When it comes to India’s transportation system, the backbone of the country is served by India’s Railway network. The fourth longest rail network in the world, it has been striving to make the system more time effective and modernize amenities.
Superfast trains have been successfully introduced in India by the Indian Railways, with significant improvements made in recent years. The major cities of the country are connected by the fastest train in India, which operates at high speed. Efforts are being made by the Indian Railways to further enhance the speed of the fastest trains in India.
To establish high-speed rail lines, twelve routes have been proposed by the Indian Railways. As of 2023, the Gatimaan Express holds the highest operational speeds, with certain sections of the superfast train reaching 160 km/h (99 mph). It stands as one of the fastest trains in India. With a speed of 180 km/h (110 mph), the Vande Bharat Express holds the title of the fastest train in India.
Fastest trains in India and their speeds:
1. Vande Bharat Express (Max Speed- 180 km/h)
Designed with safety in mind, Vande Bharat Express is intended to be operated at 160 km/h, although it has a top speed of 180 km/h. Our country’s fastest self-propelled engine-less train is Vande Bharat Express. As one of the fastest trains in India, it is anticipated to reduce journey time by 15%, equivalent to 4-5 hours. The train is also referred to as Train 18.
2. Tejas Express (Max Speed- 162 km/h)
The launch of Tejas Express in 2017 was initiated by Indian Railways. It is a fully air-conditioned train that operates at a semi-high speed. Among the three semi-high-speed trains currently in operation in India, Tejas Express occupies the top position. Automatic doors and modern onboard amenities are featured in this train. Additional facilities such as personal reading lights and CCTV cameras are also provided. The journey between Mumbai and Goa covers a distance of 551 kilometers and takes approximately 8.5 hours. The average speed of Tejas Express is 110 km/h, with a top speed of 162 km/h.
3. Gatimaan Express (Max Speed- 160 km/h)
Gatimaan Express, one of the fastest trains in India, covers a distance of 188 kilometers between New Delhi and Agra in just 1 hour and 40 minutes. With a speed of 160 km/h, it efficiently connects two renowned tourist destinations in the country. Passengers on Gatimaan Express can enjoy a range of amenities including bio-toilets, fire alarms, a GPS-based passenger information system, and automatic sliding doors. The train also provides the services of hostesses, ensuring a pleasant travel experience. Additionally, passengers have the convenience of complimentary Wi-Fi throughout their journey.
4. Bhopal Shatabdi Express (Max Speed- 155 km/h)
The Bhopal Shatabdi Express runs from Delhi to Bhopal and then Bhopal to Delhi. The authorities launched this fast train in 1988 to commemorate Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary. It operates at a top speed of 155 kilometers per hour, offering passengers a swift journey. The train provides all the modern amenities, ensuring a comfortable travel experience. The train fare includes the cost of meals served onboard, relieving passengers from additional expenses. Covering a distance of 707 km, the Bhopal Shatabdi Express is an efficient mode of transportation. However, it is worth noting that this train does not offer sleeper cars for overnight journeys.
5. Mumbai Rajdhani Express (Max Speed- 140 km/h)
Rajdhani Express train utilizes Alstom-LHB carriages and is known for its speed. As is common with Rajdhani Express trains, the Mumbai Rajdhani Express is fully air-conditioned. The train covers a distance of 1384 kilometers between the major cities of Mumbai Central and New Delhi, achieving a top speed of 140 km/hr. The train offers various amenities, including morning and evening snacks, plug-in plugs, and Wi-Fi facilities, ensuring a comfortable journey for passengers.
6. New Delhi – Howrah Rajdhani Express And New Delhi – Sealdah Duronto Express (Max Speed- 135 km/h)
With a high speed of 135 km per hour, these trains have secured their place on the list of the fastest trains in India. The distance of 1450 km is covered by the prestigious Howrah Rajdhani Express, which holds the distinction of being the first train in the country to be entirely air-conditioned. A significant connection between the cities of Kolkata and New Delhi, this super-fast train offers efficient transportation. Similarly, the distance of 1457 km is traversed by the New Delhi – Sealdah Duronto Express.
7. Mumbai LTT – H.Nizamuddin AC Superfast Express (Max Speed- 130km/h)
The top speed of 130 km per hour is maintained by the Mumbai LTT – H. Nizamuddin AC Superfast Express. It serves as a connection between the two major cities, New Delhi and Mumbai. The distance of 1518 km is covered by this train, and the approximate duration of the journey for the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin AC Express is 34 hours and 25 minutes.
8. The Bandra Garib Rath Express (Max Speed- 130km/h)
One of the fastest trains in India is the Bandra Garib Rath Express. It maintains a speed of 130 km per hour. The distance of 1367 km is covered by this super-fast train. Notably, a pantry coach is not included in this fast train. The introduction of the Garib Rath Express aimed to provide subsidized air-conditioned travel to long-distance passengers who faced challenges in affording the fares of regular air-conditioned trains.
9. Mumbai Central – Ahmedabad AC Double Decker Express (Max Speed- 130km/h)
A distance of 491 km is covered by the Mumbai Central – Ahmedabad AC Double Decker Express at a speed of 130 km per hour. This superfast express train is operated once a day, six days a week.
10. New Delhi – Howrah Duronto Express, New Delhi, and Howrah – Anand Vihar Yuva Express – Allahabad Duronto Express (Max Speed- 120 to 130 km/h)
A speed of 120-130 km per hour is maintained by the Howrah Duronto Express, covering a distance of 1450 km. The distance of 1438 km is covered by the Anand Vihar Yuva Express, while the Allahabad Duronto Express covers a distance of 632 km. These trains, being part of the fastest trains in India, offer several modern amenities to the passengers and are known for their time efficiency. It is worth noting that the Allahabad Duronto Express does not have a pantry coach.
Among the three, the Anand Vihar Yuva Express is considered the cheapest, with 60% of its seats reserved for students and low-income groups.