Indian Railways is one of the world’s oldest and most extensive railway networks in the world. It is also the world’s largest employer. Aside from the North Eastern states of India, the Indian Railway network is extremely dense and goes to just about every single corner of the country. It moves people and goods all over the country. As large as India’s railway network is and how many passengers it carries every year, it is not a railway network known for its speed. While European, Chinese and Japanese railway networks have superfast trains that can travel above the speeds of 400 km/h and are rarely late, Indian Railways are generally known for being slow and usually late. However, that has been changing over the recent years and after more than 150 years since the country’s first railway line was opened between Mumbai and Thane, India has finally started moving towards faster trains. In this post, we will look at some of the fastest trains in the country (with top speeds as of 2019). And the best thing about these fast trains is that this is just the beginning and even faster trains are on the way. Let’s get started.
Here are the 11 Fastest Trains in India
1. Vande Bharat Express – Train 18 (22439), Top Speed- 180 km/h
The fastest train in India is the Vande Bharat Express. While the Vande Bharat Express can hit a top speed of 180 km/h. It is limited to a top speed of 160 km/h for safety purposes on the train tracks. The Vande Bharat Express (also known as Train 18) is being heralded as the Shatabdi Express. Those trains have been some of the fastest trains in the country for over 30 years. However, their time at the top of the game is over and they have been replaced by the engineless self-propelled Vande Bharat Express. The fastest train in India has slashed the travelling time between New Delhi and Varanasi by as much as 5 hours.
Route: New Delhi – Varanasi.
2. Gatimaan Express (12049/12050), Top Speed- 160 km/h
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, is the fast and furious Gatimaan express. The train covers the 188 kms distance between Agra and New Delhi in just one hour and 40 minutes, hitting a top speed of 160 km/h in the process. It connects two of the most popular tourist hubs in India. One of the fastest trains in India, the Gatimaan Express is equipped with services like fire alarms, bio-toilets, automatic sliding doors and GPS-based passenger information system. The Gatimaan Express also has stewardesses like a commercial airliner. Passengers aboard the Gatimaan Express also get access to multimedia content and free Wi-Fi. Vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals are available both in North Indian and South Indian variations.
Route: Hazrat Nizamuddin – Agra Cantonment.
3. New Delhi – Bhopal Shatabdi Express (12002), Top Speed- 150 km/h
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, is the New Delhi – Bhopal Shatabdi Express. The fastest train among the “Shatabdi” lineup of the Indian Railways, this train can hit top speeds of 150 km/h. It runs from Delhi to Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, covering a distance of 707 km. The Shatabdi Express was launched in 1988 to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. The project was the brainchild of the incumbent Railway Minister Madhavrao Scindia. It is fully air-conditioned and provides the travellers with snacks, coffee/tea, meals and a one-litre water bottle/300ml packaged water. The meals are covered in the booking fare.
Route: New Delhi – Mathura Jn – Agra Cantonment – Morena – Gwalior – Jhansi Jn – Lalitpur Jn – Bhopal Jn – Habibganj.
4. Mumbai – New Delhi Rajdhani Express (12951) & New Delhi – Kanpur Shatabdi Express (12034), Top Speed- 140 km/hour
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, are the Mumbai – New Delhi Rajdhani Express and the New Delhi – Kanpur Shatabdi Express. These super fast trains can hit a top speed of 140 km per hour, the former covering a distance of 1384 km and the latter covering a distance of 440 km. Morning/evening snacks, bottled water, tea and coffee, soup, meals, ice-cream are served in both the trains. The Mumbai-Delhi Rajdhani Express is the fastest in the “rajdhani” lineup of the Indian Railways. All Rajdhani Express trains connect state capitals to India’s capital city of New Delhi.
12951- Mumbai Central – Borivali – Surat – Vadodara Jn – Ratlam Jn – Nagda Jn – Kota Jn – New Delhi
12034- New Delhi – Ghaziabad Jn – Etawah Jn – Kanpur Central.
5. New Delhi – Howrah Rajdhani Express (12302) & New Delhi – Sealdah Duronto Express (12260), Top Speed- 135 km/hr
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, are the New Delhi-Howrah Rajdhani Express and the New Delhi – Sealdah Duronto Express. These trains can hit a top speed of 135 km/h. The Howrah Rajdhani covers a distance of 1450 km and is one of the most prestigious trains in India. It was the first ever Indian train that was fully air conditioned. Depending on the timing of the train, morning tea, lunch, high tea, dinner, or breakfast are served. This super-fast train is an important link between Kolkata and New Delhi, running close to some of India’s holiest sites such as Allahabad, Parasnath and Gaya. On the other hand, the New Delhi – Sealdah Duronto Express covers a distance of 1457 km. Snacks, meals, water, tea and coffee is provided. It is a train which was launched more recently.
12302- New Delhi – Kanpur Central – Allahabad Jn – Mughal Sarai Jn – Gaya Jn – Parasnath – Dhanbad Jn – Howrah Jn
12260- New Delhi – Kanpur Central – Mughal Sarai Jn – Dhanbad Jn – Sealdah.
