Rajdhani Express is the series of superfast passenger trains connecting the capital of India, New Delhi to the respective state capital run by Indian Railways. Rajdhani means Capital in many language, mostly in those which are derived from Devnagari and Sanskrit. This train receive the highest priority in the Indian Routes.
First service: The first Rajdhani Express ran between New Delhi and Howrah on March 3. 1969. At that time it covered the 1445 km of distance in 17 hours 20 minutes with 120 km/hr maximum permissible speed and booked speed of 110 km/hr. At that time it was the only fully Super Fast air conditioned train. At that time this train consist of 2 Pantry cum Lounge, 2 AC First Class and 4 AC Chair Car and 2 Power cars. A total 10 coaches. At that time it used to run non stop, with technical stoppage at Kanpur, Mughalsarai and Gomoh. And was hauled WDM-4 LCOMOTIVE.
Guard, S. O. Levi giving the green signal to start the first journey of Rajdhani from Howrah.
Howrah Rajdhani leaving from New Delhi on its first journey from Delhi.
A family arriving in New Delhi by Rajdhani Express
Driver G. L. Tocher starting the inaugural Rajdhani
Facts of Rajdhani Express:
- Was the First fully Air Conditioned non stop train of Indian Railways
- Wast the first superfast train in India with Maximum Permissible Speed of 120 Km/hr.
- Was the first train in South Asia to have 120km/hr MPS at the time of introduction. (Here South Asia do refer to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.)
- Was the first overnight train where complimentry food were served on board and has Lounge and Restaurant facilities.
- Presently is the 3rd Fastest train in India, Mumbai Rajdhani Express with Maximum Permissible speed of 140 km/hr and average speed of 90 km/hr.
- Hold the record of longest non stop run. Trivandrum Rajdhani runs non-stop between Kota Jn and Vadodra Jn.
- These trains also holds the record of attaining highest section speed. Trivandrum Rajdhani Express attains 104 km/h (65 mph) between Ratnagiri and Sawantwadi Road (225 km or 140 mi in 2 h 10 min).
- Holds the record for longest non stop run.
- Dibrugarh Rajdhani is the slowest Rajdhani of all with average speed of 65 km/hr followed by Jammu Tawi Rajdhani with 68 km/hr and Swarna Jayanti Ahemadabad Rajdhani with 68 km/hr.
- Mumbai Rajdhani is the present fastest Rajdhani with average speed of 90 km/hr, followed by Howrah Rajdhani with 87 km/hr.
- Are the first train of Indian Railways in which on board Wi-Fi system is available. Howrah Rajdhani with onboard WI-Fi.
- Howrah Rajdhani is the oldest Rajdhani Express, followed by Mumbai Rajdhani and Bangalore Rajdhani Express.
- Trivandrum Rajdhani is the only Rajdhani Express in which Time table of the train is changed every year during the time of Monsoon, as it passes by the Konkan Region.
- Trivandrum Rajdhani is the longest running Rajdhani while Jammu Tawi Rajdhani has shortest route. Erstwhile Lucknow Rajdhani, now cancelled was the shortest running Rajdhani.
- Assam and West Bengal are the only state with three Rajdhani Express.
- Jharkhand, Odisha and Maharashtra are the only state with two Rajdhani Exprss
- West Bengal and Maharashtra are the only state with two Daily running Rajdhani Express. Sealdah Rajdhani and Howrah Rajdhani from West Bengal and Mumbai Rajdhani and August Kranti Rajdhani from Mumbai.
- Bilaspur Rajdhani and Dibrugarh Rajdhani are the only Rajdhani express which do has terminating station away from the State Capital. Bilaspur Rajdhani for the state of Chattisgarh do terminates at Bilaspur instead of Raipur and same for the Dibrugarh Rajdhani, it terminates at Dibrugarh instead of Guwahati.
- Madgaon Rajdhani is the youngest and the newest Rajdhani in the fleet.
- Unlike normal express train, announcement in Railway Budget has to be done for introduction of these trains.
- There are total 22 pairs of Rajdhani Express, 3 for Assam, 3 for West Bengal, 2 for Mumbai, 2 for Odisha, 2 for Jharkhand, 1 for Chhatisgarh, 1 for Bihar, 1 for Tamil Nadu, 2 for Karnataka, 1 for Telangana, 1 for Kerala, 1 for Gujrat, 1 for Jammu and 1 for Goa.