Deccan Queen Turns 91: Facts About India’s First Deluxe Train Between Mumbai, Pune

Deccan Queen runs between Pune and Mumbai. (Image: Shutterstock)

Deccan Queen runs between Pune and Mumbai. (Image: Shutterstock)

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 Railway, the forerunner of the Central Railway

Deccan Queen, also known as Dakkhan ki Rani, named after the city of Pune completed 91 years today on June 1. Deccan Queen, which has been running between Mumbai and Pune since 1930, is the country’s first superfast train, first long-distance electric-hauled train, first vestibuled train, the first train to have a “ladies only” car and the first train to feature a dining car.

The Central Railway had recently announced cancellation of four trains including Mumbai- Pune Deccan Queen due to poor occupancy amid Covid-19. Usually, on a daily basis, the Deccan Queen departs every morning from Pune at 7.15 am and reaches the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai at 10.25 am. The return journey for the train starts from CSMT on the same evening at 5.10 pm and arrives back at Pune Junction at 8.25 pm.

MAJOR EVENT IN THE HISTORY OF THE GREAT INDIAN PENINSULA RAILWAY

  • 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 Railway, the forerunner of the Central Railway.
  • This was the first deluxe train introduced on the railway to serve 2 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 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 in Mumbai.
  • 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.
  • With the ever-growing aspirations of the travelling passengers for better amenities, improved standards of comfort and better quality of service, Indian Railways considered necessary to give a complete facelift to the Deccan Queen.

THE RAKE WAS CHANGED IN 1995 WITH THE FOLLOWING SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • All newly manufactured or about a year old, air brake coaches.
  • The 5 first class chair car in the old rake have been replaced by 5 AC chair cars providing an additional seating capacity of 65 in a dust-free environment. Also the 9-second class chair cars provide additional seating capacity of 120 seats compared to the old coaches.
  • The dining car offers table service for 32 passengers and has modern pantry facilities such as microwave oven, deep freezer and toaster. The dining car is also tastefully furnished with cushioned chairs and carpet.

TALE OF TWO CITIES

  • The history of Deccan Queen (Dakkhan ki Rani) is literally a tale of two cities.
  • Passengers of both the cities are happy with the impeccable record of “right time start” and “arrival” of Deccan Queen.
  • Over the last 91 years of its colorful history, the train has grown from a mere medium of transportation between two cities into an institution binding generation of intensely loyal passengers.

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