6. Mumbai LTT – H.Nizamuddin AC Superfast Express (22109), Top Speed- 130 km/hr
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, is the Mumbai LTT – H.Nizamuddin AC Superfast Express or the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin AC Express. This train can hit a top speed of 130 km/hour, and cover a distance of 1518 km. It runs between India’s two major cities, New Delhi and Mumbai. The journey takes approximately 34 hours and 25 minutes to complete.
Route: Lokmanya Tilak Terminus – Kalyan Jn – Igatpuri – Nasik Road – Bhusaval Jn – Bhopal Jn – Jhansi Jn – Gwalior Jn – Agra Cantt – H.Nizamuddin.
7. H.Nizamuddin – Bandra Garib Rath (12910), Top Speed- 130 km/hr
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, is the Bandra Garib Rath express. This superfast train can hit a top speed of 130 km/h and covers a distance of 1367 km. This super-fast train does not have a pantry coach though, which is unusual for a train which covers such a long distance. It is also the fastest train in the “Garib Rath” family of trains. Garib Rath was started by India’s former Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. The aim of the train was to provide subsidised air-conditioned travel for long-distance to passengers who could not afford the fares of the usual air-conditioned trains. The berths and seats are narrower, and every coach has more berths and seats than the usual.
Route: H.Nizamuddin – Mathura Jn – Kota Jn – Ratlam Jn – Dahod – Vadodara Jn – Surat – Borivali – Bandra Terminus.
8. Mumbai Central – Ahmedabad AC Double Decker Express (12932), Top Speed- 130 km/hr
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, is the Mumbai Central – Ahmedabad AC Double Decker Express. This superfast express train can hit a top speed of 130 km/h. It covers a distance of 491 km. The train runs once a day, six days a week. In 2017, the exteriors of the train were covered with vinyl wrapping advertisements making it Indian Railways’ first branded train. The ads were for the advertisement of Savlon, a sap brand, as a part of the Savlon Swasth India Mission.
Route: Ahmedabad Jn – Nadiad Jn – Anand Jn – Vadodara Jn – Bharuch Jn – Surat – Valsad – Vapi – Borivali – Mumbai Central.
9. New Delhi – Howrah Duronto Express (12273), New Delhi – Allahabad Duronto Express (12276) & Howrah – Anand Vihar Yuva Express (12249), Top Speed- 120 to 130 km/hr
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, are the New Delhi – Howrah Duronto Express, the New Delhi – Allahabad Duronto Express and the Howrah – Anand Vihar Yuva Express. These trains can hit a top speed between 120-130 km/h. The Howrah Duronto Express covers a distance of 1450 km, Allahabad Duronto Express 632 km, and the Anand Vihar Yuva Express covers its distance of 1438 km.
The Howrah Duronto Express runs between Kolkata and New Delhi through the Grand Chord route. The train doesn’t have any stop on the way and is the most time-efficient train in the country. It serves complimentary meals, soup, water and tea.
The Allahabad Duronto Express is a Superfast express train that runs between Allahabad and New Delhi with a single technical halt at Tundla Junction. This train has no pantry coach.
The Anand Vihar Yuva Express connects Kolkata to New Delhi. It is the cheapest of all the air-conditioned trains between the two cities and is one of the fastest trains in India. Sixty per cent seats of this train are reserved for students and low-income groups.
12273- Howrah Jn – Dhanbad Jn – Mughal Sarai Jn – Kanpur Central – New Delhi
12276- New Delhi – Tundla Jn – Allahabad Jn
12249- Howrah Jn – Asansol Jn – Dhanbad Jn – Mughal Sarai Jn – Allahabad Jn – Kanpur Central – Anand Vihar Terminal.
10. Maharashtra Sampark Kranti Express (12908), Top Speed- 110 km/hr
Next on the list of the fastest trains in India, is the Maharashtra Sampark Kranti Express. It can hit a top speed of 110 km per hour and covers a distance of 1367 km between Mumbai and Delhi. It stops only thrice between New Delhi and Mumbai. It is a bi-weekly train and the fastest Sampark Kranti Express.
Route: H.Nizamuddin – Kota Jn – Vadodara Jn – Borivali – Bandra Terminus
11. Kota – H.Nizamuddin Jan Shatabdi Express (12059), Top Speed- 110 km/hr
Rounding off the list of the fastest trains in India, is the Kota Hazrat Nizamuddin Jan Shatabdi Express. This train runs between Kota and Delhi, covers a distance of 458 km and it can hit a top speed of 110 km per hour. It belongs to the “Janshatabdi” family of trains which were superfast trains launched at lower rates than the “Shatabdi” series of trains. The train takes a little over six hours to finish its journey.
Route: Kota Jn – Sawai Madhopur Jn – Gangapur City – Shri Mahabirji – Hindaun City – Bayana Jn – Bharatpur Jn – Mathura Jn – Ballabgarh – H.Nizamuddin.
So that was the list of the 11 fastest trains in India. How many of these trains have you travelled on?