A nostalgic journey down the railroad tracks

Exhibition showcases 180-odd photographs documenting 160 years of Indian Railways.

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A black and white photograph of a steam engine chugging from Bori Bunder to Thane on April 16, 1853, with 400 passengers on board is among the 180-odd rare gems that will be on display for a week beginning from Tuesday at the Government Museum and Venkatappa Art Gallery, Kasturba Road. 

One of the main attractions is a picture of Asia’s first ever passenger train journey—the only historic photograph taken by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.  

The South Western Railway organises this exhibition to commemorate 160 years of the Indian Railways. It has therefore decided to showcase rare and historic photographs portraying the evolution of Indian Railways. 

The photo exhibition, which will be open from 10am to 5pm till July 1, will be showcasing photographs on six themes: locomotives and trains, carriages and wagons, station architecture, railway stations, passenger amenities and railway bridges and tunnels. 

In the passenger amenities section, there are two photographs of two tea stalls with bill boards indicating that they are Hindu and Mohammedan tea stalls.

“Tea stalls were suitably divided for Hindus and Muslims as was drinking water,” states a notice put up at the exhibition. 

In the railway stations section there are photographs of freedom fighters from Mahatma Gandhi to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose being greeted by their supporters at various railway stations across the country. 

Also on display is a photograph of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh in police custody at the Railway Police Station and another of a refugee special train at Ambala, overflowing with people on the roof of the train’s coaches.    Entry to the exhibition is free.

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