90 years of Deccan Queen: Pune-Mumbai travel time may reduce
The decision to introduce the push and pull technique, which will reduce travel time, on Deccan Queen will be taken only if the trial on the Pune-Mumbai intercity express is successfulUpdated: Jun 01, 2019 18:11 IST
As Deccan Queen enters its 90th year on Saturday, the train could soon cover its distance in lesser time. The decision to introduce the push and pull technique, which will reduce travel time, on Deccan Queen will be taken only if the trial on the Pune-Mumbai intercity express is successful, said senior officials, Central Railway Pune division.
Indian railways has decided to operate the Pune-Mumbai Intercity express using the push and pull technology on a trial basis from May 31 and June 6. The train will leave Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSTM) at 6.45 am instead of 6.40 am and arrive in Pune at 9.20 am instead of 9.57 am.
A senior official of the Central Railway Pune division said, “We will implement the same technology on Deccan Queen as well, provided the experiment on Intercity is successful. We will study the experiment minutely and eventually based on the report, we will take decision on whether or not we should introduce the technology.”
As the iconic Pune-Mumbai train completes 89 years and enters the 90th year of its running on June 1, Central Railway has elaborate plans to upgrade the train. To swank German-make coaches and cut down its travel time by adding push and pull engines on both sides of the train are some of the attractions.
Harsha Shah (65), president, Railway Pravasi Group who has been travelling on Deccan Queen for 50 years, said, “A lot of people are emotionally attached to Deccan Queen. I have been celebrating the train’s birthday since I was 10.”
She added, “When the train was introduced in 1930, it had dressing rooms, bathrooms, salon, dining car among others. It was also used to transport horses of the British army and citizens between Pune-Mumbai. However, by 1950, everything was stopped and only the dining car was retained. In 1987, the entire train, including the engines, were painted white; however, eventually the colour was also changed.”
About Deccan queen
The introduction of ‘’Deccan Queen’’ between the two premier cities of Maharashtra on 1st June 1930 was a major landmark in the history of the Great Indian Peninsula (GIP) 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’’ (Dakkhan ki Rani).
Initially, the train was introduced with two rakes of seven 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.
Presently Deccan Queen (12123/12124) runs with 17 coaches, including four air-conditioned chair cars, one buffet car, 10 second class chair cars and two second class cum brake vans.