Google’s Arts and Culture platform has announced a Rail Heritage Digitisation Project, that enables railway enthusiasts to undertake a virtual journey on one of the largest and busiest railways in the world — the Indian Railways, reports The Hindu.
A partnership between Ministry of Railways and Google has been reportedly undertaken to showcase the history of railways, its museums as well as the network's more scenic routes online.
“The project will help preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Railways with the use of innovative technology,” said Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal in a tweet.
A virtual tour that comprises over a hundred exhibitions that bring together more than 3,000 images, 150 videos and 150 iconic locations will be showcased online in a bid to explore Indian Railways, said Google in a statement.
Users can get a glimpse of the vintage maps of the erstwhile East Indian Railways that were used by the British to connect Calcutta with the North-Western Provinces during the colonial era. The site will also house information on the 'Fairy Queen', oldest functioning steam engines in the world.
The public could also have a behind the scenes peek at the Darjeeling loco-shed along with manoeuvring through the scenic routes of the likes of Nilgiri Mountain Railway and the Shimla-Kalka Railways.
Indian Railways, with over 1,51,000 km of tracks, 7,000 stations, 1.3 million employees and a history of over 150 years is one of the most celebrated railway networks in the world says Google, bringing its heritage and sights to the world virtually.
India becomes the first country in the world with which the software giant has a tie-up to create a first-of-its-kind virtual tour of a public utility service like railways, The Hindu quoted Amit Sood, Director Google Cultural Institute as saying. This will set an example for other countries to follow he added.
‘The Railways — Lifeline of a Nation’, "the project starting from India, expanding to the world” will bring out the stories of track-men, station in-charge officials and workshop engineers, said Sood.
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