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Old 26th July 2012, 22:20   #31
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Default Re: National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car

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The fire engine was lying in the separate enclosure, but the dummy dolls of fire men where thrown around, like corpses.
Hi harit,

In November when I visited the fire engine was inside the main display hall, so at least its better protected than when you saw it.

With regard to "I wish that they would take a little bit more care about their stock." - I couldn't disagree with you, however as you will certainly know levels of care suck up money in ever increasing sums depending what the curator / conservation dept. identify as needing done. Certainly the condition of the locomotives at Delhi is going to need a significant sum of money just to stop the decay.

The Delhi collection is probably one of the most varied I've seen in my travels and needs to be protected for not only your Nation's exceptional history, but also for the countries who built them where no examples exist any more. The 1855 Fairy Queen I believe is just such a locomotive, where in my opinion is a world class example of early steam locomotion, however its going to be a money sink, not only to stabilise its current condition, but to raise it to museum quality exhibit standards as seen here in the UK, Europe or the US is going to be extremely expensive.
Additionally, its protection then needs to be continuous because there's no point spending a small fortune only then to roll it back out into the open air to watch it degrade again. The Dodge Railcar falls into this group as well, perhaps even more so with its wooden construction and soft interior furnishings.

Of course words are cheap on my part, I'm not the managment of the museum who I don't doubt have to fight for every Rupee and every one could be spent 10 times over just keeping the collection together. Running a museum is at best a thankless task and at worst rolling a giant boulder up a mountain with your hands tied behind your back!

Argyll.
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Old 30th July 2012, 18:08   #32
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Default Re: National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car

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Originally Posted by travancore View Post
Were these railcars used on the Shimla-Kalka line ?
I have no clue. Maybe Matheran rail also had them, and the Nilgiris? I would make an educated guess that these Railcars were all on narrow gauges, but could be wrong, ofcourse.

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Hi harit, .......With regard to "I wish that they would take a little bit more care about their stock." - I couldn't disagree with you, however as you will certainly know levels of care suck up money in ever increasing sums................Argyll.
I agree that restoration/preservation sucks up money, but then we are talking about Indian Railways, not an individual or some small set-up around the street corner.
The Fire Engine is housed most of the time in that enclosure, not touching it which is a good thing, but the dummies were thrown carelessly on the ground.
Indian Railway Museum has exhibits which were manufactured in Britain, Germany and USA, such a wide variety, and this also happened as each Maharaja who had a rail network could order as he pleased. The German train with one rail for one wheel and a concrete strip for the second wheel is so different, probably unique in the world, and it is working. This is run under some kind of shelter, if I remember correctly. But many of the exhibits are left out in the open, the public has free access, not a good way to preserve rail heritage.
Indian Railways have a loco workshop in Parel in Mumbai, they have now been given the Fairy Queen to salvage the situation after all the brass parts where stolen elsewhere. And this was a working engine. Many years ago railways restored an engine for some VIP public anniversary function, and then that steam engine was never used again. What a waste. The railways need some enthusiastic people to revamp the Museum, and make it so nice that they even earn some revenue. In Germany they have heritage train rides, and the fun is that the guys manning these trains are enthusiasts. I'm sure that you will find this in other countries too. All can be worked out, someone must take the initiative.
Like someone goes and closes that door of the rail car before it falls off. On shuts the bonnet of that other pertol engined vehicle.
And maybe have a souvenir shop with some quality stuff, so far I found nothing worth buying.
Mysore too has a small rail stock collection, quite pathetic.
Hopefully someday someone will act.

