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National Rail Museum

National Rail Museum

Delhi, National Rail Museum

Most, if not all, of the numerous guide books covering Delhi, will point out the National Rail Museum as something worth taking note of. And while there are some interesting engines and coaches from the early days of India’s rail system, tourists will be hit with a bit of disappointment upon entry.

Rs 10 gets you through the gate, but you’ll need to fork over another Rs 100 for video cameras. Once inside, a small map printed on the reverse side of the entry ticket is your only guide. Visitors must first walk down a nondescript street after the ticket counter, where at the end, and A/C cooled covered gallery sadly sits tucked in a corner. Inside are displays of old tickets, interactive maps (somewhat) of route lines, historical photos, and facts on the birth and growth of the railway along with a small gift counter. Try to look past the broken or missing pieces from displays as well as outdated figures and head to the model of India’s first train.

The pride of the museum comes from the permanent displays of old rail cars parked alongside each other. Here visitors can walk right up 27 locomotives and 17 carriages. For Rs 50, one can go inside the saloon car of the Maharaja of Baroda. To keep the kids happy, a toy train runs a short circuit nearby but only when demand is high (weekends).

Sadly, everything here looks worn, and with no available pick-up guide to help add a personal touch of excitement, I left expecting something so much more. However, their website is excellent, painting a different image altogether. Pages are chock full of pictures, descriptions on individual displays, mountains of historical info, and even video. For tourists on a limited time to discover Delhi, skip the in-person visit to see other attractions around the city. Instead, browse the website for a better overall experience without paying the fees.

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