On a busy Wednesday afternoon, visitors at the exhibition hall of the Regional Rail Museum at Integral Coach Factory went on a journey through history. The philately exhibition which housed over 10,000 nuggets from history showcased a diversity of themes ranging from a landmark event to a simple handshake for peace.

The exhibition, inaugurated on Wednesday, hopes to draw in youngsters to the museum. “We also timed it for Children’s Day to revive this dying hobby,” said Abhay K. Khanna, General Manager, Integral Coach Factory.

Such an exhaustive exhibition which had contributions from 24 philatelists on themes ranging from world railways, hands, blood donation, scout movement, light houses, ancient sails, ‘Discover America’ and sacred words of birds among several others, is rare to come by observed G. Balakrishna Das, President, South India Philatelists’ Association. Many of the group's members’ collections are on display. “Usually, those who have a rare and exhaustive collection of stamps seldom agree to display them because they are afraid of parting with it,” he observed walking towards Anil Reddy’s collection, modestly titled ‘stamps with a difference’. The collection had what was labelled ‘talking stamps’ from Bhutan – gramophone records the size of a biscuit that usually play the national anthem of the country. His collection, towards with several visitors gravitated, had stamps made of silk from Bhutan, cloth and thread from Haiti, plastic from Austria, gold embroidery from Thailand, and fragrances from India among other ingenuous ones.

This exhibition, and other events planned for Children’s Day is a step forward in bringing about an increase in the footfalls to this lesser- known museum.

“By January, we hope to expand the scope of the museum by adding technical displays and models aimed at science and engineering students who want a deeper understanding of aspects such as engine technology. We are involving the industry as well,” said Mr. Khanna

He said IRCTC is keen on having an air-conditioned coach restaurant.

The exhibition will be on till 16 November between 10.00 a.m. and 5.30 p.m.