City laid out in size zero

Travel

MYSORE: A nano-sized model of Mysore Railway Station, a heritage building, popular tourist spots in Mysore city, and tourist destinations of Mysore, Mandya and Kodagu districts, called the Model Railroad Layout, was inaugurated on platform 1 at Mysore station. It is modeled along the lines of Hamburg’s Miniature Wunderland, a first of its kind for Indian Railways.

It introduces tourists to train routes and popular spots such as Mysore Palace, St Philomena’s Church, Chamundi Hills, Krishnaraja Sagar Dam, Mysore Zoo and Abbey Falls — all in miniature form.

The model is created on 10 ft x15 ft space inside the Mysore Heritage Gallery, set up by the Railways at the station. There are working models of six trains in Mysore, Mandya and Kodagu districts; two of which are hauled by vintage steam locomotives running through tunnels and up hills, with half-a-dozen coaches in each train. Some items are handmade and others are imported. Bridges, tunnels, underpasses, everything is in place, as are nearly 2,000 trees.

Swaminathan Ramji, an engineer who is now a metal and woodwork designer, created the model. Ramji, who owns a firm which creates models, is an avid traveller and rail enthusiast. He collected models from the US, UK and other European nations, and finally created his own masterpiece. It is made of metal, plaster of Paris, fibre, and some materials are imported, said Ramji. He has contributed at least Rs 6 lakh towards the project, which cost Rs 12 lakh.

Dr Anup Dayanand Sadhu, senior divisional commercial manager, Mysore division, South Western Railway, said the miniature models of tunnels, Mysore Palace, KRS Dam, roads, bridges, houses, loading of iron ore at mines, an imaginary narrow gauge railway track in Kodagu district passing through hills and coffee estates, Coorg railway station and Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens are almost real.

A miniature Golden Chariot also runs on the track. And as in real railway stations, there are models of track, signal equipment, signal stations, petrol pumps, platforms, signal cabins and a parking lot. The miniature train starts from Mysore Railway Station and covers all the places in 10-15 minutes. The entire layout is lit with nearly 500 LED lights so it can be operated even during the night — everything from the whistle of a locomotive to the honk of a vehicle is digitally created.

Former MP H Vishwanath inaugurated the model. He lauded Mysore railway division, and highlighted the contribution of Krishnaraja Wadiyar, who he said was instrumental in shaping Mysore and bringing the railway track to the city.

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