Free Wi-Fi at the National Railway Museum in New Delhi

National Rail Museum in New Delhi to get free Wi-Fi and Light & Sound show.  Rail Museum to also become an evening spot

NRM WiFiNew Delhi: The National Rail Museum in capital is going to get a major transformation.

The historical place will soon start hosting a light and sound show and install musical fountains to attract more footfalls and turn into an evening tourist destination.

Besides, a solar powered multi-functional museum complex will come up and a restaurant named ‘The Rails’ would be set up. The complex will also have free Wi-Fi service.

NRM currently has about 2000 footfalls on weekdays and 5000 on weekends and holidays during daytime.

It has been recently upgraded with installation of many historical outdoor exhibits, indoor gallery, coach/engine simulator, toy train ride, fountain and souvenir shops.

The officials at NRM said that operationalising the restaurant will add immense value to NRM. The efforts are on to provide free Wi-Fi service at the NRM and RailTel has been approached for it. RailTel, a PSU under the Indian Railway, along with Google is involved in providing Wi-Fi service at 100 stations across the country.

Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) have been given the responsibility of preparing the preliminary design of the multi-functional complex at NRM. The complex will be green and environment friendly with provision of solar energy.

National Rail Museum (NRM) is all set to get a tourism boost. Inspired by Purana Qila, Red Fort and Qutub Minar, it could now be re- opened after 5 pm, the existing closing time, with new entertainment features.

A railway- themed restaurant, indoor heritage gallery, musical fountain and lightand- sound show are all set to enthrall visitors.

The Executive Director (Heritage), Indian Railways, Subrato Nath, has already written to IRCTC (Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) and DTTDC (Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation) to manage the same.

Of the nearly 30 museums in Delhi — including Crafts Museums, Gandhi Memorial, Sangeet Natak Academy Gallery, etc — the ‘ National Rail Museum’ is one of the most well maintained and loved by children. Spread across lush green 11 acres of prime land in Chanakyapuri, it comprises an elegantly- designed octagonal building. It houses six display galleries and a large open display area laid out to simulate the atmosphere of a railway yard.

The museum receives a daily footfall of 2000 during weekdays and 5000 during weekends and holidays.

Railway officials said the idea originated from Delhi’s existing two best attractions, Purana Qila and Red Fort. These re- open post sunset, the official shutting time for Archaeological Survey of India ( ASI) monuments, with sound- and- light shows. In Qutub Minar, on the other hand, one can view the Iron Pillar and Quwwatul Islam Masjid, while the 13th century monument itself is lit up in bright colours, after dusk. With this new step, the two destinations have been receiving extra visitors and additional The film Ki & Ka was shot extensively at ‘The Rails’. Director (heritage), Railway Board, told, “we are aiming at repositioning the National Rail Museum as an evening tourist destination. The Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, had also announced in his budget speech, 2016, that promotion of tourism through railway museums and UNESCO World Heritage Railway Sites will be our special focus. NRM is one of our best assets and we wish to utilise it fully.” As a part of upgrading facilities, a new restaurant, ‘The Rails,’ has been developed at the National Rail Museum. It has a replica of the Central Dome of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai, which is a UNESCO World Heritage building. Its walls depict the history of Indian Railways and it possesses a unique ‘ serving train’ that ferries dishes. The Bollywood film Ki & Ka was shot here extensively. However, the restaurant is yet to be made operational.

“This restaurant has a revenue potential of about Rs.1.5 to 2 lakhs per day,” said Nath. Besides, some new features like a refurbished souvenir shop have also been added.

“The Toy Train station and Rolling Stocks Exhibits on the foreground, indoor gallery, shop — all these elements can be fruitfully synergised and presented as a package to make NRM an evening tourist destination,” said Nath.

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