Deccan Queen: Visit AP’s oldest bus from the Nizam era at Vijayawada city bus terminal

Witnessing the plight of the people going on foot from Nampally railway station to Narketpally, the Nizam’s queen, Zahera Begum, started Albion bus service by investing Rs. 3.71 lakhs.

By Sri Lakshmi Muttevi  Published on  22 Jan 2023 4:00 AM GMT
Deccan Queen: Visit AP’s oldest bus from the Nizam era at Vijayawada city bus terminal

Amaravati: Next time you pass the city bus terminal in Vijayawada, a bright vintage red bus will catch your eye and you will definitely stop to click a photo. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) has displayed the antique Albion Bus from the Nizam era adjacent to the Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS).

The bus which is the oldest bus in the state—older than Independent India—was first brought to the Pandit Nehru Bus Station in 1990.

The vintage vehicle was unveiled by two retired drivers of the Corporation in the presence of transport and roads and buildings secretary P.S. Pradyumna and APSRTC vice-chairman and managing director Ch. Dwaraka Tirumala Rao.


The Deccan Queen

Fondly known as Deccan Queen, the bus is a 1932 model Albion which was first run by the road transport division of Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway. The bus is a heritage asset of the Nizam State Rail and Road Transport Department (NSR-RTD), manufactured 90 years ago. A total of 26 other Albion buses were imported from London.

NSR-RTD was established with 26 Albion buses and 166 staff in 1932. Till the 1970s, the department operated the Deccan Queen and other 27 buses in Hyderabad, covering a 400-km road network.

Service started by Nizam’s queen

Witnessing the plight of the people going on foot from Nampally railway station to Narketpally, the Nizam’s queen, Zahera Begum, started Albion bus service by investing Rs. 3.71 lakhs. The queen, with the support of the then Prime Minister of Hyderabad State Muhammed Akbar Hydari, got 27 buses imported from London. The vehicles arrived on a ship to Bombay. From there, they were brought by road to Hyderabad in 27 days.

The buses were allotted to the first three depots established at Kachiguda, Narketpally, and Kazipet. The “Deccan Queen” was first operated on the Charminar-Raniganj route. In recognition of the Queen’s service, the first letter in her name “Z” was taken as the registration number for all the buses.

Features

Albion Motors of Glasgow, UK manufactured the Deccan Queen which has a seating capacity of 19. This bus has a single door and relatively smaller tires. The size of the front tires are 7.00x20 inches and the rear tires are size 9.00x20 inches.

There are only two such Albion buses—one is exhibited outside the headquarters of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) in Chikkadpally and the other one is now in Vijayawada. This is one of the two buses that survived the fit of time and is now a heritage asset of the APSRTC.

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