Rajdhani Express was introduced in 1969 for providing high-speed connections (up to 140 km/h / 87 mph, speed varies depending upon the particular track section) from various railway stations in the capital city of New Delhi to the capital cities of various states in India (or, in certain cases, prominent cities within the state the train serves).
These trains have higher priorities on the Indian railway network and are fully air-conditioned. The passengers are provided with complimentary meals during the journey. Depending on the timings of the train, lunch, high tea, dinner, morning tea and breakfast are served. Almost all of these trains offer three classes of accommodation; First Class AC with 2 or 4 berth lockable bedrooms, Second Class AC 2-tier with open system berths (bays of 4 berths + 2 berths on the side) but provided with curtains for privacy, Second Class AC 3-tier (bays of 6 berths + 2 berths on the side) with no privacy curtains.
Currently there are 16 pairs of Rajdhani Express trains, connecting New Delhi to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Bilaspur, Chennai, Guwahati/Dibrugarh, Ranchi, Kolkata (3), Jammu, Mumbai (2), Patna, Secunderabad and Thiruvananthapuram. These trains have fewer stops than other express trains which are generally prominent cities of any state like Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Bhopal, Jhansi, Jaipur etc. Some cities have more than one Rajdhani Express serving them. Kanpur and Mughal Sarai (near Varanasi) are served by the maximum number of Rajdhani Express trains (6 each).
Presently the train travelling long distances, running at an average speed of around 80 km per hour takes considerable amount of time and is fast losing to the Airlines. (Please see : Fastest trains in India). Further, Civil Aviation in India is witnessing intense competition and Airfares have hit a new low. On trunk routes at times the airline tickets are lower than Rajdhani Express tickets. The standard of highways in India is also improving since the roll out of NHDP by the Government of India. In such a scenario the train is seen to be high-priced and much below the global standards of luxury and speed thus leading to shifting of Upper Class and business passengers from Rajdhani Express and Shatabdi Express to the airlines and to the roads.
Presently New Delhi to Mumbai, Rajdhani Express fares are INR 3,500 for First Class AC, INR 2,040 for AC two-tier and INR 1,495 for AC three-tier. The train takes more than 16 hours to reach from Delhi to Mumbai.
|Train Name||State Served||Origin and Destination Station||Frequency|
|Ahmedabad Swarna Jayanti Rajdhani||Gujarat||New Delhi to Ahmedabad via Jaipur, Ajmer||6 days a week|
|Bangalore Rajdhani||Karnataka||Hazrat Nizamuddin to Bangalore via Secunderabad, Nagpur, Bhopal||4 days a week|
|Bhubaneshwar Rajdhani||Orissa||New Delhi to Bhubaneshwar via Tatanagar/Adra||2 days a week on both routes|
|Bilaspur Rajdhani||Chhattisgarh||New Delhi to Bilaspur via Jhansi,Raipur||2 days a week|
|Chennai Rajdhani||Tamil Nadu||Hazrat Nizamuddin to Chennai via Vijayawada, Nagpur||2 days a week|
|Guwahati/Dibrugarh Rajdhani||Assam and the North East||New Delhi to Guwahati (one portion goes on to Dibrugarh) via Kanpur, Allahabad and Patna (route 1); or via Lucknow, Varanasi and Hajipur (route 2)||5 days a week (route 1); 2 days a week (route 2)|
|Ranchi Rajdhani||Jharkhand||New Delhi to Ranchi via Gaya/Daltonganj||2 days a week (route 1); once a week (route 2)|
|Sealdah Rajdhani||West Bengal||New Delhi to Kolkata (Sealdah)||Daily|
|Howrah Rajdhani||West Bengal||New Delhi to Kolkata (Howrah) via Dhanbad/Patna||6 days a week (route 1); once a week (route 2)|
|Jammu Rajdhani||Jammu and Kashmir||New Delhi to Jammu Tawi||Once a week|
|Mumbai Rajdhani||Maharashtra||New Delhi to Mumbai||Daily|
|August Kranti Rajdhani||Maharashtra||Hazrat Nizamuddin to Mumbai||Daily|
|Rajdhani||Bihar||New Delhi to Rajendranagar||Daily|
|Secunderabad Rajdhani||Andhra Pradesh||Hazrat Nizamuddin to Secunderabad via Nagpur, Jhansi||Once a week|
|Thiruvananthapuram Rajdhani||Kerala||Hazrat Nizamuddin to Thiruvananthapuram via Kota, Vadodara, Konkan Railway||2 days a week|