The Ajanta Express (Marathi: अजंठा एक्सप्रेस, Hindi: अजंता एक्सप्रेस, Telugu: అజంతా ఎక్స్ ప్రెస్) is a train in India that daily runs between Secunderabad Railway Station, Andhra Pradesh and Manmad Junction, a town in Nasik District of Maharashtra.
Ajanta Express is claimed to be the most prestigious train moving through Marathwada and West Telengana region. It is also called Kacheguda Express very often by the people travelling on Kacheguda-Nizamabad-Nanded-Aurangabad route on former Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railways.
The train was introduced in around 1960s as a metre gauge train between Kacheguda railway station and Manmad, via Nizamabad, Nanded and Aurangabad. The train became popular in a short time as Manmad Junction on 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge was the point to take broad gauge trains to other destinations.
After the track from Manmad to Parbhani was converted to broad gauge in 1992–95 under Project Unigauge and the track from Parbhani to Mudkhed and Nizamabad was still not coverted, the train was re-routed between Kacheguda and Manmad via Bidar and Parbhani in 1995–1996 because the metre gauge had been coverted between Vikarabad and Parbhani by then.
In 2007, the train reverted to its original metre gauge route via Nizamabad, Mudkhed and Purna which had been converted into broad gauge in 2002–2003.
Ajanta Express (Kacheguda-Manmad) was the fastest metre gauge train in India with an average speed of 42.5 kilometres per hour (26.4 mph) in 1967.
The train is named after the Ajanta caves near Aurangabad.
The track is not electrified. The train at present runs on diesel traction and uses Twin WDM3A Diesel Locomotives of Moula Ali Shed of South Central Railway.
The train travels a distance of 663 kilometres (412 miles) in approximately 12 hours 30 minutes [53 km/h (33 mph)].
The Ellora Express that used to run between Nizamabad and Manmad on metre gauge was named after the Ellora Caves near Aurangabad. The train was cancelled when the track was converted to broad gauge and not restarted after the conversion of the track to broad gauge. At present The Secunderabad-Manmad Express (train numbers 17001 and 17002) is often unofficially called Ellora Express.
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