Regional Rail Museum, Howrah - Story of the railways in Eastern India

The Regional Railway Museum tells the history of the rich and diverse heritage of the Indian Railways which has contributed towards the integration and development of the nation.

By Rail Enthusiasts' Society

Howrah Station - a view from Hooghly riverHeritage Directorate, Indian Railways

The Regional Rail Museum, at Howrah, was set up on the banks of the river Hooghly, on 7th April, 2006. Its foundation stone was laid on 1st September, 2005, and the museum infrastructure was developed and commissioned within a record time of seven months only. The museum highlights the long and vibrant history along with the rich heritage of the Railways in the eastern part of the country, particularly of the Eastern Railway zone (erstwhile East Indian Railway), as well as the iconic Howrah Railway Station.

Rail Museum's 'Hall of Heritage' by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

Set up in 1854, the Eastern Railway has a rich history. This museum makes an attempt to preserve and showcase this affluent heritage.

The Howrah Railway Museum comprises of an indoor area as well as outdoor exhibits.

Inside the 'Hall of Heritage', at the Rail Museum by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

On display are pictorial histories of the East Indian Railway and current zonal Railways, as well as historical workshops like Chittaranjan Locomotive Works, Jamalpur Workshop, Kanchrapara Workshop and Metro Railway of Kolkata.

Inside the 'Hall of Fame' at Rail Museum by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

Century-old drawings, forms, documents and philately collections,150-years-old steam locomotives, carriages, saloon cars and coaches are major crowd pullers.

Rail Museum's 'Hall of Fame' by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

"Hall of Fame" and "Hall of Heritage" house a number of locomotives – steam, diesel and electric, coaches, photographs, models, signalling equipment, even old monogrammed ceramic pottery of the East Indian Railway.

The toy train at the Rail Museum by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

With a toy train chugging around the grounds of the museum, children with their parents can enjoy a memorable ride.

Toy train for the kids, at the Rail Museum by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

Doorsanchar' kiosk (signaling and telecommunication) by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

A special feature of the museum is a number of “Heritage Kiosks”. These are small structures displaying various aspects of the Indian Railways.

For instance, the “Vidyut” kiosk displays the heritage of electrical engineering on the Indian Railways. Similarly, the “Door Sanchar” showcases the signalling and telecommunications, the “Virasat” has uniformed mannequins with various Railway staff and workers, while the “Smritiyan” has an impressive collection of philatelic items.

Kirti Stambh', with the iconic Howrah Bridge in the background by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

An imposing column, named the “Kirti Stambh”, displays the history of the various zonal Railways of the Eastern part of the country as well as the Chittaranjan Locomotive Works.

HPS 32 (Pakistan Railway Steam Locomotive) by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

There is a large outdoor display of heritage locomotives, coaches, wagons and items like a steam roller.

Steam crane by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

Night view of the Rail Museum Complex by JL SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society

Located near Howrah station, the museum is a "must see" for any person who has even a passing interest in rail history and heritage.

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