Tamil Nadu Express
The 12621 / 12622 Tamil Nadu Express is a superfast train of the Indian Railways. The train was first started on 7 August 1976 by then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Introduced as a tri-weekly, it was the first State named train of the south. It runs between Chennai Central and New Delhi. It is considered as the fastest non-Rajdhani Express train. In 1976, it was a tri weekly train, then made four times a week just before the 1982 Asian Games and then converted to a daily train by Madhav Rao Scindia in June 1988 and who added Gwalior to the stoppages. Numbered 12621/12622, this train belongs to the Superfast category of Indian Railways. It runs with highly refurbished LHB Coaches from 22nd November 2020.
Tamil Nadu Express on it's ICF days near Warangal type = Superfast
|First service||7 August 1976|
|Current operator(s)||Southern Railways|
|Start||Chennai Central (MAS)|
|End||New Delhi (NDLS)|
|Distance travelled||2,182 km (1,356 mi)|
|Average journey time||33 hours (Approx.)|
|Train number(s)||12621 / 12622|
|Class(es)||AC 1st Class, AC 2 Tier, AC 3 Tier, Sleeper Class, General Unreserved|
|Observation facilities||Large windows|
|Other facilities||Below the seats|
|Rolling stock||LHB Coaches|
|Track gauge||Broad Gauge |
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
|Operating speed||66 km/h (41 mph) average including halts|
When first introduced, the train was numbered 121/122 and the train had 13 compartments and was hauled by a single WDM 2 locomotive. After the Madras to Vijayawada line was electrified, the train was hauled by a single WAM 4 Arakkonam Electric on that stretch, and a single WDM 2 from Vijayawada to New Delhi. When the Chennai - New Delhi line was partially electrified in the late 1980s, it had to change engines twice in the route, from WAM 4 to WDM 2 at Vijayawada and then from WDM 2 to WAM 4 at Itarsi Junction. When it was a non-daily train, it shared time slots with Andhra Pradesh Express and Kerala Express.
The first Superfast to connect the Southern Metro with the state capital the train beat the record of G T Express which held the superfast train status of the South that time and fastest to reach New Delhi. Timings were not convenient for Delhi travelers, leading to daily and timings altered to leave Chennai in the evening.
The Tamil Nadu Express faced a problem with the engine when it had to haul 18+ coaches. Initially when it was introduced as Tri-Weekly, the train used to leave Madras Central around 07:10 am to arrive NDLS around next next day 12:50 pm. In return it used to leave NDLS around 07:00 am and reach MAS around next day 12:35 pm. But due to its aggressive schedule it was slowed down later. The reason is the train could not cover the terrains near Itarsi and was regularly late by 2–3 hours while on its way to New Delhi. 121/122 Madras-New Delhi Tamil Nadu Express are being run, as on experimental measure, with two engines from 29-1-79. It is too early to assess the full implications of this experiment. Based on the experience gained, it is intended to extend this feature to other trains/routes  Mr George Fernandes as Railway Minister, introduced the concept of twin engines and tried to fix the problem. Later the travel time was increased to 33 hours. The train was rescheduled to night later.
The Special run of this train numbered 02621/02622 was upgraded with LHB rakes from Nov 24 2020. The LHB rakes would eventually become permanent with the regular service.
This train runs via Vijayawada, Warangal, Balharshah, Nagpur, Itarsi Junction, Bhopal Junction, Jhansi Junction, Gwalior, Agra Cantt and Hazrat Nizamuddin to reach New Delhi station. There is no stop between Vijayawada and Chennai. The train takes just 6 hours to reach Vijayawada from Chennai Central Railway Station and 6 hrs and 50 minutes to reach Chennai Central Railway Station from Vijayawada. The non-stop run of 431 km between Vijayawada and Chennai Central Railway Station is the second longest inter-halt journey for any train other than the Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani Express or the Duronto Express, Kochuveli Dehradun Superfast Express, Kochuveli Amritsar Super Fast Express and Kerala Sampark Kranti Express (between Kota and Vadodara 528 km non stop).
The train has a lot of demand and gets about 22 coaches. The rake generally comprises 6 AC coaches, 11 Sleeper class coaches, 1 Pantry car, 2 General Unreserved and two EOG's.(LHB Rake)
- 1 AC First Cum AC II Tier
- 2 AC II Tier
- 3 AC III Tier
- 11 Sleeper Class
- 1 Pantry Car
- 2 Unreserved
- 2 Disabled Cum Generator Coach
Tamil Nadu Express has traditionally been accident-prone, with many accidents occurring due to its speed. The top speed of the train was reduced after the derailment of 14 coaches on 31 August 1981 at Asifabad Road Station in Telangana, in which 15 persons were killed and 39 injured. The following table enlists the accidents that happened on Tamil Nadu Express.
|Year||Location||Cause of Accident||Casualties|
|1981||Asifabad Road Station||Derailment||15 killed |
|1984||Delhi||Fire in one
of the coaches
|1986||Agra-Gwalior Section||Fire in one of the
first class coaches
an empty train
|2012||Nellore||Fire in S11 coach||32 killed|
- "Tamilnadu Express - Everything about India!". Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
- "Classic Trains of India". Indian Railways Fan Club. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- https://eparlib.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/2057/1/lsd_06_07_01-03-1979.pdf Page no. 79
- "Is Tamil Nadu Express jinxed?". The Hindu. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- Chennai-New Delhi Tamil Nadu Express at the India Rail Info
- New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express at the India Rail Info