Mumbai: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Central Railway (CR) flagged off the Deccan Queen Express, which runs between Mumbai and Pune on daily basis, with an all-women staff from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai on Thursday.
The Divisional Railway Manager of Mumbai division of CR, SK Jain, said, “After the Matunga Road station in Mumbai of the Western Railway (WR) was fully-managed by women staff members, there was another plan to run this train with all-women staff,” he said.
Asia’s first woman train driver, Surekha Yadav, was the pilot and senior assistant loco pilot Trushna Joshi was there to assist her. Sweta Ghone was given the honour to work as the on-duty guard of the Deccan Queen and gave clearance by waving the green flag at CST.
A small function was organised at CST where all the regular passengers greeted Yadav and the other staff. The senior railway officials also congratulated all the women staff for their venture.
The ticket-checking staff, RPF personnel and electric technician were also women. Kavita Sahu, sub-inspector of the RPF and in-charge of train security, said that she has a six-member team on the train.
Yadav said that it was an honour for her that Railways selected her for this occasion. “It is a proud moment for me to run this train on International Women’s Day. In the last 29 years, Railways gave me the chance to work as the first woman driver in Railways,” she said.
Smita Ghone, the guard of the train, said that she was happy that she got an opportunity to be a guard in her beloved Deccan Queen. “As a guard, I have worked on various trains, but Deccan Queen is my favourite train and I am very happy CR chose me to guard it on International Women’s Day.”
Electrical technician Yogita Rane checked all the electrical appliances in the train before the train left from the yard. The mechanical staff Mangal Nikam, a fitter from the railway workshop, checked the train mechanisms and then released the train.