Joshi's Museum of Miniature Railway
|Joshi's Museum of Miniature Railway|
|Established||1998 (present building)|
|Location||Karve Road, Pune, Maharashtra, India|
Joshi's Museum of Miniature Railway is a miniature railway museum located in the Karve Road locality of Pune, a city in the state of Maharashtra, India. The museum hosts working models of various types of trains. It was started by the late Bhausaheb Joshi.
The museum was conceptualized and started by B. S. Joshi, popularly known as Bhausaheb Joshi. Through his childhood hobby of collecting and making models, he started working on this concept in the 1980s. He initially made mobile working models, which he would set up in various cities for the public to view. His first exhibition took place in Pune at the Gokhale Hall in 1982. In 1984 the layout was displayed in Mumbai (then Bombay) and again in 1986, in Pune's Dastur High School. It was then that Joshi decided to have a permanent exhibition to avoid the inconveniences of mobile models. The present layout of the museum was fabricated in 1991 and the museum opened on 1 April 1998. Over time the layout was enlarged with many additions of digital controls and multiple models. The museum's present proprietor is Dr. Ravi Joshi, Bhausaheb's son.
The model trains on exhibition run through a miniature city and are presented with a son et lumière show. The layout includes 65 signals, fences, lamp posts, flyovers, etc. and can be controlled manually as well as through a computer. In 2011 it has working models of "10 - 15" types of trains, including steam engines, the bullet train and a mini sky-train.
In 2003, the museum developed a miniature railway that interacts with other equipment and simulates train movements. This project, the first of its kind in India, was executed for HBLnife, a company that manufactures and supplies batteries, high-frequency track circuit data loggers, digital axle counters and electronic interlocking systems to the Indian Railways. The model is the first ever scale model in India that is digitally controlled and can simulate movements of trains.
Since 2003, the museum is the sole India distributor for international brands such as Fleischmann, Rocco and Hornby Railways that make scale models of railways. "Trainz", the hobby centre of the museum intends, according to Ravi Joshi, to popularize train modelling and impart basic knowledge about it. The museum also has its own manufacturing unit. In 2003, it received orders for model railways from Australian entities such as Eureka, Powerline and Trainworld; according to Ravi Joshi, these orders were previously processed by manufacturers in China, but production was re-directed to the museum as Chinese companies took longer: 18–24 months to make deliveries. Also according to Ravi Joshi the Chinese were able to process large orders only, and charged more for casting and engineering work. Along with train modelling products, the orders included structures such as railway stations, freight depots, shades, factories and warehouses.  The museum sells miniature railway kits on site and also supplies models to Switzerland, Australia and the Indian Railways. In 2007 it manufactured a scale model of the Jungfrau Railway, Europe's highest railway, and received an order for 2000 sets, which will be sold at the stations of the railway. The models are made by the injection moulding process.
In December 2009 the museum added two restaurants: a fast food outlet and a "fine dining restaurant". Both serve vegetarian food only and are based on the theme of railways. The fast food outlet is named "Rails and Rolls" and has the look of a railway platform; the kitchen looks like a pantry car halted at the platform. The other restaurant is named "Beans and Pulses", and is modelled after the dining cars of Indian luxury railways such as the Palace on Wheels or Deccan Odyssey. It also has an art display that features new artists.
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