On Monday, a heritage steam engine, which was displayed on the Rail Bhawan premises in Delhi, was shifted to a museum here. Now, a replica of Indian Railways’ semi-high speed Vande Bharat Express train will take its place, officials said. Manufactured in Glasgow in the year 1925, the rail engine belonged to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR), which is a popular UNESCO world heritage site. The engine was brought to the national capital, some years after Independence, according to railway experts. A spokesperson of the Indian Railways was quoted saying in a PTI report that the heritage locomotive in the premises of Rail Bhawan was removed in the early hour and it was shifted to the National Rail Museum in Chanakyapuri, in a bid to “make it accessible” to the general public.
As the entry is restricted at the Rail Bhawan, very few people could see it here. It will be accessible to more people at National Rail Museum. The spokesperson further said that was the idea behind the decision. The engine will be replaced by a replica that will represent the ‘Make in India’ Vande Bharat Express train, he added. Now, the replica model will symbolically showcase Vande Bharat Express, the country’s first indigenously made train. However, sources quoted in the report said that the move is a way to show the robust growth of the national transporter, by replacing a heritage loco with a modern, state-of-the-art Vande Bharat coach, symbolising Indian Railways’ move towards next generation trainsets.
According to the report, the Indian Railways network began its journey in the year 1853. The country’s first semi-high speed train- Vande Bharat Express had begun its first commercial run in February 2019. This Shatabdi Express-type semi-high speed train have amenities such as onboard infotainment, CCTV cameras, GPS based passenger information system, zero discharge vacuum-based bio-toilets as well as automatic sliding doors with retractable coach footsteps.