Stage set for NMR centenary celebrations

Getting a facelift: The railway station in Udhagamandalam being spruced up on Saturday.

Getting a facelift: The railway station in Udhagamandalam being spruced up on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: – Photo: D. Radhakrishnan

D. Radhakrishnan

The two-month-long celebrations will start on Monday

Udhagamandalam: With the celebrations to mark the centenary of the Nilgiri Mountain Railway’s extension to Udhagamandalam scheduled to commence on Monday, the station here has been abuzz with activity.

The station and its surroundings, including a park, are being given a face lift. Stating that the Southern Railway has drawn up an elaborate plan to make the occasion memorable, Railway Public Relations Officer, Salem Division, Om Prakash Narayan told The Hindu here on Saturday that a heritage run of the NMR with a steam engine between Coonoor and Udhagamandalam on Monday will kick-start the two-month-long celebrations.

It will be flagged off by the Union Minister of State for Railways R. Velu. The Minister will also inaugurate a ‘Centenary Arch’ on the threshold of the Udhagamandalam Station and declare a heritage exhibition open.

It will feature rare photographs of the NMR collected from various sources. The coaches where the photographs will be displayed will be stationed at a suitable place during the two-month-long celebrations to enable visitors go around the display.

Pointing out that a number of events will figure in the celebrations, Station Master, Udhagamandalam, T. Raveendranathan said since early this month, NMR has been in considerable demand.

Long queues in front of ticket counters have become a common sight.

Meanwhile, arrangements are being made for a rally which would be organised under the aegis of the NMR Centenary Celebrations Committee here on October 13.

The Secretary of the Committee K. Gopal said that it would be flagged off at Charing Cross by the Nilgiris Collector Anandrao V. Patil. Mr. Velu will also release a book entitled ‘Heritage Express’ at a function.

It will be received by Tamil Nadu Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran. Cultural and drawing competitions for school students would be conducted on October 15 at the railway station.

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