A problem near Vangni station on the Mumbai-Pune line came as a blessing for passengers on the Deccan Queen — it forced the train to stop at Panvel, a stop they have unsuccessfully demanded for long.
Emotions ran high as the Central Railway’s prestigious train, for the first time in its 80-year history, stopped at Panvel station after its detour.
“We’ve been asking since ages for this train to stop at Panvel. We were very emotional about the fact that the Deccan Queen actually passed through Panvel, a sister township that has been associated with Pune and Mumbai,” Ravikiran Sathe, a long time passenger on the train, said on its historic ride.
Passengers took pictures from their cellphones as the train passed through rain-drenched green fields between Karjat and Panvel, a 28-km single-line section passing through Mohope and Chikale villages.
“Diverting the Deccan Queen through Panvel would cut travel time between Pune and Mumbai by more than 30 minutes, but they say it’s technically not possible. Today it happened by chance, and we all felt a sense of pride,” Hemant Tapale, of the Pune-Mumbai Passenger Association, said.