Cheers harit
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Old 17th October 2012, 22:07   #33
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Dear Harit, Sorry for being off the radar for so long. I understand your concern and frustration about the state of the exhibits at the National Rail Museum and i could'nt agree more. Moreover this is not a standard press release denial statment that the museum is making. The condition needs to be improved, the exhibit restored and preferably put into working order and the place needs to be brought in tune with the expectations of the patrons and enthusiasts. The Belsize-John Morris fire engine has been taken into the indoor gallery and i think we have added years to its life by this simple action. The museum is currently awaiting inputs which should see improvements in the interactivity of the museum. There are plans to du up the complete indoor gallery interiors, create a seperate model room, have diesel locomotive and steam locomotive driving simulators, introduce light and sound shows and audio guides. New user friendly signages with a period look should be up in the next couple of months.Most of the other activities should be in place within the next 4-6 months. Restoration/repairs to the DHR and Matheran wooden bodied coaches have started and work on the matheran rail car should begin in the next couple of weeks. incidentally the Patiala Steam monrail has been put back in working order and we are expecting to carry out trials by this month end. Restoration work on its coach is also expected to start somewhere by this month end. Next in line is the Wickham Kalka Shimla Rail Car and the rail bus.
I understand your concern but what the museum desperately needs is not money but selfless inputs and 'shramdaan'-people willing to devote time for our heritage.
I invite all those who are interested to work with the museum to come over, look up the exhibits and incase any one catches your fancy please adopt it. i am not aiming for the big corporate houses because its not money that i am targetting but plain simple and honest intent of people who care.

And for the specific grouse voiced by Harit- We have been slowly and steadily chipping in to improve our souvenir shop. Its better, roomier, air conditioned and stocks a wider range which is increasing with every passing day. NRM is also setting up its full fledged souvenir kiosk at New Delhi Station platform number 1 hopefully by this month end. The souvenir shop at Shimla railway station will follow soon.

Atul Singh
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Old 18th October 2012, 00:57   #34
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Atul - may I wish you and the museum every success in your initiatives and improvements, all your locomotives are an extremely worthy cause.

Forgive me if you have already thought about this, however have you perhaps considered getting your local primary schools involved in an 'Adopt a Loco' project? Each school becomes 'custodians' of 'their' loco, where they visit and research where it was manufactured, its working history, etc, etc? Its a very positive method of not only getting youngsters appreciate history, there's often a spin-off advantage where parents become involved as well because of the enthusiasm of their son or daughter for the project.

And I'm sure you'll understand when I say that once parents get involved there's perhaps a source of revenue, small though it may be, to go towards financing little parts of 'their children's loco's restoration'.

Argyll.
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Old 21st October 2012, 00:04   #35
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Thank you @ Argyll,
Involving the schools is a good idea and we're going to try just that.

A new canapy structure is planned for the turntable area and specifically the DHR and Matheran line, and in the next few months atleast the 2 steam locos, 3 coaches and the rail car 899 on the 2' NG line should have better protection. Meanwhile, am trying to get approvals to undertake repairs of the MSM-15 saloon, the RA-51 and the BKS-1445 to start work as soon as the DHR and Matheran coaches are completed. If we can handles these 5-6 vehicles in 2-3 months it will hopefully start a trend which can be emulated later on.

@ Harit- as to your specific complaint of inadequate merchandize in the souvenir shop i would like to thank you in giving such pointed feedback. We have planned to put back the launch schedule of souvenir shoppe at the NDLS station to the mid of November and are zeroing in on a much wider range of products to retail from there and the NRM counter.

Feedback can also be mailed to me at
dir.nrm.india@gmail.com

Cheerio
Atul Singh
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Old 21st October 2012, 07:31   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harit

I have no clue. Maybe Matheran rail also had them, and the Nilgiris? I would make an educated guess that these Railcars were all on narrow gauges, but could be wrong, ofcourse.


