Express trains in India

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.

Indian Railways Rajdhani/Shatabdi lines[1]


Superfast 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. Maximum Speed for SuperFast Trains:110km/hr.


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.

Un-reserved travelEdit

The Jan Sadharan Express and Antyodaya Express are fully Unreserved/General express trains. These trains have all Unreserved/General coaches.[2]

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.[3]


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.[4] Another constraint is the need to accommodate freight trains at the current top speed of 70 km/h.[5] 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 VadodaraKota on the Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express.

Train category Train name Max. speed Avg. speed Notes
Gatimaan Express Jhansi Gatimaan Express 160 km/h* 91 km/h the fastest train in India according to operational speeds
Vande Bharat Express Varanasi Vande Bharat Express 133 km/h[6] 95 km/h Theoretically the Fastest Train in India ( Capable of 180 km/h )
Shatabdi Express Habibganj–New Delhi Shatabdi Express 150 km/h 89 km/h
  • second fastest train in India
  • fastest Shatabdi Expresses
Duronto Express Sealdah–Bikaner Duronto Express 135 km/h 77 km/h
  • fourth-fastest train in India
  • fastest Duronto Expresses
Rajdhani Express Mumbai Rajdhani Express 140 km/h 90 km/h second fastest Rajdhani express between Mumbai and Delhi after Bandra Rajdhani Express (currently the fastest rajdhani express in India)
Vande Bharat Express New Delhi Shri Mata Vaishnov Devi Katra Vande Bharat Express 130 km/h 82 km/h second train of Vande Bharat Express series
Tejas Express Mumbai CSMT–Karmali Tejas Express 110 km/h 67  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 110 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 54  km/h sixth-fastest train in India
Suvidha Superfast Express Patna–Mumbai CST Suvidha Superfast Express 130 km/h 63 km/h fastest Suvidha Express
Yuva Express Howrah–Anand Vihar Yuva Express 130 km/h 86  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 130 km/h 76 km/h Runs non stop from Mumbai to Ahmedabad
Jan Shatabdi Express Kota–Hazrat Nizamuddin Jan Shatabdi Express 130 km/h 71  km/h fastest Jan Shatabdi Express
Sampark Kranti Express Maharashtra Sampark Kranti Express 130 km/h 82  km/h
  • fastest Sampark Kranti Express
  • fastest version of Superfast Express trains in India
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 130 km/h 76  km/h was the 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 74 km/h Non-stop train,VVIP Superfast train.
Express SVMT Bengaluru–Nagercoil Express 100 km/h 45 km/h An ordinary Express train


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Chauhan, Arvind (6 June 2015). "India's fastest train completes final test run in record time". The Times of India.
  2. ^ "Routes and Timetables of New Tejas, Uday, Humsafar and Antyodaya Trains". 24 Coaches. 29 September 2016.
  3. ^ "Deen Dayalu coaches: Indian Railways' swanky new offerings for general class". The Economic Times. 26 July 2016.
  4. ^ "High Speed – T.R.Natarajan, Indian Railways". Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016.
  5. ^ Government of India Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) (December 2009). "Indian Railways 2020 Vision" (PDF).
  6. ^ 22436/New Delhi - Varanasi Vande Bharat Express

External linksEdit