Iconic Indian Railways train Deccan Queen gets a makeover

Updated: May 20, 2020, 21:36 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Deccan Queen, that runs between Mumbai and Pune will complete 90 years in June. The train will also get a new upgraded class of German-design Linke Hofmann Busch coaches, including a 40-seater dining car with panoramic windows

The new Deccan Queen will have "Restrained Imperium" colour shade with red, green and yellow stripes
The new Deccan Queen will have "Restrained Imperium" colour shade with red, green and yellow stripes

The iconic Indian railways train, Deccan Queen will get a new look after the external livery design of the iconic 90-year-old train was finalised. The Ministry of Railways has finalised the "Restrained Imperium" colour shade with red, green and yellow stripes for the train.

Many rail fans expressed disappointment, saying that there were many better shades suggested by Mumbaikars to be chosen from. The team of India's premier design institute Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) that took over the final designing process said the colours were finalised after numerous field visits, interactions with regular passengers. The design and the shade has been customised for the train, in-sync with the spirit of the train.

Railfans are disappointed by the final choice which is more like the luxury train Deccan Odyssey

"The Deccan Queen when introduced was the fastest and the most powerful train in India. Even after 90 years, it remains one of the fastest and the first choice for millions of patrons and railfans. The 'Restrained Imperium design' attempts to embody this understated imperium of the queen in a powerful yet understated form with hints of dynamic elements in a linear flow, embellished with details from our heritage," the NID final concept note said.

The note further talked about the technicalities of the colour, empahasising that the dominant colour was present in the flowing element of the design. The detailing and the curve graphics were produced in two colours on opposite ends of the body. Ends have been painted in dark grey and the front of the driver cabs are painted dark with yellow front for night-time visibility. For accessibility reasons, doors have a contrast colour to make them stand out against the carriage.

Passengers walk past the iconic Deccan Queen which will complete 90 years in June

Railfans said they had taken efforts to offer numerous vibrant colour suggestions and now they are disappointed by the final choice which is more like the luxury train Deccan Odyssey.

mid-day has been following up since Day 1 and after public survey, five colour shades were shortlisted in March 2020 and the newspaper has been reporting about the developments in the 90-year-old train's comeback, including an upgrade to the class of German-design Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches and a 40-seat dining car with panoramic windows — a first in an LHB-class train. Read the story

An inside view of the dining coach of the Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen train

LHB coaches basically have improved suspension system with more riding comfort with designed speed of 160 km/h that  could go up to 200 km/h.

Mid-Day had also reported how the Central Railway, in a rare gesture, had placed a special made to order 20-car customised train after taking feedback from commuter survey on how the LHB conversion of DQ be made special.

Central Railway chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar confirmed the development.

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