Regional Rail Museum, ICF, Chennai – A tourist spot near Perambur/Villivakkam!


If you are wondering whether there would ever be a tourist spot near Perambur, Villivakkam area in Chennai, stop. You may not believe it, but there is one – The Regional Rail Museum @ ICF, Chennai!! This is located on the main road (New Avadi road) and it is close to the Villivakkam junction. One more excuse for me to postpone my ECR travel adventures πŸ˜‰ Either ECR is too far or I am too lazy. I know which one you will choose πŸ™‚

I must say that they have done the Regional Rail Museum in the ICF complex, quite well! I I guess most people in Chennai are not aware of this wonderful museum! The ticket counter is designed like a railway coach. BTW, Entry is 10rs, Camera is 20rs & Toy train ride is 10rs. I didn’t buy the last ticket (I thought toy train is only for kids!), but I recommend everyone to buy all the three. Museum Timings: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Monday Holiday.



Right opposite to the entrance, you’ll find one hall full of exhibits/models. There are models of goods train bogeys, wooden double-decker train coaches, early open-air coaches drawn by horses(!), closed container, EMU coaches, old signaling system, history of Indian/Southern railways, photos, etc. Another hall is being readied for more exhibits.


Did you notice the solar-powered LED light before the train? Looks like ICF is going green! This is an ART – Accident Relief Train/Coach. This is a self-propelled coach (moves without an engine) and contains a ward with 12 beds/operation theater to quickly reach the site of an accident and start medical treatments. It seems these trains are located at strategic points all over the railway network.



There are so many huge coaches kept in the open ground. The open ground also has a couple of parks and children’s play area with swings, etc. There is more than enough space to sit. More importantly, the whole campus is being maintained very neatly. I am not sure what the vehicle in the second photo is? Some kind of railway-crane? I guess the first photo shows a coal/steam engine from the olden days. There are steps placed on the sides of most exhibits and you can actually climb up and have a look inside some of them!


The above photo shows John Flower’s single-cylinder wood-fired steam engine. It seems, it was made in 1895 and was used to plough agricultural land in England/elsewhere. It weighs a whopping 23 tonnesΒ and has wide wheels to take that heavy load. This one is located right in front of the new gallery.



Now we come to the gallery where many small models of different types of coaches made by ICF are kept (Yes, Integrated Coach Factory {ICF} manufactures coaches and the museum is located in its premises!). You can see the models of Calcutta Metro coach and Srilankan DEMU that are manufactured by ICF above. It seems, ICF also exports coaches to other countries like Philippines, etc. There were other small models of coaches like self-propelled Diesel Electric tower car, which is used for emergency repairs, etc.


Initially, I did not select this picture but then realized I had to show you this. It is the model of a wooden first class coach used by the British in India. Members could book a whole coupe for themselves with attached bathrooms/sofa and travel in such luxury! It seems, these coaches were operational until 1980. I wonder why the Railways took it off?


There is also a large model with tracks, coaches, roads, houses and various other things. One can even find a wind-mill at the other end! On two sides, there are miniature models of Chennai Central railway station and Indira Nagar MRTS station. Guess what, they are even selling small cute models of rail coaches, which you can carry with you as souvenirs!



At last, we find a slightly more recent railway engine in display! The second photo shows the toy train in which you can sit and go around the whole museum premises. As you can see, there is a small railway station for this toy train! There are so many other exhibits which help the visitor to understand the journey of railways over 1.5 centuries! People who live in Chennai and people who are traveling to Chennai – This place is a must visit!!

Destination Infinity

I am Rajesh K, the author of this blog. While this blog is my hobby, I am a Freelance Video Editor by Profession. If you want to make Videos for Business or Special Occasions, do visit my other website WOWSUPER.NET to see the portfolio and get in touch.


  • SG

    Thanks a lot. I did not know there is such a beautiful museum in Chennai. Will certainly visit there during our next vacation trip to Chennai. I am sure kids will also enjoy.

    • Rajesh K

      I didn’t know about it until before 3 days! Had I known about this museum earlier, I would have visited it much earlier. Yes, its a good place to take the kids as well…

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      I know, I am just plain lazy πŸ™‚ I have scheduled ECR during this Dec/Jan anyway. Besides, it gives me an opportunity to stay away from my laptop monitor for some time!

      Destination Infinity

  • Jeevan

    Even I never know about this museum until reading yours. So fascinating photos and I really have interest on museums and this one inspiring a lot to check soon… hope this place is disable friendly for my wheel chair to move around? The last time I took a toy train was in Pondicherry botanical garden in 2001.

    The display of model trains is interesting… esp. the British coach! Wow

    • Rajesh K

      I think it is disabled-friendly for the most part. You can go, there shouldn’t be any problem. That British luxury coach literally redefines luxury travel. To know that it is from the past and not future, is strange!

      Destination Infinity

  • S V Krishnan

    Though I heard about the existence of the museum at Perambur, never took any initiative to take my grand children there on a visit. After seeing this clip, I have intention to escort them to this place. Some more publicity is required by the Administration to popularise this museum especially among the hundreds of schools in Chennai so that school authorities could arrange for an excursion tour for their wards.

  • VisV

    Hi, please excuse for asking this question. (I want to see, however, I have short time to spend there).
    Could you tell me, in how much time I would be able to cover the entire museum.

  • VV

    Thank You. Had the opportunity to visit the Railway Museum. It was good. We spent around one-and-a-half hours, just catching a glimpse of everything. My 4-year-old son’s love for railways increased(which made me more happy) a bit. Getting transportation back from there was a bit time-consuming.

    • Rajesh K

      Ya, I guess you’d have to come to Villivakkam for bus/auto. Although the bus stand is close by, it might have been difficult to walk all that distance.

      Destination Infinity

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