Cheers harit
The Nilgiris Toy Train is on Metre Gauge I think.
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Old 22nd October 2012, 16:38   #37
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Default Re: National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car

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Originally Posted by ATUL SINGH View Post
Dear Harit, ........... The Belsize-John Morris fire engine has been taken into the indoor gallery and i think we have added years to its life by this simple action. The museum is currently awaiting inputs which should see improvements in the interactivity of the museum. There are plans to du up the complete indoor gallery interiors, create a seperate model room, have diesel locomotive and steam locomotive driving simulators, introduce light and sound shows and audio guides. ............Next in line is the Wickham Kalka Shimla Rail Car and the rail bus....... I invite all those who are interested to work with the museum to come over, look up the exhibits and incase any one catches your fancy please adopt it.........And for the specific grouse voiced by Harit- We have been slowly and steadily chipping in to improve our souvenir shop. Its better, roomier, air conditioned and stocks a wider range which is increasing with every passing day. NRM is also setting up its full fledged souvenir kiosk at New Delhi Station platform number 1 hopefully by this month end. The souvenir shop at Shimla railway station will follow soon. Atul Singh 09910487546
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATUL SINGH View Post
.........A new canapy structure is planned for the turntable area and specifically the DHR and Matheran line, and in the next few months atleast the 2 steam locos, 3 coaches and the rail car 899 on the 2' NG line should have better protection. Meanwhile, am trying to get approvals to undertake repairs of the MSM-15 saloon, the RA-51 and the BKS-1445 to start work as soon as the DHR and Matheran coaches are completed. If we can handles these 5-6 vehicles in 2-3 months it will hopefully start a trend which can be emulated later on. @ Harit- as to your specific complaint of inadequate merchandize in the souvenir shop i would like to thank you ..... Cheerio Atul Singh
Dear Atul,

Nice to hear from you, sorry for responding a bit late. You are actually spending time on a forum shows that there is a renewed interest from the Museum side. Good way to go.
I am aware about some restoration work being discussed, wonderful way to go forward. Unfortunately you do have procedures to be followed, but when the right person is to restore the rail stock originality can be retained. I also agree that you have contributed to the preservation of the fire engine, what was not nice was the way the dummies where lying around in that enclosure, may have happened after coming back from participation in a vintage car rally.
Good to hear about the souvenir shop, you will get some income there, but more important is that people stay connected when they have your material at home. Some interest may linger.
To restore all your rail stock will be a long process. Maybe you can consider to have a canopy over the engines and wagons lying outside and exposed to the elements, I always fancied that big green steam engine, will that ever run? Its design is different, it is imposing, see what you can do for her.

You can also take some help to build a scale model railway. I believe that there is a private person in your area who already has a huge setup, maybe he can help you. Ofcourse that will be between both of you, but you will get help when you ask for it. They have their experience of putting this up in India, it will help you to avoid some of the pit-falls.

I have seen in Germany that there are steam train associations, they have engines and bogies, they organise train rides, collect ticket money which is used in the maintainance. They run the trains on the German rail system, there will be some arrangement with German rail. If you can start a train enthusiasts association based in your Museum, maybe that can pick up country wide. And then you guys can identify all the stock lying around in India and see to it that it gets saved. Maybe you lease some stock to Museums for public display, but again you have to keep a watch, Nehru Science center has ruined their exhibits.

Good Luck to your venture, next time in Delhi I will try to meet you, and carry my rail photos. Maybe some selected good ones can be copied and sold as postcards in your souvenir shop. I'll be glad to contribute to that.
I would also suggest that you let the public know about improvements in the Museum, even a newly restored carriage should be announced.
And I would try to get a general order given to all railway departments that old machinery, office equipment etc. can be auctioned only after getting your approval. Clocks, pocketwatches have all landed in the markets, some should have been retained for Museum display. Also, rail archives will have interesting items.

Cheers harit
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Old 22nd October 2012, 22:26   #38
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@ Shankar
There are 5 hill railways (also called toy trains) in India-
  1. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR)-2' narrow gauge
  2. Kalka Shimla Railway (KSR)- 2'6" narrow gauge
  3. Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR)- metre gauge
  4. Kangra Valley Railway ( pathankot to jogindernagar)- 2'6" narrow gauge
  5. Matheran Light Railway (MLR)- 2' narrow gauge
The DHR and MLR had interchangeable stock and the DHR locos used to run at Matheran also.
NRM has 2 rail cars and 1 rail bus

I hope this answers your query about the toy train gauges.

