Heritage Preservation in Indian Railways Explained (Download PDF)


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Ministry of Railways has initiated several measures to promote heritage preservation in the Railways. Most important heritage include: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (1999), Nilgiri Mountain Railway (2005), Kalka Shimla Railway (2008) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai (2004).

Map Of Heritage Preservation in Indian Railways

Map Of Heritage Preservation in Indian Railways

Map Of Heritage Preservation in Indian Railways

Most Important Measures

  • Revival of Steam Locomotives,

  • Up-keeping Hill Railways,

  • Special delegation of powers to Divisions for promoting Hill and Steam tourism,

  • Strengthening Railway museums,

  • Conservation of built heritage,

  • Digitization of Railway Heritage

  • Bringing it online for universal access etc.

  • Drives are launched, from time to time, by Zonal Railways/Production Units for identification and preservation of Railway heritage assets like buildings, bridges, rolling stocks, documents, photographs, artefacts, equipment, clocks, benches etc. The last such drive was launched in 2018 on a Pan-Indian Railways basis.

  • Ministry of Railways has made a specific provision in the budget outlay for 2018 - 19 for revival of steam locomotives including restoration and procurement of spares.

  • During current financial year, a weekly regular time tabled train on steam traction is being operated between Garhi Harsaru and Farukhnagar.

Details About Heritage Preservation in Indian Railways

  • Indian Railways (IR), with more than 160 years of rich history; presents a wide spectrum of both tangible and intangible heritage.

  • IR occupies a special place within the national heritage spectrum of India. Over the years, IR has been endeavoring sustained and focused approach for safeguarding its industrial as well as living heritage and to transmit it intact to future generations.

  • Indian Railways is the proud owner of four UNESCO accorded World Heritage Sites namely

    • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (1999),

    • Nilgiri Mountain Railway (2005),

    • Kalka Shimla Railway (2008) and

    • Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai (2004).

  • There are two more in waiting or in the tentative list namely Matheran Light Railway and Kangra Valley Railway.

  • Today, Indian Railways maintain 34 Museums, Heritage Parks and Heritage galleries, spread all over India, for creating unique and rich experience to visitors about Railway heritage in India.

  • The National Rail Museum in New Delhi and Regional Rail Museums at Chennai, Mysore, Howrah and Nagpur, are iconic tourist destinations in their region.

  • Indian Railways have also preserved about 230 Steam Locomotives, 110 vintage coaches and wagons at prominent places including museums, heritage park etc. , for public display.

  • Many of these rolling stocks are more than 100 years old and they bring back memories of old glory to the mind of the visitors.

  • The Rewari Steam Shed has been rechristened as Rewari Heritage Steam Centre in 2002 for recreating the memories of working Steam Shed, a feat un-parallel in the World.

  • Rewari Steam Centre now maintains six Broad Gauge and four Meter Gauge working steam locomotives, that include the iconic “Fairy Queen” (1855), placed in the Guinness Book of Record as being the oldest working locomotive in the World and “Akbar”, that featured in many Bollywood movies like Sultan, Gadar etc.

  • Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) and Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) also operate regular steam services thus attracting steam lovers from India and abroad.

  • Indian Railways have a large repository of built heritage like buildings, bridges, via ducts etc.

  • As of now, about 25 bridges and 70 buildings are designated as Heritage Assets by Indian Railways.

  • Notable among them are Jubilee Bridge near Kolkata, Yamuna bridge near Naini, Sonenagar Bridge, Pamban via duct, Bandra suburban station, Pratap Vilas Palace, Vadodara, Glenogle Bunglow, Mumbai, SER (erstwhile BNR) Headquarter, Kolkata etc.

  • Indian Railways have been making special efforts to conserve these built heritages

  • A slew of measures have been initiated recently to institutionalize rail heritage preservation.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 15, 2019

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