|East Central Railway general manager Madhuresh Kumar points at a photograph at the exhibition in Patna on Tuesday. Picture by Deepak Kumar
A black-and-white photograph of Patna Junction in 1938 or a rail wagon being carried on a steamer between Simariya and Mokama immediately transports one to the bygone era.
At Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir, residents can check out these and more vintage pictures, as a weeklong photo exhibition tries to capture myriad moments of the Indian Railways’ evolution.
Other pictures like Mahatma Gandhi getting down at Patna Junction or Subhas Chandra Bose at Gomo station (now in Jharkhand), too, are part of the thematic portrayals at the event. There is also a photo of the Maharaj of Darbhanga, Kameshwar Singh and his silver bed inside his saloon. A total of 250 photographs have been put on display on the occasion of the railways entering its 160th year. Through pictures sourced from archives, Press Information Bureau, railway museums and others, its importance as a lifeline, its role as an integrating force and historical events have been showcased.
Inaugurating the exhibition on Tuesday, the East Central Railway general manager, Madhuresh Kumar, said: “Through the rare photographs visitors will come to know about the Indian Railways.” The photograph of the first train run between Bori Bunder (Mumbai) and Thane has been put up. The train with 14 railway carriages and 400 passengers left Bori Bunder with a 21-gun salute. Drawn by three engines, it covered 34km in 57 minutes. The train’s locomotives were called Sindh, Sultan and Sahib. The historic event occurred on April 16, 1853.
Residents would be able to visit the exhibition between 11am and 7pm. The event has been divided in seven categories — carriage and wagon, station architecture, quotes of famous personalities on Indian Railways, passenger amenities, railway station, railway bridges and tunnel and locomotive trains. Among rare photographs are that of former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Darbhanga railway station.
One section has been dedicated for the railway workers.
There are also pictures of eminent personalities using the railways, including Mahatama Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore. Equipment like old signals, bells, train models and stations, too, have been displayed.
Manish Kumar, a resident of SP Verma Road, said: “For the first time, I got an opportunity to see these rare photographs. I liked the vintage pictures of stations like Victoria Terminus and Patna Junction.”