The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated the Musical Fountain, Toy Train and Renovated Exhibits at National Railway Museum in New Delhi.
Railway Minister Inaugurates Musical Fountain, Toy Train and Renovated Exhibits at National Railway Museum
Minister Releases a Book on Indian Railways, Titled ‘More Miles…More Smiles’
A Documentary Film ‘Imprint of Indian Railways Over Indian Cinema’ Inaugurated
The Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu inaugurated the Musical Fountain, Toy Train and Renovated Exhibits at National Railway Museum in New Delhi today. Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu released this book titled “Indian Railways – More Miles…More Smiles” edited by retired Indian railway official Shri J L Singh and published by the Indian Railways. This book would bring to the reader the multiple dimensions of the Indian Railways. Also on the occasion, the Railway Minister inaugurated a documentary film “Imprint of Indian Railways over Indian Cinema. The film depicts the 100 years old association of Indian Railways & the Indian cinema is more than 100 years old. Cinema is also depicting the advancement of Indian Railways as brought out by the documentary film.
Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister said that it is continuous endeavour of National Rail Museum to preserve and display very rare historic exhibits, some of them are 150 years old. He emphasised the need for having a section at the museum which also display the futuristic vision of Indian Railways. He said that Museums are custodian of historical knowledge. There are museums of different kinds in the world but National Railway Museum in Delhi is unique perhaps in the entire world. It is a good place for learning about Railways and to develop appreciation for railway activities. The Railway Minister also directed to create a new pavilion in a National Rail Museum for focusing on futuristic vision of Indian Railways. Referring to the Coffee Table Book released on this occasion, written by a retired Railway official, the Railway Minister complimented the railway enthusiasts who contributed for this beautiful compilation which has captured interesting moments of life in railways. He said a time has come when we have to consider new and innovative ideas for the growth of Indian Railways after learning lessons from our past and identifying challenges. It is necessary to have a vision for future and then prepare an Action Plan implement and the Indian Railways is presently actively engaged in this process.
The Railway Minister pointed out that Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has identified railway sector as means of renaissance and an instrument for country’s economic development. Referring to the connectivity across the nation, the Minister outlined that Indian Railways is working hard to provide connectivity to the North eastern states and to Jammu and Kashmir so that the people living there can have better connectivity with the rest of the nation.
Shri Prabhakar said that though he is the Head of the Railway family, but every member of the family have to collectively work to achieve desired objectives and take Indian Railways forward. On this occasion Dr. Harshvardhan Union Minister of Science and Technology said that his Ministry of Science and Technology and Indian Railways can do partnership in modernizing Railways. He said that very soon experts of two ministries will meet to finalise the areas of mutual cooperation. He said that we must welcome suggestions and innovative ideas for making Indian Railways as world class. Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi, MP also spoke on the occasion.
Also present on the occasion among others were Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Arunendra Kumar and Member Staff, Railway Board, Shri A.K.Mital. Director, NRM, Shri U.S.Mina conducted the proceedings.
About 65 per cent of the exhibits have been restored within a short time of 10 to11 months. National Rail Museum has added one more attractions for the visitors by introducing 1:8 scale toy train, chugging on miniature track of about half a km length. This is first of its kind in India. Other attractions for the visitors will be the musical fountain. To enhance the experience of the visitors, a new pathway has been laid in throughout in the museum. Signages and landscaping has been done in sync with the restored exhibits. The good work has been put up by the NRM in association with the RITES (Rail India Technical and Economic Service) Ltd., a public sector undertaking of the Ministry of Railways and Northern Railway, especially Delhi divisions. Various challenges are being faced by NRM in dealing with Geographical constraints and more innovative things will be introduced in future for public.
The 37 years old National Rail Museum is located in over 10 acres of land & has both indoor and outdoor exhibits. In all there are 91 outdoor exhibits, some of them are about 150 years old. Museum boasts of having Steam Engines of the various gauges, fireless Steam Engine, mono rail train, working Fire Engine of Nizam (Morris Fire Engine), various saloon, belonging to erstwhile rulers & British Viceroys, coaches & Wagons plying on different gauges for transporting public, animals, self-propelled Rail cars, Break down Cranes, Military Vans etc. All these individual exhibits have a story to be told.
This museum has become one of the prime spot for the visitors. The peak Footfall per day registered is as high as 5500 and average Footfall is 1700-1800 visitors. Also during special events organised by NRM the footfall had been registered as high as 10,000 per day. However as time passes by, it’s become extremely difficult to protect these priceless exhibits due to the natural process of decaying and due to extreme weather conditions such as scorching heat, continuous rain, chilling cold. Above all ageing has done a considerable damage to the exhibits.
National Rail Museum, has taken a big initiative by involving 30 workshops across the country to restore these life size exhibits. With the help of research workers, volunteers, rail enthusiasts an exhaustive work plan was drawn in start of the year 2014. Numerous skilful workers, supervisors of the Railway workshops contributed their finest effort to reverse the damage further.