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.[1] 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.[2] Numbered 12621/12622, this train belongs to the Superfast category of Indian Railways. It runs with highly refurbished LHB Coaches from 22nd November 2020.

சென்னை சென்ட்ரல் - புது டெல்லி தமிழ்நாடு அதிவேக விரைவு வண்டி
12621 TN Express 23 09 2018.jpg
Tamil Nadu Express on it's ICF days near Warangal type = Superfast
First service7 August 1976; 44 years ago (1976-08-07)
Current operator(s)Southern Railways
StartChennai Central (MAS)
EndNew Delhi (NDLS)
Distance travelled2,182 km (1,356 mi)
Average journey time33 hours (Approx.)
Service frequencyDaily
Train number(s)12621 / 12622
On-board services
Class(es)AC 1st Class, AC 2 Tier, AC 3 Tier, Sleeper Class, General Unreserved
Seating arrangementsYes
Sleeping arrangementsYes
Catering facilitiesYes
Observation facilitiesLarge windows
Other facilitiesBelow the seats
Rolling stockLHB Coaches
Track gaugeBroad Gauge
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Operating speed66 km/h (41 mph) average including halts
Route map
Grand Trunk Express and Tamil Nadu Express (NDLS-MAS) Route map.jpg Tamil Nadu Express route map


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.[2] 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 [3] 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.

Tamil Nadu Express sleeper coach
Tamil Nadu Express AC coach


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).[2]


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

Loco linksEdit

The train is generally hauled by a WAP 7 locomotive of Royapuram loco shed or WAP 4 locomotive of Erode / Arakkonam loco shed on its entire journey.


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.[4] The following table enlists the accidents that happened on Tamil Nadu Express.

List of Accidents on Tamil Nadu Express[4]
Year Location Cause of Accident Casualties
1977 Vijayawada Derailment none
1978 Nagpur-Itarsi section Derailment none
1981 Asifabad Road Station Derailment 15 killed
39 injured
1983 Kazipet Derailment none
1984 Vijayawada Derailment none
1984 Delhi Fire in one
of the coaches
Two coaches
partially damaged
1986 Agra-Gwalior Section Fire in one of the
first class coaches
3 injured
1987 Amla-Nagpur Derailment of
13 coaches
2 killed
30 injured
1990 Mathura Collision with
an empty train
2012 Nellore Fire in S11 coach 32 killed
27 injured

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Tamilnadu Express - Everything about India!". Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b c "Classic Trains of India". Indian Railways Fan Club. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  3. ^ https://eparlib.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/2057/1/lsd_06_07_01-03-1979.pdf Page no. 79
  4. ^ a b "Is Tamil Nadu Express jinxed?". The Hindu. 31 July 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.

External linksEdit