Railways played an integral role in shaping the nation right from pre-Independence. Railway Museums set up at many important places in India aim to collect, preserve, and display objects of heritage value and presenting items of technical significance for appreciation of visitors. Railway Museum at Hubballi is first of its kind in North Karnataka and second in South Western Railway after historic Mysuru Rail Museum at Mysuru. It is centrally located next to second entry of Hubballi Railway Station on Gadag Road opposite to Central Railway Hospital. This museum is commissioned on 31 st July, 2020 and will be open to visitors from 5th Aug. Wednesday.
This museum is set to enthrall the visitors with its beautiful surroundings. The citizens in Hubbali – Dharwad and also visitors from all over the country and abroad can have a treat of Railway Heritage items of yester years at Railway Museum at Hubballi.
The museum aims at preserving and portraying the glorious heritage of various branches of
Railways and the displaying the gradual evolution of advanced systems in all spheres of Railway working. At Hubballi Museum the artefacts are broadly arranged in three sections i.e., at the two cottages named Malaprabha and Ghataprabha and the outdoor section.
The Highlights of the Museum
• Galaxy of Rolling Stock
• Malaprabha and Ghataprabha cottages
• Theatre Coach
• Suruchi Cafeteria
• Toy Train
• Memorabilia Shop
• Ticket Printing Machine
• Model train run
• Children’s Activity Room
A grand arch at the entrance welcomes one to the bygone era. Embellished with emblems of forerunners of South Western Railway, that served this region which is Southern Mahratta Railway, Mysore and Southern Mahratta Railway etc., the welcome arch beckons visitors to explore the world of Railways.
Outdoor landscape: Two narrow gauge locomotives (train Engines) are the prime attraction in the Museum. All the exhibits that run on track and are related to track such as Rolling Stock (engines), Coach, wagon, tanker, Permanent way material like Rails, sleepers, Level crossing gate, signals etc are provided in the galleries setup amidst soothing greenery of the Museum.
A narrow gauge coach which depicts “Unity in diversity with life size statues of passengers from various parts of the country is an added attraction for the visitors.
Two beautiful cottages constructed in 1907, are converted to two parts of museum named as Malaprabha and Ghataprabha after the two rivers of the region.
Ghataprabha cottage: The cottages define quintessential old age charm, house collection of indoor artefacts. Ghataprabha cottage features a model room with running train, signal instruments etc. History of Locomotives, wagons, coaches is presented along with antique Books and Plants. Glimpses of working of Railway in Medical and security fronts can be seen. A colourful children activity room with fun facts is also part of Ghatprabha. A memorabilia counter where souvenirs can be bought and a history corner where history of Railway companies is covered in the cottage.
Malaprabha Cottage: A series of beautiful charcoal sketches constitute art gallery at the entrance of Malaprabha. Booking office with ticket counter, printed tickets, iron cash chests reflect reminiscences of the ticketing of a few decades back. A station master room is simulated with Panel, all the apparatus, registers, furniture and even life size statues of station master and Points man. The adjacent room is designed on theme of waiting room with antique furniture. A parcel office setup is also recreated with 150 year old parcel weighing machine.
The evolution and progress on of Permanent way, rails, sleepers, track fitting, telecommunication, electrical items along with time in tune with technology, is illustrated in the museum.
Platform with Theatres & Restaurant Coaches: A majestic platform with ornate pillars provides access to restaurant car & Theatre Car. Short Movies and videos that are both entertaining and educative are planned to be played at fixed show hours in the coach Theatre.
Ride in a Toy Train: Colourful carriages steered by steam engine are sure to amuse children and elders alike. A toy train is manufactured by Hubballi workshop. Boarding and taking a short trip in this toy train that is equipped with sound and steam effects will transport visitors to vintage era and awaken child in us.
Suruchi Cafeteria: To satiate the taste buds of visitors, Suruchi Cafeteria provided in the museum offers a menu of regional delicacies in aesthetically designed exteriors with antique pillar.
The Railway Museum at Hubballi was the brain child of Shri Ajay Kumar Singh, General Manager, and SWR. Shri P K Mishra, Additional General Manager, a keen researcher of Heritage on Indian Railways has headed team for setting up this museum.
Shri Ravi Kumar, PCME and Chief Heritage Officer on South Western Railway has been instrumental in the museum work. Shri Arvind Malkhede, DRM/UBL has ensured that all infrastructure works and beautiful lighting which is the hallmark of the museum could be completed despite the lockdown and restrictions due to Covid. Kum Roopa Srinivasan, PFA and Heritage consultant has been instrumental in giving valuable inputs and also setting up of the Museum. Shri Neeraj Jain has Heritage materials are restored for display for the public.
The unique feature of this museum is every thing is being done with available resources by mobilizing materials and man power. Shri A.K. Singh said that this museum will be a land mark in Hubballi and it could be commissioned with team work of all branches in Railways.
In view of the precautions to be taken in wake of COVID pandemic, entry for visitors to the museum is restricted to only 30 members at a time. Visitors will be requested to sanitize their hands frequently using Sanitizer dispensers provided, compulsorily wear face mask and maintain social distancing when visiting the Museum. Theatre coach will remain closed until complete relaxation lock down and return of normalcy.
The Museum will be opened to the Public from 5th August 2020 and entry will be free for the first 5 days i.e. up to 9th August with timings from 4 pm to 7 pm.
The regular working Hours for the Museum from 11th Aug 2020 are as below:
Normal Days (Tuesday to Friday) 12 noon to 7 pm
Weekends & Public Holidays 12 noon to 8 pm
Every Monday is a Holiday
Entry Ticket Charges
Adult (above 12 Years) INR 20/-
Child (5-12 Years) INR 10/- Less than 5 Years Free
Show timings (every one hour starting from 12.00 pm 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm)
In Group of 10 members each ticket INR 10/- Show Time 15 mts
Toy Train Ticket (one trip)
Each Ticket INR 10/-
- Three rounds of to and fro constitutes one trip.