The ‘Heritage Rail Museum’ is a landmark attraction in the world-famous Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) that houses several old articles belonging to the 119-year-old NMR. The museum, which has been open to public view at the railway station, gives incisive information about the history of the mountain railway.
The inauguration of the ‘Heritage Rail Museum’, coincidentally, fell on the 230th birth centenary of John Sullivan, the founder of present-day Ooty (Nilgiris).
The museum, obviously, offers a great opportunity to see heritage railway objects they include ticket dating press machine, token pouch, gate signal lamp, hand signal lamp, lamp post, water container drum, iron water flask, water filter, typewriter, petromax light, well’s paraffin gas lamp, leather cash bag, point indicator lamp, lamp burner, ticket tube, wall clock, pinion wheel, station master’s room lamp, among other things.
The x-generation gets an opportunity to learn the evolution of NMR that commenced operation in 1899, and transformed itself, with time, to a ‘World Heritage Site’ in 2005.
The ticket dating pressing machine can wow the present day generation as the machine, to this day, stands testimony to the effectiveness of railway technocrats’ well-executed process of ticketing in the bygone era. The pinion wheel offers live-demo on how the NMR laboured along the distinct rack and pinion track in NMR Also, old photographs on NMR leaves one stumped and intrigued.
The ‘Heritage Rail Museum’ was inaugurated by Jayaraj, a senior staff at NMR. The chief guest at the inaugural event, Sateesh Saravanan, station director at Coimbatore, said that the museum would attract many a tourist interested to know a thing or two about NM R and the historical significance of the heritage train journey starting from the ‘charming’ Ooty station. Sateesh hinted that many of the exhibits in the museum are far from use and a couple of items including token pouch are still functional. He added that the museum will witness possible expansion in future to develop into a special heritage tourism destination tagged within the ‘heritage NMR’ to give a fillip to heritage tourism.