News from the NRM -- Summer 1998
This article was originally published by the Indian Steam Railway Society (ISRS) in its newsletter, and is reproduced here by permission, which is gratefully acknowledged. Copyright for the material here rests with the ISRS and the author(s) of the article. The ISRS is the premier organization in India engaged in preservation and efforts to promote awareness of the country's railway heritage.
This article originally appeared in the FNRM Newsletter No. 2, Summer 1998.
- Fairy Queen undertook its last journey of the season on 21-02-98. It is envisaged that some more tourist trains on steam traction will operates in the next season and simultaneously Fairy Queen will be kept on steam for special occasions. A major boost to the museum's efforts in bringing the Fairy Queen back to steam was the endowment of a 'Guiness Book Certificate' for the record breaking venture of 'Fairy Queen'.
- Visitors to the museum are no longer required to pay a fee for the still cameras.
- Currently a large scale repair, renovation and painting job is being done on the outdoor exhibits and some of them already wear a new spruced up look.
- The indoor gallery is being air conditioned at present and simultaneously will be refurbished once the job is over. This will provide the badly sought relief to the museum visitors in the summer season and also to the more delicate exhibits.
- WP/P 7200 has been taken out of obscurity at the siding and has been given a new place at the centrestage. This was one of the eyesore in the museum for a long time since it was relegated to a corner in a valiant effort to take the hibernating Fairy Queen out of its shed.
- The latest addition to the NRM's treasure trove is the first AC electric locomotive on the Indian Railways. WAM 1 20202 was dedicated to the service of the nation on 01-01-59 at Asansol by the then Railway Minister, Mr. Jagjivan Ram and was aptly christened after him. This occasion also marked the opening of the first 25 KV AC electric traction section on the Indian railways. This 2840 HP locomotive was built by Krauss-Maffei, Munchen, Germany and it originally employed ignitron type mercury arc rectifiers. Later during its mid life rehabilitation it was converted to silicon diode type rectifiers. This 74 ton locomotive worked at a maximum speed of 100 Kmph hauling prestigious trains like Kalka Howrah Mail and Deluxe Express in its heydays. After working for over 38 years and covering 38,75,000 Kilometers, this locomotive was withdrawn from active service on 22-10-97 at Kanpur which was its last homing shed.
- A group of descendants of the Ex-Viceroys of India visited the museum on 30-01-98. A unique addition tO the museum's collection on this day was the "1st Spike" driven on the Elgin Bridge on 25-01-1899.
- A VIP lounge for the use of distinguished visitors coming to NRM is expected to be in place by October 1998.
- NRM has applied to UNESCO, Paris for inclusion of Darjeeling Himalayan Railway and Bombay VT on the World Heritage list. NRM is hopeful that these two sites would qualify for a place in this select list. 'Friends' wish NRM all the best in this venture of national importance.