My kids are huge fans of Thomas the Tank Engine and I must confess, so am I. When we heard about a railway museum in Chennai, we knew we had to go there. A web search brought up a website with good information. So yesterday, we went to the Regional Rail Museum in Perambur, Chennai. It is part of the Integral Coach Factory premises.
We loved it and had great fun.
Here is what we saw:
- A real traction engine like Terence, in the Thomas series (see picture above)
- A nicely maintained steam engine from the old days. We could climb aboard and look around.
- A few coaches you can walk into (some of these were very dusty though)
- An old electric locomotive. We could climb aboard this one also. It was worth it even though it was dusty. This one had been made in England 50 years ago and had the admonition "Thou shalt not overspeed" forged into the control panel :-)
- A toy train that takes you on a ride around the park
- A fantastic model railroad with 3 running trains. The model railroad was at least 20ft by 10ft wide. We can spend hours just looking at it run.
- Scale models of coaches
There was one aspect of the place that was remarkable to us - Clean bathrooms!!!!! For those of us who travel with our kids, we know how difficult these are to find.
Some of the coaches can be dirty, so don't forget to take some wet wipes or of course, you can use the clean bathrooms.
Arun Devraj who manages the museum is very enthusiastic about explaining the exhibits they have and is passionate about improving the experience for visitors. He even drove the toy train himself to take the kids who had come, on a ride.
Overall, I think this is a hidden gem for those of us with children who are fascinated by trains.
Regional Rail Museum, Chennai