As the Pune Municipal Corporation has proposed to take over the Peshwe Energy Park from the Maharashtra Energy Development Authority (MEDA),the famous Phulrani train,which will be completing 53 years of operation on April 8,will be back under PMCs care.
The PMC and MEDA had signed an agreement in 2002 for setting up an energy park,where the Peshwe Zoological Park was located earlier. However,with the decision of setting up this energy park,the Phulrani toy train too had undergone a change. Before the energy park,this train used to run on diesel and eeke out suity smoke while giving a one kilometre ride to children and elders alike. However,since the setting up of the energy park,this train operates on solar energy.
As per the information put up at the Phulrani station in Peshwe Park,the inauguration of this toy train was done at the hands of kindergarten girl on April 8 1953,to signify its importance for children. Padmabhushan reciepient Dr Appasaheb Karve was present on the occasion. Even now,the train gives a short pleasure trip to children who especially visit the park during their vacations. The charges for a ride in this mini-train is Rs five for elders,while it is Rs three for children. Though the two bogies carry about forty people,the minimum requirement for the train to operate is ten passengers.
Giving information about the train,deupty commissioner of PMC Yashwant Khaire said,The train was locally made by the workers in PMC workshop. It was completely made locally. Earlier it used to run on diesel,however,with the energy park,it started chugging on solar power. So far,the engine of the train has been changed twice and its colour changed a few times. He however said that there was a lot of scope to upgrade this toy train.
The train still draws a lot of children to the park. Children and their parents come to enjoy a ride on the off days. The number of visitors naturally go up over the weekend and during the summer and Diwali vacations, said an employee of MEDA at the park.