Deccan Queen to get a makeover
PUNE: One of the most prestigious trains and passengers’ favourite, Deccan Queen will soon don a new look. All the rakes of this train will be changed in the next three to four months while the old coaches will be replaced with new LHB (Linke-Hofmann-Busch) coaches while the existing dining car will also get a makeover.
According to a source, “The 89-year-old Deccan Queen is a prestigious train and considering commuters’ sentiments, we will try and maintain its original character including the dining car. We have planned to change the rakes of the train and replace it with new LHB coaches along with executive chair car. The dining car will also have a new look and attract more passengers.”
However, there were reports recently in the media regarding the removal of the dining car of the train. The official refuted it saying it was impossible to remove it.
“The train has struck a chord with the passengers. Also, it has remained the first preference for the passengers who commute regularly between Pune and Mumbai,” said the officer.
The Central Railway (CR) had replaced rakes with the new LHB coaches of several trains in recent past including Pune-Mumbai Intercity Express, Pune-Ahmedabad Duronto Express and Pune-Jabalpur Express and few trains running from Mumbai to other stations.
LHB coaches are lighter in weight and have a higher carrying capacity, speed potential and better safety features as compared to Integral Coach Factory (ICF) coaches.
The Railways has planned a new safety strategy, which includes timely replacement of over-aged assets, adoption of suitable technologies for up-gradation and maintenance of track, rolling stock, signalling and interlocking systems and safety drives.
The Deccan Queen is the only passenger service in the country to have a dining car. The car was introduced soon after the train became operational on June 1, 1930. The car provides a comfortable seating arrangement for 32 passengers and is fitted with tastefully furnished, cushioned chairs. It also provides facilities such as a microwave oven, deep freezer and toaster. Officials said that all the old features of the dining car have been retained and some new ones have been added to keep up with the changing times.
In December 2014, the Railway authorities had replaced the dining car with a pantry coach, saying the car was away for maintenance. However, a modern dining car with attractive interiors joined the Deccan Queen in June 2017.