Bikana Heritage Rail Museum opened for public viewing

The “Bikana Heritage Rail Museum” openedy for public on Thursday. The rail museum displays equipments, items and documents pertaining to the operation and maintenance of the railways.

Speaking on the occasion divisonal railways manager (DRM), North Westren Railways (NWR) S S Gupta said that the museum was set up for providing information tothe common man as to how and what equipments and items were in use in railway department since last 200 years. He said, “depiction of various items relating to commercial, operation, engineering, electric, electronics (carriage and wagon), signaling departments important for the functioning of the rail network in the country. Setting up of the museum makes for memorable and valuable display of the developmental aspects in the Indian Railways. An example of the development process of the railways can be understood from a painting entitled “Janana Station Bikaner” which depicts Bikaner railway station as ladies station in the year 1920.

At present around 350 items have been displayed in the museum relating to Bikaner and Jodhpur State Railway era, and some of these items were imported from England, US and other countries during State era. Another important item on display is a ‘Crane’ made in England in the year 1889 which was used for supply of coal in the engine. Similarly a Crew-Rest Van made in the year 1940 has been displayed.

Besides, other items like hand-pumps, water lifting pump, drill machine, ground-light fittings, weighing machine, telecommunication equipments, tool box and hand-held signaling equipments have also been displayed in the museum.

Rewari to have heritage rail museum

The Delhi Division of the Indian Railways is all set to establish a heritage rail museum in the historic loco shed of Rewari, which had been lying redundant after the recent replacement of the steam locomotives by diesel engines.

This shed of the Indian Railways, which was initiated by the then Union Railway Minister Nitish Kumar on August 14, 2002, had been lying in doldrums for the past several years.

However, the Delhi Division, with the cooperation of its Heritage Division, recently devised an action plan to convert it into a heritage museum for national as well as foreign tourists.

According to Vikas Arya, senior divisional mechanical engineer, Delhi Division, a sum of Rs 10 crore will be spent in two phases on the implementation of the above project.

The first phase of the project, which would entail an expenditure of Rs 3 crore, would be accomplished before the commencement of Commonwealth Games.

The museum, which contains 10 steam engines – five each of the metre gauge and the broad gauge – would display the signal system, rail coaches and other allied appliances of the yesteryears.

The Rewari chapter of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), which has all along been taking a keen interest for the development of the museum, recently sent a communication to Manu Goel, director, Heritage Division Railway Board, New Delhi, seeking insertion of certain displays, exhibits and other allied activities to make it a vibrant hub for tourists as well as students community.

However, with the participation of the Rohtak AIR station’s people, Rewari chapter of INTACH recently organised a one-hour road show at the museum site here, in which historical aspects and other details of the museum were relayed live through interviews with INTACH members.

While seeking a comprehensive display of the 150-year-old glorious history of the Indian Railways through models of old and modern engines, coaches and other allied equipments, Sudhir Bhargava, convener of the Rewari Chapter of INTACH, urged Goel that informative audio/video films of the short duration should be shown to visitors and a toy train should also be installed there for schoolchildren.

Besides according due recognition to the first metre gauge line of the country, a set of commemorative postage stamps of “Chook-Chook Engines” should also be issued, Bhargava suggested.