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‘88-year-young’ Deccan Queen adds another flavour to its dinning car

The lifeline for thousands of office-goers of Pune and Mumbai will unveil the dining car in July when the train is up for routine inspection and overhaul.

pune Updated: Jun 06, 2017 14:49 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
Deccan Queen,Pune-Mumbai-Pune,88years
India’s first superfast daily Deccan Queen that runs between the Pune junction and CST in Mumbai turned 86 in 2015. The train got a renovated dining car as a birthday gift.(HT PHOTO)

The Deccan Queen, a daily train plying between Pune and Mumbai, completed 88 years of its operation on June 1. Union railway minister Suresh Prabhu released a congratulatory video that was regularly shown by the railway staff at stations and platforms.

Besides providing daily and affordable intercity transport, the train will now be providing an updated dining car to its passengers. The dining car will be unveiled in July when the train is up for its routine inspection and overhaul, said Harsha Shah, President of the Railway Pravasi Group.

“I heartily congratulate Deccan Queen, its passengers, Harsha Shah and other people. We are constantly trying to make the railways better. We are also trying to reduce the travel time between Pune and Mumbai and hope that we succeed,” Suresh Prabhu said.

Shah, who had declared railways as the first love of her life, has been travelling on the Mumbai-Pune route for over 60 years. When Mamata Banerjee was the Railway Minister, intercity railway trains lost their pantry/dining cars to long-distance trains, claims Shah. “But I did not let them touch the dining car of my Deccan Queen,” Shah declared.

The journey has not been an easy one for the passengers and the train, which has been through thick and thin across the 88 years.

“On July 13, 1991, the Deccan Queen met with an accident inside tunnel number 27. It was a Saturday. I was in the train. I then went to Thakurwadi and told the General Manager about the incident. Anand Narayan Shukla was the GM back then,” Shah reminisces as she talks about her own journey with the Queen.

Over the years, the train has been through various fire accidents and floods, but emerged as a reliable mode of transport. Incidentally, the Punjab Mail also completed 106 years of operation on the same day. However, the Deccan Queen attracted more attention.

The 17-coach train starts from Pune Junction at 7:15 am every morning and reaches Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) by 10:15 am. Other trains plying on the same route are Pragati Express and Sinhagad Express.

First Published: May 31, 2017 10:00 IST