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Steam locomotive becomes center of attraction at Heritage transport museum

New Delhi [India]: Over the centuries, people of India have used multiple of modes of transportation varying from Palanquin, Hand-pulled rickshaw, steam engine to modern cars and aircrafts. The history is both mammoth and interesting.

But imagine if you get to see the entire transportation system used over centuries put-up in a single place.

Won’t our breath and excitement touch the sky? Yes, something similar has been made possible in Haryana in the name of Heritage Transport Museum.

Vintage and classic cars, history and evolution of Indian aviation industry, historically inspired railway platform and much more has been put-up at this Heritage Transport Museum at Bilaspur – Taoru Road in Haryana.

Opened with an initial grant from the Ministry of Culture, government of India, the museum attracts visitors across age groups.

The museum is an endeavor to showcase the multiple narratives of transport movement in India.

Amrit, a visitor from Gurugram said “Everything is unique in this place. The museum is a really well thought of museum and everything is restored and put together so skillfully. The entire museum is mind blowing.”

The toys section in the museum particularly became the centre of attraction for the children.

The section includes an inventory of fun, collectible, nostalgic, original toys made in wood.

The section also displays a collection of vintage pedal cars and pedi-cycles.

Moving on to the two-Wheelers section, the gallery showcases the evolution of early two wheelers in India including bicycles, scooters, motorcycles, and mopeds.

The Pre-mechanised Transportation modes were also displayed beginning with the story of the wheel; on display were palanquins, bullock carts, horse carriages, and camel carts.

Alongside these are displayed decorative objects, such as carriage lamps, carbide lamps, and palanquin finials etc.

The Railways section explores the grandeur of travel by rail through a historically inspired railway platform.

The Aviation section displays early models of aircrafts used in India, supported by original posters, timetables, tickets and advertisements.

Suspended in mid-air in the gallery is a restored 1940s Piper J3C Cub aircraft, in its signature chrome yellow.

The automobile gallery showcases the evolution of the Indian car industry, as well as cars that have been used since the advent of motoring.

A vintage petrol pump with spare parts memorabilia has also been recreated, while a special section showcases the role of cars in Bollywood. Films on transportation are screened in a mini auditorium on this floor.

A Contessa Classic encrusted with 18,902 One Rupee Coins became the centre of attraction for many.

But what attracted the visitors most is the steam locomotive. The museum recently completed the restoration of its 1953 Jung Steam locomotive.

It’s a first time that a private museum has a fully functional steam locomotive. It literally spews energy in a wondrous display of power and might.

M.S. Rangaswamy, Chief Engineer, Jung Steam Locomotive Restoration Work says “It was built in Germany. The museum authorities purchased the engine from the Indian Railways and subsequently they got in touch with me and since then I have been involved in the restoration process.”

Visitors were enthusiastic to experience a 1950’s Steam Engine huffing and puffing and rediscovering the magic of the bygone era of steam railways.

Ishita, Visitor from Gurugram adds “I visit here quite often. I really liked the place. It’s really nice to visit here on weekends. I love the collection of cars. My favorite cars are the vintage and the classic American cars. Today, we have specially come to experience this steam locomotive engine being fired up. I was excited as I have only seen this in movies. It’s my first life experience to watch it in real.”

Thakral, visitor from Gurugram further adds “Today, I have specially come for the locomotive engine. When I was three years old, when my parents took me to the railway station and I was frightened by the whistle of the engine. And now I am 80 years old and I have experienced the same today.”

Since its inception, the museum has attracted visitors from far and wide. It has won several and international and national tourism awards as well.

Tarun Thakral, Founder and Managing Trustee, Heritage Transport Museum says “This is India’s first comprehensive transport museum. We had opened it in 2013 in a 3 acre plot. In the museum, all modes of public and private transport mediums are displayed as of how people of India have travelled over the centuries. When we were building this, I definitely had in mind that we should have steam locomotive engine in our museum. That was the movement of mass transportation in the world. I request the Indian Railways and finally they agreed and I purchased the engine from the government.”

The museum provides a glimpse into the history of travel in India. It has become an epitome of how international and national tourists can be engaged creatively to become a part of our history. (ANI)