GT Express or Grand Trunk Express connecting Delhi and Chennai is one of the oldest trains in India.
Started in year 1929 , the train took its name from the ancient Grand Trunk Road that passed through the Indian subcontinent.
GT Express covers 2184 kilometers ( miles ) in 3 days connecting 36 stations in the New Delhi to Chennai Central route. GT takes about 35 1/2 hours compared to the more ‘glamourous’ Tamilnadu express (32 1/2) , Chennai Rajadhani (28 hours) or Chennai Garib Rath ( 28 hours) .
GT Express compares better with Tamilnadu Express as the Rajadhani and Garib Rath are upscale and don’t operate daily.
The main point where Tamilnadu express scores over GT is in its speed. The distance between Chennai and New Delhi , Tamilnadu express takes 3 hours less than Grand Trunk Express. Sure , the Tamilnadu Express has a better track record of meeting its schedule.
Tamilnadu Express has 9 stops between Chennai and New Delhi where as GT Express stops at 34 stations. In some way these additional stops are offer extra comfort for those looking for food from the railway platforms at regular intervals. In Tamilnadu Express you are at the mercy of the attached pantry car.
GT leaves New Delhi railway station in the evening and reaches Chennai Central in the morning of the day after, that is after two nights and a days travel. Similarly GT Express leaves Chennai Central in the evening and reaches New Delhi in the morning after two nights and a day.
Typical coach configuration is 1 First AC , 2 Second AC , 3 Third AC , 13 Second Class sleeper and 4 General coaches for unreserved passengers. Of course there is the pantry car and the luggage van as typical. During peak season, the number of coaches are increased based on the booking status.
GT Express practically connects 8 states ( Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi ) , though the larger portion of the route is in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
A pair of trains operate daily from both the ends, that is from Chennai and New Delhi.
The Scheduled stops for G T Express with departure time for Chennai – New Delhi ( Train No: 2615 ) are :
Chennai Central : 19:15 hrs. (Dep.) Gudur Jn : 21:32 hrs, Nellore : 21:58 hrs, Ongole : 23:25 hrs, Chirala : 0:02 hrs, Tenali Jn : 0:45 hrs, Vijayawada Jn : 2:10 hrs, Khammam : 3:20 hrs, Warangal : 5:05 hrs, Ramgundam : 6:20 hrs, Mancheral : 6:34 hrs, Sirpur Kagazngr : 7:25 hrs, Balharshah : 8:55 hrs, Chandrapur : 9:15 hrs, Hinganghat : 10:18 hrs, Sevagram : 11:00 hrs, Nagpur : 12:35 hrs, Narkher : 13:37 hrs, Pandhurna : 13:57 hrs, Amla Jn : 15:05 hrs, Betul : 15:24 hrs, Ghoradongri : 16:07 hrs, Itarsi Jn : 17:35 hrs, Hoshangabad : 17:55 hrs, Habibganj : 19:00 hrs, Bhopal Jn : 19:30 hrs, Vidisha : 20:10 hrs, Bina Jn : 21:35 hrs, Jhansi Jn : 23:37 hrs, Gwalior : 0:57 hrs, Morena : 1:25 hrs, Agra Cantt : 2:50 hrs, Raja Ki Mandi : 2:59 hrs, Mathura Jn : 3:50 hrs, Faridabad : 5:22 hrs, H Nizamuddin : 5:58 hrs, New Delhi : 6:20 hrs (Arrival)
The Scheduled stops for G T Express with departure time for New Delhi – Chennai ( Train No: 2616 ) are :
New Delhi : 18:40 hrs ( Departure) , Mathura Jn : 20:55 hrs, Raja Ki Mandi : 21:32 hrs, Agra Cantt : 21:52 hrs, Morena : 22:47 hrs, Gwalior : 23:30 hrs, Jhansi Jn : 1:02 hrs, Bina Jn : 3:30 hrs, Vidisha : 4:25 hrs, Bhopal Jn : 5:25 hrs, Habibganj : 5:37 hrs, Hoshangabad : 6:45 hrs, Itarsi Jn : 7:35 hrs, Ghoradongri : 8:30 hrs, Betul : 9:18 hrs, Amla Jn : 9:44 hrs, Pandhurna : 10:42 hrs, Narkher : 11:01 hrs, Nagpur : 12:30 hrs, Sevagram : 13:34 hrs, Hinganghat : 14:04 hrs, Chandrapur : 15:11 hrs, Balharshah : 16:05 hrs, Sirpur Kagazngr : 16:55 hrs, Belampalli : 17:32 hrs, Mancheral : 17:49 hrs, Ramgundam : 18:00 hrs, Warangal : 19:35 hrs, Khammam : 21:22 hrs, Vijayawada Jn : 23:25 hrs, Tenali Jn : 23:54 hrs, Chirala : 0:36 hrs, Ongole : 1:20 hrs, Nellore : 2:48 hrs, Gudur Jn : 4:00 hrs, Chennai Central : 6:15 hrs (Arrival)
The approximate fare between New Delhi and Chennai is 1AC : Rs3386 (72 USD ) , 2AC: Rs1997 ( 43 USD ) , 3AC : Rs 1455 ( 31 USD ) , 2SL : Rs537 (12 USD ) and Unreserved : Rs 297 ( 6 USD ).
Check with the Indian Railways website for the details for any changes. For example there could be some change on the schedule, fare , stops etc. So be sure before you make a decision, just a word of prudence!