The Indian Railways, the fourth largest in the world and in existence since 1837, is growing every day as we speak. There is progress on multi fronts within this country’s mammoth organization in these pandemic days, including fighting the COVID 2nd wave and participating in the country’s fight against the pandemic. However, this post is themed on my excursion to visit the Rail Museum, in Kolkata which showcases and articulates the Eastern Railways division of the Indian Railways. The post is thus themed as History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata.
Kolkata, the erstwhile capital of India. Since time immemorial, a city steeped in history. There is enough history in this city to take an entire lifetime to discover. Some are known, while the majority is unknown. As a denizen of this teeming metropolis, I was looking forward to exploring the city and the state of Bengal. The ongoing pandemic has largely restricted travels across the length and breadth of the country. The journey within the state was also sporadic owing to the State Elections scheduled. Hence took the opportunity to recalibrate my plans and started exploring the city of Kolkata in earnest. Thus, borne the visit to this gem of a place showcasing the History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata.
I know that you are interested in reading more about the History of Indian Railways at Rail Museum Kolkata. I mean, that is the main reason why you were scrolling down the paragraphs. However, I would like you to open these additional tabs if you wish to know about my experiences in Kolkata in the past few months. My very first article was titled Amaar Kolkata. In a short span of time had the good fortune to visit the International Book Fair held out here. The street art and performance held at the very famous Hindustan Park and the lovely initiative of the Kolkata city administration to showcase something known as Seven Wonders.
History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata
I came upon this museum as I was exploring the places to visit and experience in Kolkata. Tucked near the unique Howrah Railways Station, one comes across the History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata. As one enters inside, there is this massive Hall of fame to the left. This shed houses some of the vintages, first of the class wagons and bogies built over time. It also showcases and narrates the history of the Indian railways and the various upgrades that happened over the last one hundred fifty years of their existence.
What is my blog all about ?
My blog focuses quite a bit on the ancient history, the art of India, among other places of travel that I keep doing. The history posts come up because there is in ancient Indian History, so many monumental architectures created. Read through the posts on Mundgod the mini Tibet of India, the reclusive Karwar town in the Western Ghats or my journey to the 5 prayags or confluences in the Himalayas. I am sure a visit to them would be fascinating to just about anyone purely from a visitor’s inquisitive magnificence prism of view, to say the least. In case interested, read about Ganjifa, the slowly dying art of Maharashtra. How about some thoughts on Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi.
Rail Museum Kolkata
The storyboard describes the various locomotives (engines) that evolved over time and built-in India. From the WP7200 steam-driven powerful Locomotive built after independence and used for the prestigious trains in those days to the WDM-1 Class Diesel Locomotive. Once it came into existence changed the concept of freight trains in India. The Liluah workshop in Kolkata used to manufacture the wooden bogies of those days. These carriages were built to cater to all the prevailing luxuries of those days. It is unbelievable to even think of the luxury that rail travel used to cater to the exclusive privileged few in those times.
Once done with the shed, one can move out onto the sprawling premises to see the other models on displays. It is to be noted that these Models were all in use once upon a time. They now serve as a reminder of the glorious years that have gone by in the History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata.
I moved to the replica of the Howrah railway station, which houses the Hall of Heritage. This contains old photographs, some artefacts, a ticket booking booth, historical quotes, and momentos of various events and places. There is a toy train as well which runs inside the premises to give a joy ride.
Reminiscing the glorious History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata
After that stood in front of the Kirti Stambh (Tower of Glory). Here, I came to know about the facts of Eastern Railways, North Eastern Railways, among others. Readers would be interested to know about the following trivia as they see the various pics on the post glorifying the History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata.
Trivia on a part of the mammoth History of Indian railways
Eastern Railways. The East Indian Railway was the second Oldest Railways in India, established in 1845. The first train ran from Howrah to Hooghly on 1 Aug 1854 while connected to Delhi in 1864. The workshop at Liluah was established in 1900. East Indian Railway was finally merged into the Indian Railway and became known as Eastern Railways in 1952.
South Eastern Railway. A railway built to protect the people from the Ravages of the famine of 1878. A railway built and operated through hills, dense forests, and jungles of central India. This was the forerunner of what is known as South Eastern Railways (SER). This historic railway was known as BNR (Bengal Nagpur Railway ), built-in those days by Chhattisgarh. Today SER has scripted history amongst the Indian Railways. It carries the heaviest freight from the coal mines, ports on Eastern Seaboard, 7 steel plants, cement, fertilizer, and aluminium industries throughout Eastern India’s Badlands. This is the present-day might of South Eastern Railways, the protégé of the historic BNR.
North East Frontier Railway. The exotic railway formed for transporting tea and coal in the 1800s. The present North East Frontier Railway has its roots in the erstwhile Assam Railways & Trading Company. Also boasting of having the famous Hill Railways in its ranks, The North East Frontier Railways has its HQ at the base of the Nilanchal Parbat, the abode of Goddess Kamakhya, a place known as Maligaon. This railway division also serves as the railhead for the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal and Bhutan.
Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. Named after the nationalist and freedom fighter Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das, CLW was the first industrial gift of Free India. The then president of India, Dr Rajendra Prasad, gifted the nation its first steam locomotive built in free India in 1950. This was built by Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. CLW today is one of the largest electric locomotive manufacturers in the world.
Day trips from Kolkata
Just input that i thought might interest the readers here. So in the context of day trips from Kolkata or weekend trips from Kolkata. I would recommend you browse my journey to Mahishadal, Khirai, Baranti, Purbasthali, Bishnupur, Serampore, Bandel and Gongoni. There is so much to see in this state, similar to like the Northern Karnataka architectural circuit of Hampi and Badami.
The silent spent warriors
The Open Yard is where I was most interested as I got to see the various first of the class models which formed the assets of the Indian Railways. These models spoke about the multiple decades of progress, struggle and toil that has gone into the Indian Railways and, specifically, the Eastern Railways to make it what it stands today. It is indeed a moment to contemplate.
For further visuals ranging from architecture to travel destinations, flora and fauna of India; browse my stock gallery. Click on this inline link here.
Trivia on History of Indian railways at Rail Museum Kolkata
The museum was set up in the year 2006 highlights to the visitors the history of the Eastern Railways. I would say that for those residing in Kolkata, this is a must-see place to soak in the trivia and history of the Indian railways, silent carriers of India’s progress. The museum is open from 1030 am to 530 pm in the evenings. Monday is a holiday. Photography is permitted, which was a great relief for me.
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