India’s first deluxe train, Deccan Queen completes 93 years of service
India’s first deluxe train, the iconic Deccan Queen, recently celebrated its 93rd anniversary of operations between Pune and Mumbai. Its inaugural journey on June 1, 1930 marked a significant moment in the history of the Great Indian Peninsula (GIP) Railway, the predecessor of Central Railways. Deccan Queen was introduced to serve the two important cities of Mumbai and Pune, taking its name from the latter, which was also known as the Queen of Deccan.
Deccan Queen completes 93 years of service: Key Points
- Over the years, the train has undergone numerous transformations, but it continues to be cherished by rail enthusiasts.
- The occasion was marked with festivities at the Pune railway station, where garlands adorned the train and a rangoli displayed at the entrance of the platform.
- The train has been fitted with a new Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) rake since last year, which is believed to be more secure, comfortable, and have a higher carrying capacity, speed potential and better safety features.
- Deccan Queen is the only train in the country with a dining car, which caters to 32 passengers and offers table service. It also boasts modern pantry facilities such as a microwave, deep freezer, and toaster, along with cushioned chairs and a furnished dining car.
- Chandrakant Patil, Maharashtra’s minister, praised Deccan Queen, which started as a medium of transportation and over time, an institution that has bound a generation of loyal passengers.
About Deccan Queen:
- The train initially had two rakes of seven coaches each, with one painted in silver with scarlet mouldings and the other in royal blue with golden lines.
- The original rakes were built in England for their under frames while the GIP railway’s Matunga workshop built the coach bodies.
- When it first started, Deccan Queen had only a first and second class.
- However, the former was eventually discontinued on January 1, 1949, and the latter rebranded as the first class.
- The second class remained for several years until a third class was introduced, marking a change to the original rakes in 1966 with the replacement of steel coaches from the Perambur coach factory.
- The new coaches had better riding comfort and further improvements in interior furnishings and features.