Museums

National Rail Museum

The National Rail Museum (NRM) is located in New Delhi. NRM's website has a lot of information on the exhibits, an on-line newsletter, etc.

In addition to the better known and popular outdoor exhibits of plinthed or working locomotives and other rolling stock, and indoor exhibits of railway equipment, the NRM has a lot of books, maps, and other publications related to the railways in its library (access by permission; not open to the public). They have old timetables (all back to 1970, sparser before that, including the first Trains At A Glance (1977); annual reports for most of the 20th century, old issues of the Railway Gazette and other foreign railway publications; annual issues of the History of Indian Railways Constructed and In Progress up to 1964, and annual issues of History of Defunct Railways up to 1966; and many official Survey of India maps and railway maps.

S Shankar has a comprehensive NRM web site dedicated to the exhibits at the museum. Other sites devoted to the NRM include a site by Rediffusion, and Mike Mayer's site.

Here's the address. Note that the museum is closed on Mondays.

National Rail Museum,
Chanakyapuri, New Delhi-110 021. India.
E-mail: nrm@nrm.nrm.cmc.net.in
Tel: +91 11-6881816, +91 11-6880939 Fax: +91 11-6880804

Mysore Rail Museum

The Railway Museum at Mysore is located adjacent to the Mysore railway station, but with the entrance on the other side (no direct way to reach it from the station). It is open daily except on Mondays. Nominal entrance and camera fees are charged. They have various locos preserved at the museum.

Some pictures.

Here is a listing of preserved locomotives at the Mysore museum

Other regional rail museums and heritage rooms

[6/02] A Regional Rail Museum has been opened recently in Chennai. It is located within the campus of the Integral Coach Factory's (ICF) Furnishing Division at Perambur. To reach the museum, go past the Anna Nagar roundabout north towards New Avadi Road Junction, turn left, continue about 1km and turn left at the intersection near the ICF bus terminus and then turn right shortly to reach the ICF Furnishing Division campus. There are signs for 'Rail Museum' there.

A partial list of the outdoor exhibits observed during a visit in 2005 is provided below:

  • YDM IR 6008 loco manufactured by North British locomotive Co.Ltd, Glasgow(1954)
  • Inspection car RA 30, manufactured by Metropolitan Carriage and Finance Co.Ltd, Saltley works, England, 1921. This car had undergone POH at Pratapnagar and used during 150 years IR celebrations.
  • WCM-1,( 1500 VDC) 20068, manufactured by The English Electric Co.Ltd,London and Vulcan foundry, Newton-Le-Willows, Lancanshire in 1954.
  • Inspection car RA-2 manufactured by Madras and Southern Mahratta Rly, Perambur works and Burn and Co. Ltd, Carriage and Wagon builders, Howrah in 1929
  • Fowler ploughing engine ( No 15613 MYS 483) manufactured by John Fowler and Co, Leeds in 1895
  • A 2-8-2 steam loco without builder's plates was getting fresh coat of paint.

[3/03] A Narrow Gauge Railway Museum was inaugurated on 14 December, 2002, at Nagpur (located at the SER headquarters ??). See the picture gallery for pictures of the Nagpur museum.

[2/06] The College of Military Engineering (CME) at Khadki (Dapodi), Pune, has a museum with several old railway exhibits including locomotives and other rolling stock.

[04/05] A Railway Museum has been inaugurated at Gorakhpur and at least one preserved steam locomotive ('Lord Lawrence', 1874, class not known) has been moved there, although it is not clear what other heritage materials are there or will be moved there.

A railway heritage museum (named the 'Regional Rail Museum') was set up at Howrah (foundation stone laid Sep. 1, 2005) to highlight the history and heritage of railways in the eastern part of the country. It has some collections of documents, photographs, manuscripts, and preserved locomotives and coaches. It was also proposed that at least one working locomotive of the DHR along with some coaches be run as a tourist attraction within the museum grounds.

[1/05] A 'Rail Park' has been proposed to be set up near Howrah Station by ER. It would have a 'toy train' (perhaps a narrow-gauge train, but this is not clear), and exhibits such as some steam locos, preserved carriages, railway cranes, and miscellaneous items such as platform clocks and lamps. An ex-Pakistan Railways loco, that happened to be near Howrah in 1971 when India and Pakistan went to war and which subsequently stayed in Howrah will also be on display here.

[2006] A railway museum is under construction at Pune (details not available).

[2007] A Rail Heritage Museum has been proposed to be set up at Rail Nilayam, the headquarters of South Central Railway at Hyderabad. (details not available).

[6/05] Though strictly not a museum or a heritage center, the upper class waiting room on the first floor of Bomaby Central has a nice collection of historic photographs of the erstwhile BB&CI. There are also a few scale models of steam locomotives.

A few of the big railway stations such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai (formerly Victoria Terminus) have 'heritage rooms' with assorted collections of railwayana, but these are often not open to the public and require special permission to be obtained beforehand for any visits.

[2002] An 'Exhibition on Wheels' train with various heritage exhibits has been travelling around the country in celebration of IR's 150th year.

[2008] Delhi Metro has set up a heritage museum at its Patel Chowk metro station (inaugurated Dec. 30, 2008).

[2008] The 'Deshbandhu Locomotive Park' at Ranchi, near the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, has several non-working, and a few working,steam locomotives on display. The park has been in existence for a while, but was only opened to the public on Dec. 12, 2008. The exhibits are locomotives manufactured by Chittaranjan between 1951 and 1972. It includes the 'Fairy Princess', a steam locomotive built in 1964 which has been restored and is occasionally operated at the park.

[2008] WR opened a heritage gallery on Oct. 20, 2008, at the railway's headquarters at Churchgate.

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