As a kid growing up in a small town (I had spent most of my childhood days in Ranchi), our annual summer vacations in Delhi usually left a deep impression. Can you imagine the excitement one had at seeing such huge buildings/forts & so many cars on the roads.
One such trip whose memory lingered on for very many years was the family outing to the Rail Museum. I guess I must have been around 9-10 yrs old and the whole gang of cousins went there one hot summer evening. I had vague memories of peeping inside Tipu Sultan’s royal carriage and the Maharaja of Patiala’s one track train.
Now, having moved back to Delhi, and made quite a many trips across the Rail Museum bridge, I realised that I had not gone there even once. So one of these Sunday’s I got my cousins & their kids together & off we went to the Rail Museum.
I still love trains, maybe more cos of the Mech Engg in me, but I was shocked at the state of affairs at the Museum. Most of the carriages are rotting or are damaged beyond repair. And somehow the charm of an open air museum eludes you.
I just wish we had a more concerned team of people managing this place. Ironical that the official introduction of the museum on its site goes like this:
National Rail Museum is the focus of Rail Heritage of India a source of fascination and interest in Railways for all. Formally inaugurated on the Ist of February. 1977, this one-of-its-kind museum in Asia has an interesting collection of history, heritage, romance, nostalgia, fun, leisure and entertainment, all at one place. Sprawling over 11 acres, it comprises an indoor gallary devoted to the display of various exhibits, models, records, photographs, coat of arms, documents etc. over 100 real size exhibits display the glory of the bygone era. The Museum promises to take the visitors on an exciting journey into the Railway history and heritage and depict their contribution to the industrial and economic progress of the country.