By Rajkumar Bhavasar
Mysore/Mysuru: Mysuru Rail Museum is witnessing large number of visitors since it was opened to general public on June 8, 2020. The renovated and revamped museum had closed its doors to visitors following imposition of lockdown on Mar. 24 after it was inaugurated on Mar. 14. Now, after 70 days, visitors are flocking back to the museum ever since it was reopened.
The dream project of Mysuru Division Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Aparna Garg, Mysuru Rail Museum depicts the rich history of 150-year-old Indian Railways, which was set up in 1979. Located on KRS Road, opposite CFTRI Main Gate, the museum has a fascinating collection of several ancient steam locomotives and carriages.
The museum had been closed for about a year from March 2018 for renovations and refurbishment. Later, after getting facelift, the iconic museum opened its doors for visitors on Mar. 14, 2020 following which over 800 visitors had flocked the museum.
The museum is now equipped with an attractive entrance portico as well as completely refurbished locomotives, carriages and wagons along with other rare and interesting exhibits. There is even a battery-operated toy train for children. What makes the museum distinct is that it is only the second of its kind, after the National Railway Museum in New Delhi. New amenities such as audio-visual media centre, playground for kids, cafeteria and toilets are all available now at the museum premises.
Established in 1979 by the Indian Railways, the museum is preserving and presenting a slice of the history of Indian Railways and its journey. A rare collection of royal carriages belonging to the erstwhile Mysore rulers, the Wadiyar Kings, is one of the high points of the museum and offers an idea about the grand nature in which the royalty of our country travelled those days.
An old model of steam locomotive as well as diesel and electric engines, tank engine, Saloon Carriage of Mysore Maharani, telecom equipment, locomotive boiler, steam pump, double-wire case plates which were in use in 1910-1920s, narrow-gauge coach of 1927, an old steam engine built by TISCO, inner view of steam engine, etc. will be on display.
The newly-renovated museum has a lot of added attractions including the ‘Rail Coach Cafe and Cafeteria’; an old railway coach which has been re-modelled into a restaurant-style seating area where visitors can purchase snacks, other food items and beverages.
The museum is open for public viewing from 10 am to 6 pm on all days except Tuesday being a holiday for maintenance. The entry fee for adults is Rs. 50, for children aged 5 to 12 years is Rs. 20 and for senior citizens Rs. 25.