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Mysore Rail Museum celebrates silver jubilee

By Our Staff Correspondent



S.P.S. Jain (second from left) member, Railway Board, receiving the special envelope from K.B.H. Nayar, Chief Postmaster-General, Karnataka Circle, released to mark the silver jubilee of Mysore Rail Museum on Wednesday. The Divisional Railway Manag er, Usha Mathur, the General Manager of South Western Railway, R.N. Agha, and P.M. Joseph, former Divisional Railway Manager, are seen.

MYSORE, JUNE 2. The silver jubilee of the Mysore Rail Museum here was marked by the release of a special envelope by the Postal Department, the inauguration of the Railpex 2004 exhibition and a heritage ride in a steam locomotive to K.R. Nagar today.

R.N. Aga, General Manager, South Western Railway, said in his presidential address that the Indian Railways had grown to become Asia's largest and the world's second largest railway system under a single management.

With over 63,000 route km and more than 14,400 trains carrying 14 million passengers and 1.4 million tonnes of freight every day, the Indian Railways had become the lifeline of the nation, he said.

Talking about the history of the Railways in the region, Mr. Aga pointed out that the first railway line of the old Mysore State was the broad-gauge line between Madras and Bangalore constructed in 1864 by the Madras Railway Company.

The Mysore-Bangalore metre-gauge line was opened for traffic in 1882. By 1921 the Bangalore-Hubli, Birur-Shimoga-Talaguppa, Mysore-Arsikere, Chikjajur-Chitradurga, and Mysore-Nanjangud-Chamarajanagar lines were commissioned.

Commenting on the Mysore Rail Museum, Mr. Aga said it was the second to be established in the country after the National Rail Museum in New Delhi.

He said the Mysore Rail Museum had earned a special place in the hearts of the tourists.

The Maharani's Saloon, built in 1887, which houses the richly carved rosewood pillars from the Srirangapatna railway station, is the prized possession of the museum.

The quaint Austin Rail Motor vehicle and the imposing hand crane, which is in working condition even after 100 years, were great favourites with tourists.

He said there were plans to add more exhibits to the museum, including the engine turntable at Sakleshpur, which served the Hassan-Mangalore metre-gauge line.

Its installation is proposed as a working model complete with a steam engine. Even the souvenir shop would be gradually expanded, Mr. Aga added.

S.P.S. Jain, Member Engineering, Railway Board, flagged off a toy train to inaugurate the silver jubilee celebrations.

K.B.H. Nayar, Chief Postmaster-General, Karnataka Circle; Usha Mathur, Divisional Railway Manager (DRM); and P.M. Joseph, former DRM, Mysore, were among those present.

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