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Chennai Railway Museum is a railway museum in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, which has a rich rail heritage of India. The museum was opened on the 16 April 2002 on the premises of the Furnishing Division of Integral Coach Factory near Villivakkam.
Chennai Railway Museum also exhibits various vintage coaches such as Ooty trains endemic to the Indian railways. Most of the older models were manufactured by the North British Locomotive Company and some of the collection dates back more than one hundred years as it covers the railway history of South India. A toy train offers rides around the premises on regular days.
Chennai Railway Museum covers an area of 6.5 acres and has two galleries, a host of outdoor heritage exhibits dating from the 1800s, a toy train that takes visitors around the premises, and a playground.
Chennai Railway Museum’s collection includes both indoor and outdoor exhibits. The indoor galleries include various photographs detailing the early years of Integral Coach Factory and the Indian Railways. Chennai Railway Museum also houses a working scale model of trains and rare artifacts from the colonial days.
This will be where new exhibits, planned for the museum’s second decade, will be located. There is also an opportunity to view a video about Neal’s ball token system, which was used for signaling between trains and a coach in which Gandhi traveled. In the museum’s outdoor spaces, there are more than 40 different models of trains.
The exhibits are interspersed with posters of high-speed trains from around the world, the history of the Indian Railways and models of coaches made for other countries, namely, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Vietnam and Zambia. The exhibits also include a coach from the Mumbai suburban train network, old railways map of India, century-old clocks, and engine block of diesel locomotives.
As outdoor exhibits, life size models of Nilgiri Mountain Railway coach, GM Inspection car, MG EMU, Hospital van, a hand operated crane, an overhead equipment car, Meter gauge EMU, different types of engine (Steam, Diesel and flower stream plough engine) etc. are available.
The indoor galleries showcase an assortment of photographs that will take you through the formative years of the Indian Railways. The miniature models of trains remain the popular most attraction among children.
The outdoor gallery has many models of trains ranging from steam engines to diesel engines. Some of the models include the Fowler ploughing engine, double Decker coaches made to ferry the British officers, and the train on which Gandhiji travelled. All the outdoor models are accessible to visitors.