@ Harit- I could'nt agree more with you on the souvenir shop issue. pls stay tuned to hear more. Some souvenir details are available on the facebook page of National Rail Museum.
As to the fire engine, i do not get the credit for restoring the fire engine, that honour should be kept aside for Mr. Y.P.Gupta, who during his tenure as joint director/Railway Board had the passion and the vision to undertake the restoration of the Belsize-Morris fire engine (1914). Its the only model still in working condition and has the original feature of solid rubber tyres. The other modified engine is at York, UK.

The green engine that you are talking about must be the Garrat, the heaviest steam locomotive to work in the indian sub continent. For better appreciation the following data may help- a modern 4000hp diesel loco (WDG4) weighs about 130 tonnes. That is still peanuts compared to the 235 tonnes of the Garrat. One working Garrat is lying at the Kharagpur workshops of South Eastern Railway.

We have some projects lined up and you should see a mix of small scale model, garden models and 1:8 working steam models soon, hopefully in the next 6-8 months, at NRM.

Thanks a ton for the lively feedback

Last edited by ATUL SINGH : 22nd October 2012 at 22:27. Reason: spelling error
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Old 22nd October 2012, 22:32   #39
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I'd love to volunteer to do a bit of work on the fire engine having been a fireman for 25 years before what I do now with Glasgow Museums, but its a wee bit far to drop in for the weekend!

If I get a chance I'll post a few images of the locomotives we have (if acceptable to the moderators?), but nothing like the range Atul has. We brought a Type 15F back from South Africa to form a major part of our museum display, this is a clip from the programme TV made about its return to Scotland and I thought you guys might enjoy it -

The company who transported it were exceptional and their rigs were huge!
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Old 22nd October 2012, 22:38   #40
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Any day Argyll!
It'll be absolutely smashing to have a real fireman chipping in to help us out with the fire engine. Actually, the water pumping system needs to be made functional and this where i'm sure you and team-bhp can help us out. Will try to post some photos of the water pumping system tomorrow.

@ Harit- the face book page link is http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...0610363&type=3


Atul
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Old 19th November 2012, 15:44   #41
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I visited the National Rail Museum yesterday with my family yesterday after reading this thread. I wanted to meet Mr. Atul Singh but the souvenir shop guy told me that he has got transferred. My father was with me who is a retired Marine Engineer and I wanted him to meet Mr. Singh to see if my father could help with anything.

The visit was a great experience. It is applaudible the way these peices of history are being preserved. However, the engines left out in the open are falling prey to the elements. Hope the museum can make more sheds.

The souvenir shop is great and I bought a lot of things from there. The shop manger gave entire credit for the "new" shop to Mr. Singh.

Cheers
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Old 2nd July 2013, 20:20   #42
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Hi,

I visited an exhibition yesterday showcasing select photographs from the archives of Indian railways that was held to celebrate 160 years of the Indian Railways. Here was a picture of the Matheran rail section.

National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car-20130701-14.14.33.jpg

The caption next to it read "A rail car on Matheran section. Built in 1932, it was put in service on the Neral - Matheran line on the Matheran light railway. It had a wooden body with an unusual wheel alignment".

Regards,

Srinand.
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Old 6th March 2014, 12:32   #43
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Default Re: National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car

Hi,

We visited the National Rail museum last month. The matheran rail car seems much bare than before.

Regards,

Srinand.

National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car-rail1.jpg

National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car-rail2.jpg
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Old 29th March 2015, 10:15   #44
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@Goslow- have moved over and now am currently on deputation with the Ministry of Commerce & industry at Delhi. Thanks for the appreciation regarding the souvenir shop at NRM. I agree, the museum has a beautiful collection... every piece is a collector's item.
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Old 23rd August 2017, 17:03   #45
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Default Re: National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car

Rail car belonging to Jam Saheb
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National Rail Museum - Matheran Rail Car-rail-car-jamsahib.jpg  

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