Passengers boarding the Shatabdi express train at Habibganj Railway Station of Bhopal City for New Delhi.


Interior view of a Shatabdi Express AC Chair Car

Shatabdi Express trains are a series of Superfast Trains operated by Indian Railways to connect metropolitan cities with other cities important for tourism, pilgrimage or business. Shatabdi Express are day-trains and they return to the station of origin the same day.

Shatabdi are the fastest trains in India and Indian Railways considers them prestigious trains. Shatabdi Express trains run over short distances-200 to 800 km one way. Rajdhani Expresses are long-distance trains connecting the nation's capital New Delhi to capitals of states. Both series of trains have a regular speed of 130 kmph. The 2001 Bhopal Shatabdi Express, however, runs at 160 kmph, which makes it the fastest train of India.

History Edit

The word "Shatabdi" means centenary in Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Malayalam, Telugu and some other Indian languages. The first Shatabdi train was started in July 1988 to commemorate the centenary of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru(14.11.1889-14.11.1988/89)First Prime Minister of INDIA) by Madhav Rao Scindia, the then minister for railways. It operated from New Delhi to Gwalior and then Jhansi(extended to Bhopal 1989). This is a West Central Railway stretch. It is now known as Bhopal Shatabdi Express. Another Shatabdi was introduced(in 1989) between New Delhi and Kanpur, and later extended to Lucknow .

Train Edit

Bhopal Shatbadi is the fastest train in India and it runs at an average speed of around 160 kmph between the origin and the destination though it runs at speeds at 150 kmph on some stretches. LHB Rakes are now used for higher speeds instead of the standard IR rakes.

The Bhopal Shatabdi clocks 160kmph (highest in India) on some stretches between Agra and New Delhi stations.

The Shatabdi in certain circumstances, has advantages over the other trains when it comes to receiving priority and berthing at one of the best platform at the station (generally platform number 1 at most of the stations-like platform 1 at Ahmedabad is allotted for 2009/10 Mumbai Central-Ahmedabad Shatabdi express).

Related Trains Edit

A variant of the Shatabdi Express, Swarna Shatabdi Express, is considered more luxurious by Indian Railway.

Indian Railways later introduced a lower-priced version Jan Shatabdi Expresses, which have some coaches without air-conditioning and more affordable.

Service Edit

The train was considered a landmark when it was introduced in India in 1988. It was criticised heavily by a section of society for its luxury in a poor country. Though considered a luxury and "superfast" in India, the Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains are far below global standards of luxury and speed.

Shatabdi Express trains offer fast connectivity with only a few intermediate stops. They are fully air-conditioned and of a much higher standard than most of the other Indian trains. Shatabdi Express travellers are provided with snacks, breakfast, meals, coffee or tea, a one-litre water bottle and a glass of canned juice.

Berths and seats in Shatabdi Express and Rajdhani Express trains have to be reserved in advance before boarding the train. There is no unreserved accommodation in these trains unlike most of the other trains in India.

As Shatabdi Express are day-trains and return to the station of origin the same day, all coaches on the train have only air conditioned seats (called AC Chair Car-Second class or Executive AC Chair Car-First class) and not berths-for sleeping.

New on-board entertainment systems have also been installed on some of these trains where the passengers can view movies and TV serials directly via satellite, one of the first services to have this systems is the 2009/2010 Mumbai Central-Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express.

List of the trains Edit


Shatabdi Express


Shatabdi train bound to leave New Delhi

Indian Railways operated 13 pairs of Shatabdi Express as on 1 April 2009. These trains are listed here.

  1. 2001/02 Bhopal Shatabdi
  2. 2003/04 Lucknow Shatabdi
  3. 2003A/04A Lucknow Shatabdi
  4. 2005/06 Kalka Shatabdi
  5. 2007/08 Chennai Central-Bangalore City-Mysore Shatabdi
  6. 2009/10 Mumbai Central- Ahmedabad Shatabdi
  7. 2011/12 Kalka Shatabdi
  8. 2013/14 Amritsar Shatabdi
  9. 2015/16 Ajmer Shatabdi
  10. 2017/18 Dehradun Shatabdi
  11. 2027/28 Chennai Central- Bangalore City Shatabdi
  12. 2029/30 Amritsar Swarna Shatabdi
  13. 2031/32 Amritsar Shatabdi
  • Note the Train No. 2031/2032 only run on Thursdays, while train No. 2029/2030 run on all days except Thursdays.

Future Edit

Some claim that since there is no competition with the passenger services of Indian Railways, little emphasis is given to the improvement of services.

Furthermore, the Indian aviation sector is witnessing stiff competition and various airlines are pushing into the low-cost market on domestic routes, which in turn makes it attractive for the upper segment of rail passengers to shift to air travel. This, along with an inability to maintain a high level of service, makes it increasingly difficult for the Shatabdi and the Rajdhani Express to keep their customers.[1]


Bhopal Shatabdi

See also Edit

External links Edit