The Taj Express was started in 1964 to serve tourists travelling from Delhi to Agra. It reduced the travelling time from over three hours to around two and a half hours. Taj Express was started along the lines of Deccan Queen- which ran as a high-speed commuter-special train between Pune(ex Poona) and CST Mumbai ( ex VT Bombay)- and provided a quick and comfortable journey between Agra and Delhi. It was a very popular train especially among foreign tourists, before the Bhopal Shatabdi was introduced in 1986. The train was later extended up to Gwalior, then to Jhansi in 2006.
In 1964 Taj Express was introduced from New Delhi to Agra. Running at 105 km/h, it brought down travel time on this route to 2h 35m. It was hauled by a WP 7003 steam engine. It was a train that was immensely popular with tourists, particularly foreigners, as it gave them ample time to visit the Taj Mahal and neighbouring monuments before returning to Delhi that evening.
Surprisingly, the train did not run on Wednesdays. The Taj Mahal monument was then closed to tourists on Mondays  and the one day off on Wednesdays was a direct financial loss. The Archaeological Survey of India then decided that the Taj Mahal would remain closed on Fridays for the public except for Muslims who could pray in the mosque between 12 Noon to 2 P.M. The Taj Express still did not operate on Wednesdays.
In Oct, 1982 The Taj Express began using diesel locomotives (WDM-2).
In 1985, then-Railway Minister Madhavrao Scindia extended the Taj Express to Gwalior Junction. Journey time was 5hrs 20 min, leaving Hazrat Nizamuddin at 0710 am and reaching Gwalior at 1230 pm. The return timings were 1710 pm departure Gwalior and 2230 pm arrival Hazrat Nizamuddin. In 1989, the Wednesdays off was discontinued. The train, however, remained idle for well over four hours at Gwalior.