Tracing Pakistan’s Golra Railway Station

A railway station stands as a witness to historical events going back to the British Raj era in the 19th century; it is known today as Golra Railway Station. It served as British India’s primary supply route during military operations in Afghanistan at the start of the 20th century. Since then, it has evolved into an essential interchange on the crucial commercial route extending onto Afghanistan via the well-known Khyber Pass.

Mr. Noman, the curator of the museum, speaks about the importance of the train station in the 19th century: “Golra Station is located at a strategic location, as the British needed to build a train station in the south of Pakistan to secure themselves strategically. This station was necessary for the British to move ammunition and other sensitive equipment from one location to another.”


Historical Artifacts:

In this museum, each piece tells a big story of that era. The museum showcases a vast history through an array of classical and vintage equipment, the tools and luggage used by British and Indian rulers of that era. An official of the Pakistan Railways, Ms. Noreen, while sharing her views on the museum, said, “In 1861, the first railway track was laid by the British as a train station, now serving as a heritage museum since 2003, displaying old artifacts like the communication systems, signal systems, and old phones used by the Indians and the British.”


People Using the Station:

Preservation and operational continuity of the station have been prime missions of the people managing the station. This station is located midway between Karachi in the extreme south and the Khyber Pass to the north, making it a point of attraction to look back at history by stopping over at this station. Despite its transformation into a museum, Golra Station remains a vital link in Pakistan’s railway network. “Pakistan Railways still uses the same rules and laws that were implemented in 1836. This station has eighteen trains commuting from Golra Station every day, with 13,000 people using this train station every month as a normal mode of transport to date,” added Mr. Adil, the station master.


Architectural Highlights:

The bogie used by the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, is placed here to commemorate the establishment of this country, making it an interesting part of the museum to visit. The station is adorned with old banyan trees that whisper tales of time. The steam engines stand as proud sentinels of history, and the small Victorian-style building transports visitors to another era. A highlight of the museum is its collection of old traditional trains, including a narrow-gauge steam engine that has persisted through a century, and a modern model of a diesel train engine, symbolizing the transition from the past to the present. “One of the royal saloon trains that were used by Quaid-e-Azam and Lord Mountbatten is still placed here at this museum, and the romantic beauty of this station plays a vital role in attracting tourists from all across the globe,” added Mr. Noman.


Economic and Cultural Impact:

The museum not only preserves history but also significantly affects the local economy. It attracts tourists from various backgrounds, contributing to cultural exchange and promoting a deeper appreciation for Pakistan’s historical heritage. As we witness families, historians, and travelers from all walks of life exploring the museum, Mr. Subhan, a tourist, asserted, “Our visit to the museum extends beyond simply viewing the antiques on display; we seek to deepen our understanding of history and discover the unique items utilized by both Indians and the British, such as exploring the details of the historical train system of the old era.” The transformation of Golra Station into a museum has made it a significant tourist attraction, not just for railway enthusiasts but for anyone interested in history and culture. The economic vibrancy reflected by this historic site illuminates a path forward for Pakistan as a whole.

Golra Railway StationPakistan
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