The Economic Times. 26 July 2016.
- "High Speed – T.R.Natarajan, Indian Railways". Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
- Government of India Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) (December 2009). "Indian Railways 2020 Vision" (PDF).
- 22436/New Delhi - Varanasi Vande Bharat Express