Restrained Imperium! The finalised design manuals of India’s first train with a dedicated colour scheme – the Mumbai-Pune Deccan Queen – are here. The colours were finalised in May 2020 and the manuals of its details were last week handed over to the Central Railway by the team of India’s premier design institute Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) after due approvals by the Ministry of Railways.

“The only pending thing now is the approval of design of the dining car cum pantry that is awaited from the railway board. Once this layout design is also approved, the design of the train that is to be manufactured at Integral Coach Factory in Chennai will be complete,” a senior official said.

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Deccan Queen train final colour shade

Why this colour?

“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 & 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.

Explaining in detail, it said the dominant colour is present in the flowing element of the design. The detailing and the curve graphics are produced in two colours on opposite ends of the body. Ends are painted in dark Gray and the front of the driver cabs are painted dark with yellow front for night-time visibility.  For accessibility reasons, doors are in contrast in color to make them stand out against the carriage.

Mumbaikars had suggested shades to be chosen from as per the original document, but the team of India’s premier design institute Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) took over the final designing process. The team said the final colours were chosen after numerous field visits, interactions with regular passengers and this design has been customized for the train and the shade, in-sync with the spirit of the train.

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General look

After public survey, five colour shades had been shortlisted in March 2020. The train, which completed 90 years in June 2020, has been also in the process of getting a new upgraded class of German-design Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) coaches, including a 40-seater dining car with panoramic windows, a first in LHB-class trains. LHB coaches have basically improved the suspension system with more riding comfort having a designed speed of 160 km/h that could go up to 200 km/h.

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Deccan Queen locomotive shade

When will the new train arrive?

The drawings were approved in February 2021 and sent to Integral Coach Factory in Chennai and the manufacturing of the dining car will be taken up as per their line of schedule. As per the finalised designs, the new dining car will be a 40-seater with ten dining tables and four chairs around each of it panoramic windows. The half of the coach will have a well-equipped kitchen with provisions for pantry storage, electric cooking range, deep freezers and even a refrigerator, service table, multiple sinks and service counters for the manager. This will be the first LHB-class dining car of Indian Railways.


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