A key tourist attraction in Karnataka for history buffs, the Hubballi Railway Museum is set to open its doors for visitors from August 5.
Claimed to be the first of its kind in north Karnataka, the museum is centrally located next to the second entry of Hubballi Railway Station on Gadag Road opposite to Central Railway Hospital. This is the second such museum set up by the South Western Railway (SWR) after the Mysuru Rail Museum — established in 1979 by the Indian Railways — the second such museum in the country after the National Railway Museum was commissioned in 1977.
A glimpse of the toy train set to run for visitors at the new Hubballi Railway Museum. @IndianExpress
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According to E Vijaya, Chief Public Relations Officer, SWR, the Hubballi Railway Museum is set to welcome visitors. “The museum will offer a visual treat with items of railway heritage items used in the yesteryear. It aims at preserving and portraying the glorious heritage of various branches of the Indian Railways to display the gradual evolution of advanced systems in all spheres of railway working,” she told Indianexpress.com.
At Hubballi Museum, artifacts are broadly arranged in three sections — within two cottages named Malaprabha and Ghataprabha (originally constructed in 1907) and the outdoor section.
The major highlights at the museum include the Galaxy of Rolling Stock, Malaprabha and Ghataprabha cottages themselves, theatre coach, Suruchi cafeteria, toy train, memorabilia shop, ticket printing machine display, Model train run, and a children’s activity room.
“While the grand arch at the entrance indicates the bygone era, it is embellished with emblems of forerunners of South Western Railway, that served this region which is Southern Mahratta Railway, Mysore and Southern Mahratta Railway. The welcome arch beckons visitors to explore the world of Railways,” am SWR statement mentioned.
While two narrow gauge locomotives (train engines) will be displayed, more exhibits that run on or related to the track including rolling stock (engines), coaches, wagons, tankers, permanent way material like rails, sleepers, level-crossing gates, and signals are placed in the garden premises.
Further, a narrow gauge coach which comprises of life-size statues of passengers from various parts of the country is also installed in a bid to depict “Unity in Diversity,” officials added.
Free entry up to Aug 9, social distancing measures in place
While the museum will be open for visitors only from 4 pm to 7 pm till August 9, the entry will be free for the first five days, SWR officials announced.
From August 11, the museum will operate from 12 noon to 7 pm from Tuesdays to Fridays, while the same will function from 12 noon to 8 pm on weekends and public holidays. The museum will remain closed every Monday.
In the wake of the coronavirus situation, entry for visitors to the museum is restricted to a maximum of 30 people at a time. “Visitors will be requested to sanitise their hands frequently using sanitizer dispensers provided, and wearing face mask and maintaining social distancing will be compulsory. The theatre coach will remain closed until complete relaxation is announced for the lockdown guidelines in place,” officials clarified.
While ticket charges for each adult (aged above 12) is fixed at Rs 20, ticket prices for each child (aged 5 to 12) will be Rs 10. Visitors aged below five years age will not be charged for entry.
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