Udaipur : A German magazine ‘Loki’ described it as one of the 1001 wonders of the world. An ardent rail enthusiast in the United States of America has decorated his huge drawing room with its pictures and captions in specially erected large frames. A marvelous example of art and engineering, the working rail Transportation Model Room installed at the Zonal Railway Training Institute (ZRTI) here, after 59 years of establishment, continues unabatedly to attract and inspire thousands of rail enthusiasts far and wide. School children and even adults who have had never seen a Steam Engine in their lives, are thrilled to see it here at the model room , chhuk-chhuk-ing in a toy form.
Unique in many ways, the transportation model room (TMR) of the institute is the biggest of its kind in Asia, if not in the world. This is located in a spacious hall. There are 18 stations incorporating single, double and quadruple line working with lower quadrant, MAUQ (three type signal) and colour light signaling in Absolute & Automatic Block Systems.
“ Models of Non interlocked, interlocked, padlocked, key locked, modified non interlocked, interlocked to various standards stations are provided here. The track gauge is 45 mm and the track length in the model railway is about 1328 meters” informed Satyapal Mairh, the principal of the institute. The movement of the engine is controlled electrically on 12 volt DC through the center cable fixed in between the track. Life size working block instruments are provided for running of trains under Absolute Block System of working. Visitors are amused to see the Field telephone, Emergency Train lighting box, Flasher and Blinker lights, Breathalyzer and other equipments in operation as in real running trains.
Extinct Turn Table at display
In the history of Railways, for more than a century, Steam Engines were the proud power houses as well as power horses. Gradually though advanced Diesel and Electric engines themselves started occupying these positions. While Electric and Diesel locomotives have the advantage of being driven towards both directions, Steam Engines have to limit itself to a single direction. Turn Tables are however, used to change the direction of steam engines. The engines are positioned on track over the turn table and the table is then rotated.
It is done through Ball Bearing technique. Working models of such facilities are displayed in the TMR. Experts from the railways claim that the facilities seen here and infrastructure of the training institute is even better than the training facilities of White City School of London Transport. The ZRTI which was established in October 1956, imparts training to 10 to 12,000 trainees from various streams of railway. Employees from Western and North western Railway, Delhi and Jaipur Metro, CONCOR, IRCTC, RITES, Indian Railway Traffic Service, foreign national railway from across the globe are sent here to receive training on multifarious aspects.