The Deccan Queen at Pune station
The Deccan Queen at Pune station|Nithin Belle (File photo)

NID to help revamp iconic Deccan Queen train between Mumbai and Pune

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, March 6, 2020

The National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad will undertake the task of providing a new external livery for the prestigious Deccan Queen Express (Train No. 12123/12124) running between Mumbai and Pune.

The train, running for the past 90 years will also be upgraded with the German design Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches. These coaches have better safety features and improved travelling experience through better suspension system and riding comfort, an official press release said.

At present, the Deccan Queen sports a unique livery colour of blue and white with a red band. There is also a proposal for a new logo to go with the upgrading of the train, it said.

The Central Railway which operates this train has started the exercise of revamping external livery design. In the light of the deep emotional connect of rail commuters with this train, the Central Railway has sought customer opinion on the preferred external livery design.

Based on various consultation and customer feedback, the Central Railway has prepared eight different livery designs along with their ranking as per the customer voting.

A new logo design has also been proposed incorporating an image of the UNESCO-listed Mumbai-CSMT station. On the advice of the Railway Board, the Central Railway has engaged NID to provide their professional inputs on the livery designs.

The Central Railway has made available to the NID all the eight different livery designs, logo design and other related material. The NID team has visited Mumbai to inspect the existing train, travelled in it and interacted with the customers to gain a first-hand experience.

They also visited the UNESCO certified CSMT building. During their visit, the team undertook data collection, measurements, photography, filming, interaction with the railway officials and passengers. They are expected to submit their report sometime later this month.

This train is well-patronised service since 1930. It also has many records like India’s first superfast train, first long-distance electric hauled train, first vestibuled train, the first train to have ladies’ only car, the first train to feature a dining car.

The introduction of “Deccan Queen’’ between the two premier cities of Maharashtra on June 1, 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 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 underframes 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.

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 the 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.

A view of the interior of an AC Chair Car in Deccan Queen
A view of the interior of an AC Chair Car in Deccan Queen
Nithin Belle (File photo)

With the ever-growing aspirations of the travelling public for better amenities, improved standards of comfort and better quality of service, it was considered necessary to give a complete facelift to the Deccan Queen.

The rake was changed in 1995. The coaches were newly manufactured or about a year old and fitted with air brakes. The five first-class chair cars in the old rake were replaced by an equal number of air-conditioned chair cars providing an additional seating capacity of 65 in a dust-free environment. The nine second class chair cars also provided 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. It is also tastefully furnished with cushioned chairs and carpet.

At present, the train runs with 17 coaches including 4 AC chair car, one Buffet Car, 10 second class chair car and two second class cum brake vans.