The Rail Museum in Mysore is a fantastic get away for 2-3 hours for anyone who loves Trains. With an impressive collection of vintage Trains from the British Era, this museum takes you back in time and provides a charming and romantic experience of Indian Railways. The 2 standout exhibits are the 1925 built Austin Rail Car and 1899 vintage Maharani Saloon with royal dining area, kitchen and washroom. I also liked the steam engine which used wood instead of coal and plied between Bangalore and Tumkur. The other noteworthy collection consists of vintage equipment like morse code system, telephones, signals and station clocks! Next time you are in Mysore, spare a couple of hours for the Rail Museum. It is worth it.
The museum is located in Yadavgiri, very close to the Mysore Railway Station. The contact number is 0821 2866955
The museum is open from 10 am to 530 pm on all days except mondays.
The entrance fee for adults and kids is Rs 10 and Rs 5 respectively.
Merryweather & Sons were makers of Steam Fire & Tram engines. Founded in 1791 in Great Britain, they made some of the finest steam boiler engines for Railways around the world. Here is a fine specimen of the Merryweather Engine.
The Maharani Saloon was built in 1899 by Hurst and Nelson at a cost of Rs 29508, a princely sum in those days. The saloon has bedroom with chandeliers, kitchen, dining room, wash room and a servant room. This unique carriage can be fitted to both meter and broad gauge.
Austin Rail car was a 1925 model from Austin to be run on the road like any other automobile. It was sold to a scrap yard where a Railway employee spotted it. He made several modifications like removing the steering and wheels and fitting rails. The Rail car was born! The Austin Rail Car was used by Railway Inspectors when they went on inspection over the tracks.
A Rail Bus used to ply between Shimoga and Talaguppa. Mysore Railways launched this meter gauge Rail Bus to prove access to the famous Jog Falls in the year 1930. Logs from the firsts of Malnad region also used to transported on this line to build wooden sleepers for the Railways. Some VIPs who have traveled on this Rail Bus include Sir M Vishveshwariah and former prime ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri & Morarji Desai.
The Rail Museum at Mysore provides a wonderful opportunity to board a Steam Engine. The ancient dashboard with its archaic knobs and levers is a sight to behold.
The Museum also houses a collection of equipment used by the Mysore Railways in the early part of 20th century. This includes communication equipment like telephones and morse codes, lighting, clocks , fish plates and station furniture.
The token system of Railways is a crucial safety feature for single line operations. The driver of the locomotive needs to posses the right token before entering a section of the railway line. Here is a collection of tokens used by Mysore Railways in the 1900s.
The Stations of yore featured fans like these-
The Diesel locomotive replaced the Steam locomotives towards the middle of the 20th century.
An Inspection car
There is a Toy Train which runs around the museum and is a great way to get an overview of all the locomotives on display. You also get glimpse of the Mysore Railway Station.
The Rail Museum is worth spending a couple of hours next time you visit Mysore. It takes you back in time to the early part of 20th century. It all seems so charming and romantic!
For guided experiential tours from Bangalore to Mysore and other fascinating destinations please visit 5 Senses Tours. One of the best ways to see Mysore and its heritage is on a guided motorcycle tour on Royal Enfield motorcycles from Bangalore.