Have You Seen Googles Online Railway Museum

Google Arts And Cultures new museum pays a virtual tribute to the Indian Railways
The site highlights several mountain railways in India such as the Kalka-Shimla railway
The site highlights several mountain railways in India such as the Kalka-Shimla railway

There are a number of reasons to fall in love with train journeys in India, and few have to do with the destination. For some people, it&rsquos simply the sound&mdashthe low humming bass of the train or the melodic voice often interrupting your sleep for &lsquochai, lelo, chai&rsquo. For others, it is the window-seat view to the greener countryside. You could have a bias for the rhythmic rocking of the train or perhaps, a taste for railway meals warm tomato soup and slightly stale breadsticks to dip into it. No matter what your origin story, there is an undeniable, tenuous connection between India, its people and the Indian Railways. It is this relationship that Google explores in its online exhibit of the Indian Railways. 

Google Arts and Culture, an online repository for the photographs, videos, manuscripts and more for the arts, culture and museums around the world,&nbsphas recently tied up its tracks with the Indian Railways. This collaboration, the first of its kind, documents the journey of the railways in India. This online exhibition explores the stories that surround trains, its commuters and its long-reaching networks.

With the support of a keen editorial eye, sharp visuals and technology, the platform takes you to the origin of the IR. 

There are 360-degree virtual tours that let you view the dome of CMST, the inside of a Calcutta tram and even a close-up view of the royal luxury train, Palace on Wheels.

A section on people tells never-heard-before stories on the everyday heroes of the railways&mdashticket checkers, the gatekeepers, station masters, engineers and women, of the Indian Railways, who have&mdashin their words&mdash&ldquomade a mark in male-dominated roles.&rdquo 

A personal favourite is one that links nostalgia with the railways best&mdashthe impact of the railways on culture. The digital exhibit &lsquoTrains on Screen&rsquo tells us the story of the iconic song &lsquoMere Sapno Ki Rani&rsquo being shot on the Darjeeling Toy Train.

Another article talks about India&rsquos most loved writer from the hills, Ruskin Bond and the use of the railways as a setting in his tales. 

It&rsquos difficult to neatly entangle the vast web of trains and stations (7,000, to be precise) in India, but this online project does a good job of that. Take a look at it here or on the app. 

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