The Ministry of Railway has given its sanction for setting up a Rail Heritage Document Centre at the Tiruchi Rail Museum and the National Rail Museum, New Delhi, to preserve old railway-related documents and records of heritage value.

The Ministry has sought detailed estimate amounting to Rs. 3.03 crore for establishing the Rail Heritage Document Centre at both the museums.

A written communication from the Railway Ministry has already been sent to the Southern Railway authorities regarding the preparation of detailed estimate for the proposed heritage document centre at the Tiruchi Rail Museum which was thrown open to visitors in 2015.

Consequent to the Railway Ministry’s sanction, the Tiruchi Railway Divisional authorities say they would prepare an action plan for the proposed heritage centre and forward it to the Southern Railway headquarters for onward submission to the Railway Board.

The Rail Museum at Tiruchi – the first of its kind in the Southern Railway zone – showcases an array of vintage railway equipment and artefacts used during the colonial era.

The museum was opened with the sole objective of showcasing the rich and glorious heritage of the railways and more so the South Indian Railway which had Tiruchi as its headquarters then.

Railway officials say the old documents and records used during the colonial era were presently being kept in a separate storeroom inside the sprawling divisional railway office complex here.

The proposed heritage document centre would come up within the five-acre Tiruchi Rail Museum premises adjoining the Tiruchi railway junction.

The old documents, gazettes and other records many of which have turned brittle and fragile over the years are expected to be digitised and kept at the document centre for posterity, said a railway officer here.

The rail museum is soon expected to get a narrow gauge steam locomotive and narrow gauge coach from the Western Railway as an added attraction for display. The officer said revenue earned by the museum through sale of tickets from April to June in the current fiscal was Rs. 61,000.

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