Steam engines with its rhythmic beats, belching smoke and rolling wheels will be the highlights at the Mysore Rail Museum that is set for expansion at a cost of about Rs. 4.62 crore.
Rajkumar Lal, Divisional Railway Manager, told The Hindu that the work on embellishment of the museum had begun.
The Railways hope to make the museum a landmark for tourists visiting Mysore. The icing on the cake will be a sound and light programme on steam engines. “The work on the renovation of the meter gauge brake van and the rail bus has begun. I have written to divisional railway managers across the Indian Railways to identify railway artefacts that can be displayed at the museum,” Mr. Lal said. Efforts were on to procure steam locomotives to expand the existing collection here, he added.
The area of the railway museum will be increased to accommodate new exhibits, for which land in the adjoining area is being developed. Existing exhibits including the Maharani’s Saloon would be spruced up without marring the heritage value, Mr. Lal said. Established in 1978, the museum was the second in the country after the National Rail Museum in New Delhi. It has a small but diverse collection of railway artefacts including meter gauge steam locomotives.
These vintage beauties chugged across the length and breadth of the country until they were supplanted by diesel engines. A few were preserved, while the rest went under the auctioneer’s hammer to be sold as scrap.