Sunday, June 1, 2014

Long live the Deccan Queen:

India’s first superfast train completes 85yrs

India’s first super fast train, Deccan Queen express will complete 85 years of journey on Sunday. The former President of India, Pratibha Patil, present for celebrations at Pune railway station on at 7 am on June 1.
  • The 50th year celebrations of the Deccan Queen, 35 years ago. File Photo
The Deccan Queen started on June 1, 1930 as a weekend train for the Britishers during their rule in India. It ferried race fans from Mumbai to Pune but was converted to a daily service. It is a second home for thousands of passengers who commute between Pune-Mumbai on daily basis.
It is one of the longest running trains of Indian Railways and has never ran on steam power. From the very beginning, Deccan Queen has been running on electricity. Occasionally, it was given diesel engines when original locomotives failed. The train covers a distance of approximately 384 kilometres.

Hemant Talpale is travelling since 27 years by Deccan Queen and is associated with Pune Mumbai Traveller Association for seven years. He said,”It is a very special day for all the regular travellers of this train. We will celebrate by cutting a cake in front of the engine. Though it is a Sunday and the number of passengers will be less, the celebration will be done with great excitement.”
Ankita Deshpande is a working professional who has been travelling for 19 years shared her experience. She said, “ This train is like our second home, all the regular traveller are like a member of a big family and we celebrate each festival with great enthusiasm. We have had experiences like being stuck in the rains for over 10 hours. When heavy rains hit Mumbai in July 2006, we were stuck for almost 16 hours in the train, and the people who lived in nearby slums helped us a lot. We almost broke down when this train caught fire in November 2006.”
Seema Gadgil, working professional who is travelling by Deccan Queen for the last since eight years told dna,”We celebrate festivals like Diwali and Navratri in the train. We have also celebrated baby shower in this train. We choose to travel by Deccan Queen only. Even though it is a Sunday tomorrow, I will participate in the anniversary celebrations.”
Many believe that the Deccan Queen is the Pride of Maharashtra and Pune Railway Division.


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