The “Deccan Queen”, one of the trains that connect Pune with India’s commercial capital, Mumbai, completes 85 years of operation on Monday.
The introduction of “Deccan Queen’’ between the two cities of Maharashtra on June 1, 1930, was a major landmark in the history of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, the forerunner of the Central Railway.
This was the first deluxe train introduced on the railway to serve two important cities of the region and was aptly named after Pune, which is also known as “Queen of Deccan’’ or “Dakkhan ki Rani’’.
This anniversary would be special as the Dining Car will be re-introduced. It was taken for renovation and “Deccan Queen” (12123/12124) will run with 17 coaches including 4 AC chair car, one Dining Car, 10 second class chair car and two second class-cum-brake vans.
Initially, the train was introduced with 2 rakes of 7 coaches each one of which was painted in silver with scarlet mouldings and the other with royal blue with gold lines. The under frames of the coaches of the original rakes were built in England while the coach bodies were built in the Matunga Workshop of the GIP Railway.
The “Deccan Queen”, initially, had only first class and second class accommodation. First class was abolished on January 1, 1949, and second class was redesigned as first class, which continued up to June 1955 when third class was introduced. This was later re-designated as second class from April 1974 onwards.
The coaches of the original rakes were replaced in 1966 by anti-telescopic steel bodied integral coaches built by Integral Coach Factory, Perambur. These coaches incorporated improved design of bogies for better riding comfort and also improvements in the interior furnishings and fittings.
The number of coaches in the rake was also increased to 12 from the original 7 coaches providing additional accommodation. Over the year, the number of coaches in the train has been increased to the present level of 17 coaches.
From its inception, apart from providing high standards of comfort to passengers, the train has witnessed various technological upgradation. The distinctive colour scheme of cream and oxford blue with red band above the window level has been recently adopted as the colour scheme for this train.