New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) In a bid to promote country’s railway heritage and tourism, the National Rail Museum (NRM) will remain open till 9 p.m from May 1, officials said on Thursday.
The Indian Railways is also planning to launch a common ticket for all museums across the National Capital Region, to allow tourists to spend at least half a day at the NRM, which is one of the best rail museums across the globe.
According to Railway Ministry officials, it is planned to bring a night package which could include a sound and light show, simulators, toy trains and 3D virtual coach rides by offering discounts which range from 30 per cent to 40 per cent.
NRM Director Amit Saurastri said: “We are working out the details. We have to give the tourists, who visit at night a completely different package than what we give to the tourists visiting during the day.”
“From May 1, the museum will also open from 6 p.m to 9 p.m,” he said.
The NRM currently remains open throughout the week except on Mondays. It opens at 10 a.m and closes at 5 p.m.
According to the NRM officials, on weekdays the museum gets a footfall of around 2,000 visitors, while on weekends, the number goes up to 5,000.
The museum is also planning to strike a deal with Madame Tussauds wax museum whereby one ticket will enable a tourist to visit both museums.
“We could even include other museums in Delhi in the package whereby one ticket will be enough to visit all the museums with day-long multiple entries,” Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said.
“A decision on this would be taken soon,” he added.
The Railway Board Chairman also said that the Indian Railways is planning to revamp the steam engines at the Rewari Steam Locomotive Shed.
“Rail steam locomotives are an asset as it has been the backbone of the industrial revolution. Many people want to enjoy a ride of the steam locomotives, thus we are taking steps to provide tourists the experience of travelling in steam engine-powered trains,” Lohani said.
“Most of the steam engines are currently non-functional at the Rewari Steam Locomotive Shed. We are planning to restart a few of the engines to provide a new toy train there to attract more tourists,” he said.
The railways also is working to improve the rolling stock on its five hill trains — Darjeeling Himalayan train, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka-Shimla Railway, Kangra Valley Railway and Matheran Hill Railway.
“On Darjeeling-Himalayan Railways, the railways has provided air conditioned coach in the toy train. In next three to four months, air conditioned coaches in all trains on the route would be provided,” the top railway official said.
He stressed that the air conditioned coaches on the Kalka-Shimla hill route have also been introduced.
A railway ministry official said that the Indian Railways has taken the initiative to revive steam locomotives along all the hill railways around the country to revive the glory of steam heritage and boost tourism.