Chairman Railway Board Inaugurates a photo Exhibition to Commemorate 160 Years of Indian Railways

Chairman, Railway Board Shri Vinay Mittal inaugurated a photo exhibition at Twin Art Gallery, Indira Gandhi Kala Kender, Janpath, New Delhi, which was organised by the Ministry of Railways to commemorate the 160 years of Indian Railways. The exhibition remains open for public from 10.30 a.m to 7.00 p.m. daily (Monday closed) from 24th May to 22nd June 2013 and entry is from Gate No. 1, Janpath. Entry for this exhibition is free. The exhibition “160 years of Indian Railways” is a showcase of selected photographs from the archives of Indian Railways.

Indian Railways has entered the 160th year of its existence. History is witness to the fact that Indian Railways formed the nation that is India today and it cannot be separated from its social fabric. Indian Railways has grown with India and has not only bequeathed the country its vast architectural heritage in the form of station buildings and other structures but is also the pivot of the nation’s economy today. It is inconceivable to imagine an India without its railways. The railways in their own powerful way have paved the way for the growth of the nation and thus are a lasting symbol of India’s unity.

While the railways is marching steadily towards the future, it is imperative to remember the very foundations on which it was built; it is time to reclaim the past which may be getting lost in the annals of time. Moreover, it has always been the objective of Indian Railways to preserve the past as its rich history is undeniably one of the most compelling tales in the story of India. This photo exhibition culls out the interesting moments of the life of this organization concentrating primarily on the first 100 years of it existence which was a period of great turbulence for the Railways as well as the world. It seeks to bring the railways back into the forefront of public consciousness. It takes the narrative of the railways back in time from its current point, revisit memories in sepia and black and white tones to understand the transitional, exciting tumultuous phases that this organization has gone through. The railways in India, as elsewhere in the world, revolutionized traditional concepts of space and time and led to new geographies being formed.

The photo exhibition does not trace the history of Indian railways sequentially from 1853 to the present. It is a thematic portrayal of the many facets of this organization. Through many rare photographs sourced from railway archives, Press information Bureau, railway museums, the importance of the railways in the lives of the people, its role as an integrating force, as a catalyst of history and as a mute spectator to the unfolding historical events have been showcased.

The photographs, encompassing all the fundamental aspects of the railways are evocative of an era long gone but which has shaped the present. The ‘Personalities ‘section is of special interest as it reveals the views of some eminent leaders on the Railways. Similarly, the sections on ‘Station Architecture’ are of immense interest as they more than anything else speak of the time in history of their construction. Their interiors are reflections of the society, the social stratification, while their exteriors present a larger picture of the developmental stage of the town and city. A section has been dedicated to the workmen, who are solely responsible for the running of the railways. The photographs reflect the hard labour which is put in to transport millions of people across thousands of kilometers marking practices most of which are still fundamental to railway working today.

AKS/HK/BS
(Release ID :96174)