To come up on five acres near Rail Kalyana Mandapam; works to be over by June

The rich heritage of the erstwhile South Indian Railway (SIR), the landmark railway construction work executed in the colonial era, rare photographs and documents providing insights into the developments taken place in different periods of railway history, will all be showcased in the rail museum coming up near Tiruchi junction.

Coming up on five acres near Rail Kalyana Mandapam, the museum project is being set up as part of the 150 year celebrations of the SIR which had Tiruchi as its headquarters then.

Southern Railway was created by merging Madras and Southern Maratha Railway, South Indian Railway and Mysore State Railway.

The construction of museum building on an area of 9,500 square feet has been completed with interior works, landscaping, construction of compound wall, and laying of a toy train track will be taken up shortly, according to railway officials.

Having spent Rs.1 crore for establishing the museum, divisional railway authorities have been provided with additional funds amounting to Rs.50 lakh by the Railway Board for the project.

The pending works are expected to be completed by June, say railway officials.

The museum will also house old lamps used at stations, clocks and other articles made use of by the erstwhile South Indian Railway Company besides old gazettes, railway manuals and books used during the British Raj.

To capture the attention of the public, outdoor exhibits such as steam loco, steam crane and other railway mechanical and electrical equipment are proposed to be exhibited outside the museum.

The museum will provide interesting trivia about the origin of the SIR and the developments that took place subsequently as well as showcase the superior character of the railways, officials said.

The whole idea of setting up the museum is to preserve the rare documents, old photographs and equipment for posterity, says Divisional Railway Manager Manjula Rangarajan.

The old manuals and articles presently housed in the heritage hall in the office of the divisional railway manager would be moved to the new facility in order to preserve them in a better fashion.