Central Railway asks commuters for opinion to upgrade Deccan Queen train

Updated: Feb 24, 2019, 00:48 IST | Rajendra B. Aklekar | Mumbai

Railways have put out an online survey asking passengers for suggestions before upgrading the iconic Deccan Queen train

The Deccan Queen has been running on the Mumbai-Pune route for close to a century. File Pic
The Deccan Queen has been running on the Mumbai-Pune route for close to a century. File Pic

The Central Railway is all set to upgrade its popular Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen train and in a first, wants commuters' opinion on the changes they would like. An online survey form is asking them seven pointed questions over the train's features.

Lessons from the past
In 2018, when the Central Railway had upgraded the Mumbai-Manmad Panchavati Express, many commuters had protested saying that the new features made it uncomfortable and had shot letters to the local MP and railway authorities seeking restoration of old coaches. The Central Railway had then yet again modified the coaches. Similar complaints had come up when the Mumbai-Pune Pragati Express was upgraded as an Utkrisht train.

This time around, the Central Railway didn't want to end up receiving too many complaints and has thus resorted to the survey.

The 89-year-old train
The Deccan Queen, that was green flagged by the British in 1930, is the only regular passenger train of the Indian Railways that has a separate dining car, with a special food menu.

The train also has a unique colour scheme for its coaches. "With a unique colour scheme, the coaches remain locked to this train and cannot be easily replaced," a railway official said.

Commuters' suggestions
Regular passengers on this train have a sense of belonging attached to it and thus understand what makes for a comfortable journey. Three Mumbai-based commuters - Subhash Rao, Khurshed Lawyer and Devraj Malekar - too have submitted a comprehensive list of suggestions to the Central Railway.

Facing seats, windows that slide upwards rather than sideways, and overhead grab rails are some of their suggestions. "The dining car is sacrosanct. It must be retained, but could be converted into a vistadome coach with a transparent roof-top," Lawyer said.

Questions in the survey
* Should the Non-AC coaches have 3 entry/ exit main door per coach side?
* What should be the type of seat orientation in non-AC coaches?
* What should be the type of seats in non-AC coaches?
* What should be the design of windows in non-AC coaches?
* Should the upgraded Deccan Queen still have a dining car?
* Should an Executive Chair Car (Anubhuti) be added to Deccan Queen?
* What would you prefer as the External Paint Scheme for the Coaches?

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