Why in news?
=>The government has launched “Rail Heritage Digitisation Project” of Indian Railways in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture.
=>The project is a landmark effort, first of its kind in this part of the globe, to showcase country’s Rail Heritage to National and International audience in an online story-telling platform.
=>Google described it as an extension of their partnership with Indian Railways of providing public with Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations.
What it holds for the National and International audience?
=>Railways in India started its journey on 16th April, 1853 between Bori bunder and Thane. Since then Railways India not only expanded to be one of the largest network in the world but also significantly contributed to social, technological and economic development of this country.
=>Today India have three World Heritage Railways: Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Kalka Shimla Railway and two World Heritage Buildings (CSMT, Churchgate), still unique feat in this part of the Globe (The other two World Heritage Railways are in Europe).
=>In collaboration with Google Art & Culture, Indian Railways have been able to digitize National Rail Museum, Rewari Steam Centre, three World Heritage Railways, CSMT Mumbai building and other prominent aspects of country’s rail heritage.
=>Indian Railways has also created one of the largest repositories of industrial heritage in the World. Glimpses of Railway history and evolution are captured in 33 Rail Museums & Heritage Galleries, four World Heritage Sites, hundreds of buildings, bridges, locomotives, coaches, other rolling stocks, artefacts etc. Conservation of these industrial relics also helps in promoting tourism, preserving traditional skills and communication with people.
=>Digitization of rail heritage provides immense opportunity to contextualize artefact and other heritage assets with the stories thus becoming more meaningful to next generation. Digital heritage also removes bottleneck of being physically there and thus providing universal access to the large repository of knowledge.
=>With over 151,000 kilometres of track, 7,000 stations, 1.3 million employees and 160 years of history, the Indian Railway is one of the most celebrated railway networks in the world. Bringing this journey to the forefront, Google Arts & Culture’s new online collection is a story-telling marvel, and will make India’s rich rail-heritage and legacy digitally accessible to people in India around the world.
=>The 75 online exhibition, 3500+ images and 200 videos, will offer an in-depth exploration of the sights, sounds and significance of India’s railways.
=>Heritage routes with a 360-degree panoramic view of iconic railway stations, including Kalka-Shimla, Nilgiri Mountain Railway Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and Kangra Valley Railway. The exhibition will also bring alive the lost stories and heroic efforts of people like the track-man, station master, and workshop engineers, to celebrate their contribution.
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