Shatabdi Express trains are a chain of superfast trains in India that link Metro cities with other prominent cities for pilgrimage, tourism, or business. Shatabdi Expresses are only day-trains and they come back to the originating station on the same day. Shatabdi are the fastest and prestigious trains of the Indian railways.
Shatabdi Express trains operate over short distances while Rajdhani Expresses cover long-distance trains linking the nation’s capital New Delhi to the capitals of other states. Bhopal Shatabdi Express (2001) is the fastest train in India which operates at the speed of 160 km/h.
The first Shatabdi train was inaugurated in the 1988 to memorialize the centenary of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru’s Birthday by Madhav Rao Scindia who was the minister for railways. It ran from New Delhi to gwalior, later extending up to Bhopal junction.
The average speed of Bhopal Shatabadi is about 93 km/h between the originating and the destination stations running at the speeds at 150 km/h. The Shatabdi Express receives the priority in comparison to other trains and usually given platform no 1 at the most stations. Swarna Shatabadi Express is regarded as the most luxurious of the Shatabdi Express trains of India.
In addition to luxurious Shatabdi trains the Indian Railways also added an economical priced version Jan-Shatabdi Expresses, which are non air-conditioning and reasonably priced.
Gharib Rath (chariot of the poor) introduced by Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav are fast trains similar to Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains which are completely Air-Conditioned and available at lower fares. These trains have proved to be highly successful and give stiff competition to low cost airlines operating on long-distance routes.
Express travelers are served with breakfast, snacks, coffee or tea, meals, a glass of canned juice and a litre of water bottle. Installation of on board entertainment systems have is being done on some of these trains where the passengers can avail the facility of watching movies and tv serials via satellite.