Mysore railway museum gets country’s first miniature trains

Don’t get confused. The South Western Railway (SWR), Mysore division, is shortly opening refurbished heritage gallery with five miniature trains.

The matter of pride here is Mysore will be the first city to boast of such a facility in the country. The miniature trains imported from the US will run on digital command control system along a track length of 600 metres, Dr Anup Dayanand Sadhu, senior divisional commercial manager, SWR, Mysore division, told Deccan Herald.

A model of a township, comprising Mysore city, Kodagu, mining areas and other prominent tourist attractions, is being recreated at the gallery. The miniature trains will run on tracks covering all these places.

Sri Ram Associates of Mysore have designed and executed the project on their own, at an estimated cost of Rs 15 lakh. They had been working on the model for the past six months. Railways have provided space in the heritage gallery that earlier had photographs pertaining to the evolution of Railways. Once the work is completed, Sri Ram Associates will be handing over the same to railways.

The model has miniature replicas of the Mysore Railway Station, Amba Vilas Palace, Hotel Lalita Mahal Palace, St Philomena’s Church, Doddagadiyara, K R Circle and Chamaraja Wadiyar Circle, Chamundi Hill with the temple at the top, Srirangapatna Railway Junction, footover bridges and tunnels among others. Tiny houses and also the prominent high-rise buildings in the vicinity of the Railway Station can also been seen in the form of models.

Mention must be made of the century-old Wesley Bridge, and KRS Dam in Srirangapatna taluk, which have also been recreated. The effect of flowing water will be made using imported rexin, the officer said.

As said earlier, it is a recreation of the railway system. The miniature trains will automatically run and stop according to the signals. The brass pole lamps will glow, lighting up the entire model and enhancing the beauty of the architectural wonder.

Chicago and Hamburg have similar miniature trains but on a much bigger scale. The Science and Technology Museum in Chicago has 500 miniature trains, while at Hamburg, it is even more, said Sadhu, recalling his visit to Chicago. The model is made using foam (for trees), plaster of paris (for stones and mounts), cardboards and other available materials.

The entry to the gallery situated on platform one is free for passengers who have tickets. For others, it will be through platform tickets.

Apart from professionals, five students from Chamaraja Academy of Visual Arts (CAVA) have lent their expertise in making the model.

Sadhu said: “If all goes well, the gallery will be opened either by the end of the year or in January as a New Year gift.”

Published in: on December 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm  Comments (1)  
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Miniature Train museum promotes miniature trains

It’s a miniature version of an imaginary city going about its daily activities. What attracts your attention are the eight different types of trains that run long enough to depict the city’s development. Here’s Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railways at Kothrud.

This museum is known for propagating the hobby of building miniature trains. The tenth anniversary function of the museum was held at the Yashwantrao Chavan auditorium on Wednesday. A book on the museum’s founder, B S Joshi, better known as Bhau Joshi, was also released on the occasion.

“The museum was built to let people know about the hobby of miniature railway-building, which is very widely and enthusiastically pursued in Europe and the US. My father, Bhau Joshi, took interest in this hobby during his stay in Europe,” says Ravi Joshi, the present proprietor of the museum.

The museum displays a unique mini sky train that was put together by Bhau Joshi himself. Following his father’s footsteps, Ravi learned how to put together a miniature railway model. “This hobby’s not widely known or developed in India because, until 1997, the import of railways was banned in the country,” says Ravi.

The ideal is to build the hobby within an individual and let it flourish over a period of time, says Ravi. Today, the museum has around 400 visitors per week. Given its increasing popularity, the museum will wear a new look soon. “We are making the museum fully automated within four-five months. The shop selling miniature railway kits has already been expanded,” Ravi says.

Since January, the museum has started selling Balsa wood, motors, metal sheets and other raw materials required to build a miniature trains. “But we want to reach out to more people, especially schools and colleges, by conducting workshops on miniature railway-building. We need trained manpower to disseminate the right information correctly,” says Ravi.

Anand Kadam, who operates the controls at the museum, knows how to build a miniature train: “It all begins with making moulds of the model and then putting the pieces together to build a miniature train complete with an engine compartment and bogies.”

Some of his works are displayed at the miniature railway shop. The museum also supplies miniature railway models to Switzerland, Australia and also to the Indian Railways.