Remember the scene of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge (DDLJ) when Baldev Singh let Simran go with Raj? Most Bollywood fans might not have forgotten the way Simran caught the moving train. Filmed on Darjeeling’s famous toy train ‘Chaiyya Chaiyya’, there will hardly be a person who has not hummed the iconic tune and imagined dancing like Shah Rukh Khan atop a moving train. When Tara Paaji wanted to take the train to India somehow in Gadar, it was as if all the audience in the theatre joined him.
The relationship of Bollywood and Railways has always been special and it is about to get even special and stronger.
The Ministry of Railways has launched the ‘Promotion on Wheels’ scheme, under which the entire star-studded starcast of Housefull 4 left from a special train enroute Mumbai to Delhi to promote the movie.
Regarding the scheme, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal tweeted “Railway’s Novel Idea of Promotion on Wheels “A special train will be travelling from Mumbai to Delhi on 16th-17th October, to promote the upcoming film, Housefull 4, along with the film’s team. I encourage more filmmakers to use this route to reach out to the masses.”
Railway’s Novel Idea of Promotion on Wheels: A special train will be travelling from Mumbai to Delhi on 16th-17th October, to promote the upcoming film, Housefull 4, along with the film’s team.
I encourage more filmmakers to use this route to reach out to the masses. pic.twitter.com/OLPDqHwwib
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) October 16, 2019
Western Railway also published a detailed statement on its Twitter account saying “For promotion/publicity of Art, Culture, Cinema,TV, Sports etc. ,IR has come out with unique & novel initiative to publicise/promote campaigns through trains. 1st “Promotion on Wheels” Special Train will be run by IRCTC & Western Rly with Housefull 4 team to promote the film.”
For promotion/publicity of Art, Culture,Cinema,TV, Sports etc.
,IR has come out with unique & novel initiative to publicise/promote campaigns through trains. 1st "Promotion on Wheels" Special Train will be run by IRCTC & Western Rly with Housefull 4 team to promote the film. pic.twitter.com/SmyIpNkfPY
— Western Railway (@WesternRly) October 15, 2019
Bollywood has a very old and deep association with Indian Railways. Who can forget the iconic song of the movie Aradhana in which Rajesh Khanna, riding in a jeep, wanting to win the heart of Sharmila Tagore who is sitting in the train.
The way Jai and Veeru protected police officer Baldev Singh ‘Thakur’ in the opening sequence of Ramesh Sippy’s magnum opus ‘Sholay’ in a moving train is still appreciated a lot by the viewers.
Directed by Ravi Chopra, The Burning Train was perhaps the first Bollywood film to be shot almost entirely on a moving train. Although it did average business, the use of the train is still etched in the junta’s memory.
Indian Railways also had an important role in the film ‘Bunty aur Babli’, from the beginning to the end of the story, the train had a very pivotal role in the script. Similarly, Indian Railways had an important role in Imtiaz Ali’s commercial hit movie ‘Jab We Met’.
But how will the Railways and Bollywood benefit from this scheme?
Western Railway has explained this in a detailed way in its press statement. According to the statement issued by Western Railway, “During the journey it will generate curiosity in the audience and media. In this context, the railways has talked to many big production companies to use these full tariff rate [FTR] trains. IRCTC will take care of these trains.
Apart from this, IRCTC will use attractive and thematic vinyl wrapping for these promotional trains. It will be done so because the train will be traveling across the country, and this kind of publicity and coverage will not only benefit the manufacturers, but Indian Railways will also get a new identity as a mass publicity tool.
The Railways used to be laughed at like any other government department at one time. But under the leadership of Suresh Prabhu and now Piyush Goyal, Indian Railways has a come a long way.
The ‘Promotion on Wheels’ scheme will not only give revenue to Railways, but Bollywood will also get Railway’s trustworthy support for unique ideas and new projects for promotion.