Under renovation, the National Rail Museum isn’t a place you should head to any time soon

This time let me begin with an apology. There is nothing to offer this week except a request to avoid going go to the National Rail Museum if you can. The 20-year-old museum is undergoing major renovation and I can’t say for sure if this is the same plan of a revamp that was to be undertaken in collaboration with UNESCO. It was announced way back in 2009. While the revamp will do it a whole lot of good — in fact the museum badly needs a fresh lease of life — my only suggestion to the museum authorities would be to announce it at the entrance.

But why the museum is still selling tickets to innocent visitors when there is nothing to see around there is beyond me. Of course Rs.20 is not a hefty amount, but it almost feels like cheating. The indoor gallery is closed, and what is outside just seems like a mess. Workers with their paraphernalia, dusty exhibits and utter chaos. The toy train is a saving grace but who would want to take their kids in such heat and dust just for a ride in the toy train, amidst a shambles of a landscape?

The fact that the museum isn’t very accessible doesn’t help its case either. The nearest metro station is Race Course, and the rare autowallahs that you sight in the diplomatic area charge Rs.50 to cover the distance. The bus stop too is quite far from it. There has to be some other time to see this unique collection of rail engines and locomotives. The indoor gallery just might open in five-six months, but don’t take a bewildered museum muser’s word for it.