Sunday, May 9, 2010

Deccan Queen still on track, enters its 80th year.

Deccan Queen, the country's first superfast train connecting Mumbai and Pune entered the 80th year of her existence on Monday 1st June 2009. And the train celebrated its birthday amidst much fanfare and firecrackers.
Considered the pride of the Central Railway, the Deccan Queen is more than a train for its passengers and staff and Monday's 1st June 2009 flag off is another milestone in the career of the train’s engine driver AK Ghosh.
“We go from motorman to mails. I am now working on mails. And this is the last step. Yes, it is my last promotion,” Ghosh said.

Deccan Queen is 75 years old.

Deccan Queen is 75 years old.

Fondly called DQ, the faithful train has been the home away from home for passengers travelling between Pune and Mumbai [ Images ] everday.

For the passengers DQ is still young.

The only train in the country to bag ISO 9000 certification and to have a dining car, DQ was started on June 1, 1930.

The train has seen a lot of changes, from coal to electric engines and from red colour to yellow and then to blue.

The train, which departs from Pune to Mumbai at 6:45 am sharp, has never been terminated before its destination, even during heavy rains. The only odd incident DQ has seen in 75 years was its derailment in 1990 at Khandala Ghat wherein no casualty was reported.

"The train does not just carry people but brings happy memories for its commuters. We celebrate festivals, dandiyas birthdays and many such things in the train," said Harsha Shah, chairperson of Railway Commuters Organisation.

"The train has also witnessed love afairs and have united the loving couple who are living a happy married life today. Thanks to Deccan Queen," Shah added.

The dedicated staff which serves tea, coffee and breakfast knows almost every passenger and even sometimes acts as messenger between the commuters.

In the morning, when the train crosses Chinchawad station, one will hear claps from the passengers, which is the signal to start incantations lasting for five minutes.

Deccan Queen Incidents.

Incidents

The train derailed in 1990 at Khandala Ghat, but there were no casualties.

On 30 November 2006, a mob of around 6000 protestors set fire to some coaches of the train near Ulhasnagar after forcing the passengers to get down. The arsonists were protesting against the vandalism of a statue of B. R. Ambedkar in far away Kanpur though the incident had nothing to do with the Deccan Queen or even Mumbai or Pune.

Deccan Queen Schedule.

Schedule

Deccan Queen daily departs Pune Station at 07:15 IST and reaches Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), Mumbai at 10:30 IST. The train departs Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus(CST), Mumbai daily at 17:10 IST (5:10 PM IST) and reaches Pune Station at 20:25 IST (8:25 PM IST). These are the scheduled time. The starting time is as per schedule at both the stations but the arrival is generally delayed by a few minutes. The train covers a distance of 192 km between Pune and Mumbai. The train number is 2124 (Up) while travelling from Pune to Mumbai, whereas it is 2123 (Down) during the return journey.

Pune to Mumbai
After leaving Pune, the train stops only at Lonavala and Dadar stations before the Mumbai destination. The train also halts for a few minutes at a point named Monkey Hill (just after Lonavala) at the beginning of a steep descent in order to check its brakes. This is known as a "technical halt" and is not a scheduled halt at a station.

Mumbai to Pune
During the journey from Mumbai, the train's first halt is at Karjat to attach banker locomotives at the rear to enable the train to climb the mountainous route. The train then halts at Lonavala after climbing to the top, and then halts at Shivajinagar station near Pune before finally terminating at the main Pune railway station.

History

Deccan Queen was started on June 1, 1930 as a weekend train for the Britishers during the British rule in India, to ferry race-fans from Bombay (now Mumbai) to Poona (now Pune). The first service of the train was conducted from Calyan (now Kalyan) and Pune. It was converted to a daily service soon after, starting from Mumbai VT (renamed CST). It is one of the longest running trains on the Indian Railways to have never run on steam power. From the beginning, the Deccan Queen has been run using electric locomotives. Occasionally, it was given diesel locomotives in case of original locomotive failure.
The color of its rake has seen a lot of changes, from red colour to yellow and then to blue.
Deccan Queen is one of the trains in India having ISO 9000 certification and a dining car . It has sixteen coaches including the engine.
The Deccan Queen is also one of the most favourite trains among railfans. Every year on 1st June, its regular pass-holders, railfans and railway authorities celebrate the train's birthday. Deccan Queen entered its 80th year of service on 1st June 2009.

Deccan Queen. Queen of Railways.

The Deccan Queen डेक्कन क्वीन or Deccan Queen Express, (translatedDakhkhanchee Raanee दख्खनची राणी in Marathi), is an Indian passenger train that connects Mumbai with Pune. It is a daily means of transport for thousands of passengers travelling between the two cities. It is a prestigious train of the Indian Railways.