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Joshi's Museum Of Miniature Railway

Tourists who travel to Karve Road in the city of Pune in Maharashtra can witness Joshi’s Miniature Railway museum there. As the name indicates, this museum houses small working models of the different types of rails. This museum was founded by late Bhausaheb Joshi.


BS Joshi or Bhausaheb Joshi who should be given full credit for building this museum had a huge fancy towards trains right from his childhood. Even during his young years, he used to collect and make small prototypes of real time models. He started to think about establishing a museum during the 1980s. His first implementation was the concept of mobile models, wherein he would make small working models of rains and exhibit in different places. His first such mobile exhibition was at the Pune Gokhale Hall during 1982. In 1984, he displayed his models in Mumbai and in 1986; he again exhibited his models in Dastur High School in Pune. Joshi wanted to set up his exhibition permanently at one place so that the complexities of mobile models could be overcome. The foundation stone for the current museum was first laid during 1991 and it was formally inaugurated during 1998, first of April. The models have increased to incorporate modern versions over the years. This museum is run by BS Joshi’s son, Dr. Ravi Joshi today.

Features of Joshi’s Museum of Miniature Railway

  • The museum leaves people spell bound as they carry back some unforgettable memories.
  • Over 1000 wires are networked in a very systematic way to control the models in the imaginary setup.
  • Small prototype models of 65 signals, 26 points, flyovers, lampposts, fences etc. are present. These are hand-made, using the technique of chemical etching.
  • Both manual and automatic controls work for the entire setup.
  • The station models function efficiently and they contain announcement systems, 6 platforms, 3 main lines, facilities to load goods, crane, shunting hump etc.
  • Markin a.c. and Digital systems are used for making the whole layout in the HO scale.
  • Excellent features like Wuppertal Hanging Railway, Trolley bus, rope railway, Underground express, high speed inter- city express, diesel engines, steam trains and funicular railway
  • Steam trains have ghat section with provision for reversing trains. Moving cars get Two lanes Highway
  • At the fairground, there is a circus containing merry-go-round, Ferris wheel, roller-coaster, toy train and other attractions with excellent sound systems.
  • Real swimming pool which is used by tourists
  • A high profile restaurant that keeps climbing up and down the tower
  • Automatic drive in theatre fire engine facilities to reduce the impact of fire within seconds
  • Real time business centre models with flash signs, hoardings and lighted up buildings. Residential complexes made from German kits from Faller, Prieser, Vollmer etc.
  • Figures posing in different directions count up to a little over 2000
  • Night sky with star pattern at appeared on the 16th April 1853, the day when the first train ran in India
  • Showers during the month of April and effects due to impressive lighting

On Exhibit

The museum houses functional models of trains, but in small sized models. The entire network of 65 signals, lampposts, flyovers etc. is controlled effectively through a system. As of 2011, this museum contained functional models of around 10-15 types of trains, that included the age old steam engines, new age bullet train and mini sky-train.

During 2003, a breakthrough achievement was seen in this museum as the mini railway system joined hands with other real time equipment to create exact train movements. This was introduced in this museum for the first time in India.  This was possible with the joint collaboration of the museum with HBLnife, a company that was into production of batteries, circuit data loggers of high frequency, axle counters of the digital mode, the electronic systems that were interlocked into the Indian Railways. As said earlier, this is the first such system to have been introduced in the country and it control and monitor the actual movement of trains.

From 2003 onwards, this museum holds monopoly in distributing the models for international names like Rocco, Hornby and Fleischmann Railways. This museum houses hobby cum educational centre named, “Trainz” that educates the tourists about the hobby of collecting train models and spreads awareness about the prototypes. Several foreign entities from Australia like Eureka, Powerline and Trainworld had initially sought Chinese companies for model railways; however the success of this museum made these big companies approach Dr. Ravi Joshi with orders for model trains for their countries. The Chinese companies took a long time to deliver the goods and they operated on bulk orders only, whereas the museum was turn around quickly even on small orders. Orders for rail stations, factories, warehouses, shades, depots etc. also started to pour in from countries like Switzerland and to the government operated Indian Railways. The museum made a sample model for Europe’s highest railway, Jungfrau railways, which was the reason for the museum to receive an order for an impressive 2000 units back in 2007.

Other Recreations

During 2009, this museum set up two restaurants  that serve high calls vegetarian food and operate on the theme of trains. The restaurant selling fast food is aptly named “Rails and Rolls” and resembls a rail platform, where the kitchen is designed to look like a train’s pantry. The restaurant is named “ Beans and Pulses” and is designed in such a way to resemble the luxury trains like Deccan Odyssey and Palace on Wheels. This restaurant also houses few paintings.

The Municipal Corporation of Pune arranges for a day’s  city tour bus and this museum is part of that day tour. This museum is located on the street that is named after Bhausaheb Joshi.

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