The Deccan Queen train turns 90

The Deccan Queen has been serving the Mumbai-Pune route since June 1, 1930.

India’s first superfast train, The Deccan Queen, turned 90 today. As is the tradition, commuters who regularly travel by this train celebrated the occasion with a special birthday cake.

The Deccan Queen has been serving the Mumbai-Pune route since June 1, 1930. The route was started by the Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR), which was renamed as Central Railway.

Besides being the first superfast train in India, the Deccan Queen was also the first long-distance electric hauled passenger train as well as the first vestibuled train. The first Ladies Only car and dining car was also introduced on this train.

During its early days, the train only ran on weekends and was exclusively for the British, who would travel to Pune for the races. Indians were allowed on board by 1943. Daily service between Mumbai and Pune started on April 26, 1943. Back then, it took 2 hours 45 minutes to cover the distance between Kalyan and Pune and the price of a ticket was 8 annas.

Initially, the train was introduced with 2 rakes of 7 coaches each. The coaches were painted in silver, scarlet and royal blue – a livery that has been used for this train ever since. The original rakes were built in England, but the coach bodies were built at the Matunga workshop. These were replaced in 1966 with improved integral coaches built by the Integral Coach Factory, Perambur.

In 1995, new coaches were introduced with higher seating capacity and better pantry facilities. In March 2020, the old coaches were replaced with LHB coaches. Today, the train hauls 17 coaches, which include 4 AC chair cars, 1 buffet car, 10 second class chair cars and two second class cum brake vans.

The Deccan Queen has always been hauled by an electric locomotive. In 1930, it had the WCP ½ DC in lead, which was later replaced by a WCM-1/2/4/5 DC mixed locomotive. Today, the train is hauled by either a WCAM-3 or WCAM-2/2P DC/AC locomotive of the Kalyan shed. Sometimes, you can also spot a WAP-7 pulling the Deccan Queen up the Western Ghats.

Thanks to BHPian ruzbehxyz and RedTerrano for sharing this information with other enthusiasts!

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