NID to design the exterior of 90-year-old iconic Deccan Queen Express


One of the most prestigious trains with rich heritage value of Indian Railways namely the Deccan Queen Express (Train No. 12123/12124) running between Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra is gearing up for a major revamp. Firstly, the 90-year old train is now proposed to be upgraded with the German design Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches. LHB coaches have a better safety features and improved travelling experience – better suspension system and better riding comfort. Secondly, there is proposed revamp of external livery design of the train which will be used in the proposed LHB rake of the train. Presently, Deccan Queen has a unique existing livery colour of blue and white with a red band. Thirdly, there is also a proposal for a New Logo of the proposed LHB upgrade of the train.

Central Railway which operates this train has started this exercise of revamping external livery design of this proposed LHB upgrade of DQ. In light of deep emotional connect of rail commuters with this train, the Central Railway has sought customer opinion on the preferred external livery design. Based on various consultation and customer feedback, the Central Railway has prepared eight different livery design along with their ranking as per the customer voting. A new logo design has also been proposed incorporating an image of the UNESCO listed Mumbai-CSMT station. On the advice of the Railway Board, the Central Railway has engaged National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad, an autonomous Institution under the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India to provide their professional inputs on the livery designs. Central Railway has made all the eight different livery designs, logo design and other related material available to NID.

Accordingly, the NID team has visited Mumbai to inspect the existing train and travelled in DQ and interacted with the customers to gain the first-hand experience. They also visited the UNESCO certified CSMT building. During their visit, the team is doing data collection, measurements, photography, filming, interaction with the railway officials and passengers. They are expected to submit their report sometime later this month. This exercise is an excellent example of synergy between two Ministries of Government of India namely Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Commerce & Industry.

This train is well-patronised service since 1930. It also has many records like India’s first superfast train, first long distance electric hauled train, first vestibuled train, first train to have ladies’ only car, first train to feature a dining car.

The introduction of “Deccan Queen’’ between the two premier cities of Maharashtra on 1st June 1930 was a major landmark in the history of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, the forerunner of the Central Railway. This was the first deluxe train introduced on the railway to serve 2 important cities of the region and was aptly named after Pune, which is also known as “Queen of Deccan’’ (“Dakkhan ki Rani’’).

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