'Deccan Queen' Completes 86 Years On The Rails

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The Deccan Queen is a daily train that has been running between the cities of Mumbai and Pune for the past 85 years.

Now as it celebrates its 86th birthday on June 1, 2016 we take a look back the history and many firsts that this extremely popular train has achieved in its past and why exactly it is so popular with everyday commuters between Mumbai and Pune.

Electric Since The Day She First Ran

The Deccan Queen started operations in 1930 and has been pulled and pushed along exclusively by electric locomotives.

The first Deccan Queen was pulled by a WCM1 locomotive like the one here.

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Originally A Weekend Train For The Brits & High Society

The Deccan Queen was originally conceived as a train to ferry the Brits between Mumbai and Pune so that they could go watch the Horse races in Pune and come back in time for the work week.

It was soon changed to a daily train soon after its first run. However, third class coaches(what we now know as second class) when the train shifted to a new rake(set of coaches) was added in 1966, 19 years after India gained independence

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The Queen Gets It First

The Deccan Queen is the holder of numerous firsts on the Indian Railways. The Queen was the first ever ‘superfast' train as well as the first long distance electric hauled passenger train in India.

Another major milestone first achieved by the Queen, was being the first ever train in India to have coaches that were reserved for the Ladies.

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The Dining Car: A Throwback To The Raj

The Deccan Queen is the only passenger train in India(other than the extreme luxury trains) to feature a dining car.

The pantry car doubles up as the diners coach and serves breakfast in the morning and snacks in the evening to hungry workers.

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A Queen On Time

The Deccan Queen starts every morning from Pune at 07:15 a.m everyday and reaches the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in Mumbai at 10:25 a.m..

The return journey for the train starts from CST the same evening at 05:10 p.m. and arrives back at Pune Junction at 8:25 p.m.

The Deccan Queen is very rarely late and it cuts travel time between Mumbai and Pune by at least 45 minutes.

Image Source - Wikimedia Commons

The People’s Queen

The Deccan Queen is one of the most popular trains in the country and railway enthusiasts along with yearly pass holders and the train's attendants cut a cake whose weight is the same as the age of the train.

Image Source - Wikimedia Commons

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Story first published: Tuesday, May 31, 2016, 14:48 [IST]
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