Rare pictures of the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru inside a rail engine or the first president Rajendra Prasad walking outside a station in south India provide a glimpse into the 160 years of Indian Railways.
Unlocking a treasure trove of archives, the Railways has put on display over 200 rare black-and-white and sepia-toned images in an exquisite collection titled '160 Years of Indian Railways: An exhibition of selected photographs from the Indian Railways' that opened for general public recently at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts.
"Railways have been so intrinsic to people's lives in India. And, through this exhibition we wanted to bring its inception and history closer to people's mind which may be getting lost in the annals of time," says Director, Information and Publicity, Indian Railways, Seema Sharma.
However, in a departure from a regular commemorative tribute, the exhibition is curated "thematically rather than sequentially" and celebrates the history and heritage, architectural and otherwise, while evoking a liberal feel of nostalgia.
So, pictures of a late 19th century image of Gothic Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) in then Bombay, one of Frontier Mail with its front decked up with British flags, royal guests being received at a makeshift station built in Delhi during the 1911 Durbar, as well as a rare photo of Ranchi, Bilaspur and Colaba stations built in Victorian style.