Sly Move!
News

Sly Move!

March 19, 2021
  • Railways quietly moving Royal Vintage Locomotives from Mysuru Rail Museum to other Railway Offices & Museum
  • An insult to Mysore Maharajas and Heritage: MP Pratap Simha

Mysore/Mysuru: The Mysuru Rail Museum that is adding a new heritage site of historical value to Mysuru city is set to lose a vintage steam locomotive as plans are on to shift the loco to Hubballi to be displayed in front of the South Western Railway (SWR) Zonal Office

This is the second item to be shifted from the Museum after the Railway authorities have moved ‘Maharaja’s Saloon’ from the Museum and donated it to the National Rail Museum, New Delhi. At present, only a part of the royal train remains in Mysuru Rail Museum. 

The renovated and expanded Museum at a cost of Rs. 9 crore was opened to public in March last year. Taking objection to the move to shift the vintage steam locomotive to Hubballi, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha has written to Ajay Kumar Singh, General Manager, South Western Railway to halt plans of moving the vintage attraction. 

The MP has said that if heritage value locomotives that have a deep connection to Mysuru are shifted from the Mysuru Rail Museum, the Museum will ultimately lose all attractions. The MP’s letter noted that a technical team comprising officers of Mechanical Department of SWR headquarters was in Mysuru a few days back to study the feasibility of shifting the vintage steam locomotive to Hubballi. 

Hundred years of history 

The steam locomotive has over a hundred years of history and this narrow gauge steam locomotive has worked on the Bowringpet-Kolar Railway constructed by the Mysore Durbar between 1913 and 1916 and financed by the District Board of Kolar from the proceeds of a debenture loan.  Later, due to financial constraints, the cost was borne in equal proportions by the Durbar and the District Board, the MP has stated in his letter. 

“The then Maharaja of Mysore had expressed his deep gratitude to the Kolar District Board and the people of Kolar District for having come forward to finance the project to serve the mineral-rich district of Kolar. Even the Metre Gauge Rail Bus housed in the Mysuru Rail Museum is said to have been in service on that section as a narrow gauge Rail Bus,” Simha has stated.

The Maharaja’s Saloon donated to the National Rail Museum, New Delhi by the Mysuru Rail Museum.

Maharaja’s Saloon was moved too 

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“During my recent visit to the Rail Museum, I was appalled to know that the ‘Maharaja’s Saloon’ was donated to the National Rail Museum, New Delhi and only a part of the Royal Train remains here. Now, another heritage item is proposed to be moved out of the Mysuru Rail Museum,” he has said. 

The contributions of the Wadiyar dynasty for the development of Railways in the Mysore Kingdom from 1864-1950 has been primarily responsible for making Mysore State a model State during British India rule. “Therefore, it becomes our responsibility to preserve their legacy for the present and future generations to appreciate. The gift they have given to the people of this region is huge and at no stage we should do anything that can be perceived as an insult to them or to the people of Mysore in general,” he has stated in the letter. 

The MP has urged Ajay Kumar Singh to instruct his officials to maintain status quo and initiate further steps needed to nurture the Mysuru Rail Museum. “Instead of moving out locomotives and other items of heritage value from the Museum, the authorities must focus on adding more and more vintage items to the Museum to allow the people from all over the country and from outside to explore them,” the MP said.

Who is the mole? 

Railway officials launch internal investigation to find out who leaked information about shifting to MP Pratap Simha!

The plan to shift the vintage steam locomotive from Mysuru  Railway Museum to Hubballi Zonal Office seems to have been a secret operation because when Star of Mysore photographer visited the Museum this morning, he was told that there is no permission to click a photo of the locomotive. 

Later when Star of Mysore photographer and reporter asked around and contacted some officers, they on condition of anonymity said that an internal investigation has been ordered to find out who leaked the information about shifting of the locomotive to MP Pratap Simha! 

One wonders why the Railways is secretly moving the locomotive of Mysore Maharajas which is rightly displayed in Mysuru Rail Museum? And why should Mysuru MP be kept in the dark about it? 

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