The National Rail Museum has finally taken a leap towards the future with a massive renovation that aims to combine heritage and history with modern technology. Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, inaugurating the landmark property in the heart of the capital Tuesday, said the museum has the potential to be a major tourist attraction.
“We hope that it has become a great place for the whole family to spend time together,” Prabhu said.
On the many challenges facing the service, he said, “There are challenges before railways… financial challenge, technological challenge and managerial challenge. We need a strategy to face the new challenges”.
As part of the renovation, about 75 major exhibits have been restored to their original glory. The new attractions of the museum include a miniature train, along with locomotive simulators with 3D effects, complete with virtual reality.
A visitor to the museum also gets the chance to be featured on the front page of the in-house magazine NRM Times, and take home a personalised copy.
The renovated indoor gallery takes visitors on a journey that starts from the early era of transportation to the latest and sometimes futuristic designs. Among the other attractions is a ‘Rail Garden’ — a garden-scale model layout that depicts trains running in different terrains across India, passing through various historic stations.
Visitors can also grab a bite to eat at the new restaurant, which boasts of a replica of the Central Dome of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai, and a “food serving train”.
Spread over 11 acres, the museum’s exhibits comprise more than 90 vintage steam, diesel and electric locomotives, cranes and wagons.
Last year, the museum had received nearly 3.9 lakh visitors.