This month, a special train will begin a cross-country journey to inform and take visitors down memory lane through rare photographs and memorabilia of the Commonwealth Games.
The train will be flagged off by Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on June 24 and will return on October 2, a day before the Commonwealth Games start. It will stop for two-three days at select stations.
Five coaches of the train will feature exhibitions on the Commonwealth Games, while five will focus on information and technology in railway operations. An eleventh bogey will be converted into a 100-ft-long travelling sports photo exhibition, curated by sports filmmaker Sunil Yash Kalra, who has also donated rare pictures from his collection of over 5,000 photos.
A senior official of the railway ministry said: “In the Commonwealth exhibition section, we have focused on India’s participation in the Games. We have tried to explain the history of the Games. There will be trophies and medals won by sportspersons associated with Indian Railways. People will get a glimpse of the exhibitions during the stoppage at particular stations.”
The nostalgia exhibition curated by Kalra will showcase many photographs for the first time. It has pictures of sportspersons from 1928 to 2010, said one of the organisers.
“Apart from 70 rare pictures, of which the oldest is of the Indian hockey team that won the hockey gold medal in 1928, the exhibition will have pictures of about 100 national sports award winners from the railways in the last 75 years,” he said.
The train will be painted with the logos of the 19th edition of the Commonwealth Games and the Indian Railways.
The train is the culmination of a promise made by the railway minister when she had presented the rail budget on February 28.
“Indian Railways will be the lead partner of the Commonwealth Games being hosted by India this year. To mark this event and also to spread the message, the railways proposes to start a Commonwealth exhibition train,” Banerjee had said.