Coming soon: Train museums that will take you into the future | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Coming soon: Train museums that will take you into the future

Starting July, rail museums at New Delhi and Chennai will not only provide you with a peek into the evolution of the Indian Railways but also showcase its glittering future.

india Updated: Jun 15, 2017 14:22 IST
Srinand Jha
Railways minister Suresh Prabhu attends an event at the National Rail Museum in New Delhi.
Railways minister Suresh Prabhu attends an event at the National Rail Museum in New Delhi. (PTI File)

Museums that display the past are becoming passé.

Starting July, rail museums at New Delhi and Chennai will not only provide a peek into the evolution of the Indian Railways but also showcase its glittering future through animated stories, short videos, interactive story boards and artists’ impressions.

Visitors to rail museums will be allowed a glimpse of future train travel under the Nationwide Stakeholders Communication Programme, considered a pet project of railways minister Suresh Prabhu. These would include trains that use magnets to levitate (Maglev), locomotives that shoot through tubes like peas in a pod, and 3D images of futuristic stations.

Officials said the programme will be made available at other rail museums located in Mysore, Pune, Tiruchirapalli, Ghum, Howrah and Old Kanpur over the next three months. It would also find a place at A1 category stations, railway offices and social media websites such as YouTube.

The initiative of the Indian Railways – which transports approximately 23 million passengers each day – aims at reaching out to its huge target audience comprising investors, stakeholders, policymakers, passengers and other citizens.

However, not everybody is happy with the NDA government’s plan. “Predicting the future is fine, but this should not be done at museums,” said JL Singh, secretary of the Rail Enthusiasts Society.

Former railway board member and rail enthusiast Vinoo Mathur agreed. “Museums are meant to safeguard traditional history,” he said.

Nevertheless, all the 17 railway zones across the country have been instructed to prepare for the nationwide launch of the programme through the installation of kiosks, screens and hardware at rail museums. They have also been asked to collaborate with private television channels to ensure that the central initiative reaches its intended target audience.

While public sector undertaking Railtel has been tasked to set up technology networks, the public relations team at the railway board has been instructed to create and standardise a ‘One-India-One-Content’ programme that envisions Prabhu’s “Vision-2030/2050” statement.