Bite into a loco chocolate, or better still, carry home a railway heirloom

Dec 11 2012, 10:19 IST
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SummaryNorthern Railway and National Rail Museum to open souvenir shop at New Delhi railway station early next year

Northern Railway and National Rail Museum to open souvenir shop at New Delhi railway station early next year

Carry a piece of history from a one-of-a-kind souvenir shop at New Delhi railway station, which is set to open early next year.

From imitation models of Indian Railways’ century-old station master pocket watches and station wall clocks to scale models of historic steam engines, the flagship souvenir store of Northern Railway’s Delhi Division and National Rail Museum will stock over 150 varieties of artefacts that “will warm the hearts of rail aficionados as well as sundry collectors”.

Historical items from Bengal Nagpur Railway, East Indian Railway, Assam Bengal Railway, which pioneered the country’s railroad system, will also adorn the wood and glass shelves.

At present, the rail museum in Chanakyapuri has a small souvenir shop, selling a limited range of items.

“The legacy of Indian Railways is more than 150 years old. The aim of the first flagship store is to increase the visibility of the institution,” museum director Uday Singh Meena said.

To keep its links with the past, a distinct British architectural design — slanting roof, red brick walls and white aluminum windows — will be followed to build the shop on platform Number One.

There will be two ornamental lamps — green and red — at the entrance. A glowing green lamp will signal that the store is open, while red lamp will be switched on when it is closed.

“The store will have something for everyone. The New Delhi railway station was chosen because it registers a passenger footfall of around 2.5 lakh every day. The store is almost ready and we hope to open it early next year,” divisional railway manager A K Sachan said.

At the launch, several limited edition articles, including chocolates in the shape of rail locomotives, will be up for grabs. There will be a range of chocolates on the mountain railway theme.

The ones on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway will have butterscotch flavour, while blackcurrant and strawberry were chosen for Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Kalka-Shimla section. People will also be able to bite into chocolates with the image of a train imprinted on them.

For bibliophiles, the shop will keep around 40 rare books on train heritage. Philatelists can skim through postage stamps on railways and its old bridges. There will also be a unique range of coffee mugs and tea cups with the railway logo

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