Rail museum traces the history of Indian Railways

By V.S. PALANIAPPAN  www.thehindu.com

Old ticket punching machines, centuries-old cranes, Swiss X-Class locomotive, which once hauled the Nilgiris Mountain Railway, are some of the exhibits at the rail museum set up at the backyard of Mettupalayam Railway Station.

The museum with more than 100 exhibits was inaugurated on Wednesday by General Manager of Southern Railway Vashista Johri in the presence of Divisional Railway Manager – Salem Subhranshu, MPs A.K. Selvaraj, C. Gopalakrishnan and MLA O.K. Chinnaraj.

This is the first rail museum for the Salem Railway Division.

A five-tonne manually operated crane manufactured at Bradford greets visitors outside the main hall. It was used for shifting materials from meter gauge to broad gauge and also to move Defence materials that used to reach Mettupalayam by train for further transportation to Wellington.

A Swiss X-Class locomotive brought from Swiss Locomotives and Machine Works, Winterthur, Switzerland finds a place next to the crane. A vintage ticket machine that is used for punching the ticket and assigning a serial number can be found inside the hall.

Other interesting exhibits include old weighing machines, paraffin gas lamps and Berkefeld Filter, samples of narrow gauge, meter gauge and broad gauge railway lines with fish plates.

One should not miss the miniatures of Linke Hofmann Busch coaches, coaches of Duranto, Jan Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains, Metro trains and Electrical Multiple Units, that are on display. More info

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