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Century-old Golra Railway station now a site for museum goers

Updated Apr 10, 2015 11:26am
The colonial architecture of Golra Sharif Railway Station which was built in 1881.
The colonial architecture of Golra Sharif Railway Station which was built in 1881.

By Shiraz Hassan

The Golra Sharif Railway Station, located on the outskirts of Islamabad, provides a glimpse into the past. A tarmac road leads to the station but in the end you need to ask your way around.

The station welcomes visitors with its panoramic view of old banyan trees, steam engines, a small Victorian-style building and serene environment.

Established in 1881 and upgraded to a junction in 1912, the Golra Sharif Railway Station has been used by the residents of the surrounding villages for over a century.

Today, the Golra Sharif Railway Station is known more for the Railway Heritage Museum it houses than for being a stop for travellers. Established in October 2003, the museum is truly one of its kind. Not limited to a closed hall, it includes old locomotive trains, steam engines, and lifters stationed at the platform.

According to Haq, between 20 and 30 people visit on weekdays while weekends are busier, with the number rising to a hundred people. Schools also bring students. The museum charges 10 rupees as entry fee, which is actually a platform ticket.

For the full article: Footprints: A railway station steeped in history

A sign board reading "Golra Sharif Junction".
A sign board reading "Golra Sharif Junction".

A narrow-gauge steam engine which is atleast a hundred years old, these track are no more in use in Pakistan.
A narrow-gauge steam engine which is atleast a hundred years old, these track are no more in use in Pakistan.

A model of a diesel train engine, which is used by Pakistan Railways nowadays, at the platform of Golra Sharif Railway Station.
A model of a diesel train engine, which is used by Pakistan Railways nowadays, at the platform of Golra Sharif Railway Station.

A British period lifter is stationed at the Golra Sharif Railway Station. These lifters were used to load and unload the goods on trains and to clear the tracks in case of accidents.
A British period lifter is stationed at the Golra Sharif Railway Station. These lifters were used to load and unload the goods on trains and to clear the tracks in case of accidents.

A tea advertisement followed by a recipe of making tea in five different languages: English, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali and Gurmukhi script of Punjabi. It is the original sign board which was placed at the railway station to introduce the concept of making tea by the British.
A tea advertisement followed by a recipe of making tea in five different languages: English, Urdu, Hindi, Bengali and Gurmukhi script of Punjabi. It is the original sign board which was placed at the railway station to introduce the concept of making tea by the British.

The Victorian style designed drainage pipe at the roof of the building of Railway Station.
The Victorian style designed drainage pipe at the roof of the building of Railway Station.

A colonial period telephone which was used in railway stations and trains for communication.
A colonial period telephone which was used in railway stations and trains for communication.

A model of a broad-gauge steam engine is displayed in the museum. The original broad-gauge steam engine is also parked at the platform of Golra Sharif Railway Station for the visitors.
A model of a broad-gauge steam engine is displayed in the museum. The original broad-gauge steam engine is also parked at the platform of Golra Sharif Railway Station for the visitors.

The wooden rolling pin which was used in kitchens of luxury trains during colonial period(L). The electric heater which is claimed to be in personal use of the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten. The weight of this small heater is approximately 20 kgs(Left bottom). Electric fans which were used in railway offices.(R)
The wooden rolling pin which was used in kitchens of luxury trains during colonial period(L). The electric heater which is claimed to be in personal use of the last Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten. The weight of this small heater is approximately 20 kgs(Left bottom). Electric fans which were used in railway offices.(R)

The railway station during rainy weather.
The railway station during rainy weather.