From Gandhinagar to Gandhinagar

As we have seen in

there are many pairs of railway stations in India which are situated far apart but have similar (if not identical) names. In general, there are no convenient connections between these pairs, such as Udaipur City (Rajasthan) and Udaipur (Tripura) or Chandrapur (Maharashtra) and Chandrapura (Jharkhand).

Except for one pair:

Gandhinagar Jaipur

and its better-known namesake

Gandhinagar Capital

The one above has now developed into an important secondary station for trains heading on the routes from Jaipur to Delhi and beyond as well as to Agra and beyond. Thus we have the Ajmer/Delhi and Jaipur/Agra Shatabdis halting there, as well as several other prominent long-distance trains.

While Gandhinagar is the capital of Gujarat, it has relatively poorer train service as it is not on a main line, but on a loop between Ahmedabad and Kalol which is used by a handful of long-distance trains as well as locals connecting it with Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad itself has secondary stations such as Sabarmati and Maninagar.

The relative importance of the two Gandhinagars can be seen from the lists of trains serving them:


Recently I did have reason to make a round trip between the two Gandhinagars, in connection with work at IIT Gandhinagar, which many feel is the best of the “newer” IITs.

There is, in fact, precisely one daily train which connects the two stations, as you can see below:


That is the 19031/19032 Yoga Express, which was the Ahmedabad/Haridwar Mail until 2013 and the 1/2 Delhi/Ahmedabad Mail still earlier. Until the 1970s it was considered to be the most prestigious train between Delhi and Ahmedabad, but this mantle then passed to the Ashhram Express (for the regular traveller) and the Rajdhani (for the premium traveller). Somehow the Mail never got superfast status.

There is also the Garib Rath which runs 4 times a week between Bandra Terminus and Delhi Sarai Rohilla. But taking that would be “cheating” because it does not stop at Gandhinagar Jaipur but only at Jaipur Junction.

So if you have to start from the southern half of Jaipur, Gandhinagar Jaipur is preferable.

For the hard-core timetable fan, here are the details for the up and down journeys between the two Gandhinagars:

GG1 001

GG2 001

Although the Yoga Express is supposed to be a train with reasonable prestige (as it has AC-1 accommodation), it does not have a pantry car and passengers make do with informal arrangements. For instance, the northbound train had provision for meals to be delivered at Beawar, although this did not seem to be part of the e-catering system which IRCTC tries to push.

Famous Indian trains of the past-and what happened to them (Part 2)

Continuing our study on the famous trains numbered 1 and 2 on the Indian Railways in the past.

In 1976, the newcomer  was the 1/2 Golconda Express between Guntur and Secunderabad. This appears to have started running in the late 1960s, probably soon after the new South Central zone came into existence. It still runs on the same route with slightly slower timings, and is ranked as superfast. The only difference you will see is that it now has two rakes instead of one.


The story of the 1/2 Gujarat Mail is different in that it has been around for a long time, but like the Golconda Express it runs on the same route and similar timings. In the 1970s it was said to be having more first class coaches than any other Indian train. (At that time there were only two pairs of Rajdhanis and no Shatabdis). It has the classic late night-early morning pattern of the old Mails. Over the years its timings have improved only marginally.


The 1/2 Delhi/Ahmedabad Mail even lost its number one status on the Northern railway between Rewari and Delhi, where it became 201/202 (presumably to distinguish it from the 1/2 Kalka Mail on broad gauge)

It has a sad story. It remained a Mail until renamed the Yoga Express a few months ago, and never got superfast status. It was earlier considered the best train on the MG route between Ahmedabad and Delhi, but got competition from the Ashram Express since the 70s. Once this route was converted to BG in the 90s, it was extended to Haridwar thus becoming the Ahmedabad-Haridwar Mail and finally the Yoga Express of today. In the mean time a Rajdhani as well as the Ashram Express became more popular on the Ahmedabad-Delhi route. Anyway, gauge conversion has reduced its running time between Ahmedabad and Delhi from 22 hours to 19 hours. It now takes a small detour to stop at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. In case you were wondering, this was before Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. But the change to Yoga Express did occur during his tenure.

ADI Mail

Finally there is the fastest (?) narrow gauge train which used to run between Gondia and Jabalpur which had its number 1/2 though the SER had the 1/2 Calcutta Mail on the broad gauge as well. It was sometimes listed as the Satpura Express. Today conversion has taken away the first quarter of the route and it runs between Balaghat and Jabalpur. This is likely to be converted to broad gauge by 2016, although the 10001/10002 Express still runs as of date.


Thus ends our sample study of the trains numbered 1 and 2 in 1976 and how they were faring in 2014. Sometime later I plan to go back further to compare the 1/2 of the 1930s with their counterparts of today. This would add a few more such as the Darjeeling Mail, once the pride of the Eastern Bengal Railway.