MUMBAI: Commuting on the Deccan Queen, the first super fast train between Mumbai and Pune started on the very day 88 years back would soon get more comfortable, Railway officials have said.
Deccan queen first ran between Pune and Kalyan on June 1, 1930. As usual the regular commuters and the train staff celebrated the train's anniversary as it left Pune at 7.15 am. The train, that reduced the then travel time between the two cities by almost an hour, has been awarded the status of a premium service ever since then.
Apart from providing high standards of comfort to the passengers, the train has witnessed many improvements since its inception. For the first time in India, a train had coaches with roller bearings, replacement of end on generation coaches with self-generating coaches with 110 volts system and the introduction of first and second class chair cars providing increased accommodation to passengers.
Currently, the Deccan Queen runs with 17 coaches including 4 AC chair car, one dining car, 10-second class chair car and two-second class cum brake vans. 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.
Initially the train had only first class and second class compartments. First class was abolished on January 1, 1949 and second class was redesigned as first class, which continued up to June 1955. When third class was introduced on this train for the first time. This was later re-designated as second class from April 1974 onwards. 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.
With the ever-growing aspirations of commuters a complete facelift too has been given to the Deccan Queen thereafter, the officials said adding that the service would see many more upgradations in the coming days under the new policies adopted by the Indian Railways for passenger comfort, aesthetics and design upgrades.
Incidentally, the other oldest train originating from Mumbai - the Punjab Mail - too started on the same day, but 106 years back in 1912. It was the Great Indian Peninsula or the GIP Railay that started both the services.