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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Delhiwale: The dream station at Rail Museum

The spotless platform at rail museum is a jolly version of its angry, real-life form.

delhi Updated: Aug 31, 2017 14:43 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times
The station at the National Rail Museum is spotless and walking on the platform is extraordinarily pleasant.
The station at the National Rail Museum is spotless and walking on the platform is extraordinarily pleasant. (Mayank Austen Soofi / HT Photo)
         

Most visitors to the National Rail Museum are stunned by steam locomotives, which is perfectly understandable. Who wouldn’t be ready to mentally board the luxury Bombay-Pune Express of yesteryear, hauled by a Lumley steamer?

But we are, actually, in love with Museum Junction.

The toy station is pure fantasy. Here we have a model junction in central Delhi that’s a spitting image of the real thing. Except there is no spit and there are no stains. This station at the National Rail Museum is spotless. Walking on the platform is extraordinarily pleasant.

The station doesn’t bother with mail hauls either, excepting the four-coach Joy Express that’s steaming up even as we write this. You can spot yellow signages all around, and even an altitude reader (206 metres)

With an info panel, waiting cabin and a clunky bell dating from 1891, you also run across a genuinely British-made weighing machine dating from 1886. Nearby, a sari-clad employee is manning the souvenir machine. “Yes, I sit here from morning to evening… that’s my job,” she tells us.

The station is so serious about its pretensions that one green bench is thoughtfully reserved for senior citizens and staff, who perhaps have already browsed the bookshop specializing in bestselling pulp — sadly, this last bit is not true. How we wish they had thought of putting up a typical rail station bookstore on the platform. But, we’re nitpicking. Meantime, the Joy Express sounds the whistle for our one-kilometre journey.

See you later.

Hindustantimes
Hindustantimes
Hindustantimes
Hindustantimes
Hindustantimes

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 14:39 IST

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