Colour us thrilled! Matunga railway station sports catchy indicators

CR tests waters at the station to display signage on train destinations and special coaches with help of specific colours

How often do you find yourself lost at the railway station, too diffident to ask for directions to the right train — or even the correct coach — to board? The Central Railway (CR) has set about sorting that problem out. It has launched a pilot project at the Matunga railway station, one of the smallest suburban stations in the city, to help commuters identify which trains to catch with the help of catchy, colourful indicators.

A display board pointing to the platforms for specific trains
A display board pointing to the platforms for specific trains

But, aren’t there already electronic indicators that display a train’s destination and expected time of arrival? The new ones are a tad different, say CR sources. They not only point to the platform where a particular train arrives, but also indicate — with the help of specific colours — special coaches like the first class and women’s compartments, and the luggage van. The indicators have been placed across the platforms and at key points, like the foot overbridge.

For example, at the Matunga station, there are two platforms for slow trains. The foot overbridge has a dual-coloured indicator. One half (in green) sports Kalyan/Thane (the names of train destinations), with an arrow pointing to the platform where the next train would arrive. The other half bears CST/Dadar, with a pointer in the other direction. On the platforms, the boards are yellow in colour, while the respective coach’s signage is illustrated in red. Directions to even the ticket counters and the exit points are displayed.

Directions to even the ticket counters and the exit points are displayed. Pics/Suresh KK

The urbane look is expected to complement the murals and graffiti painted by college students at the railway station. “Matunga station has been adopted by educational institutions to beautify the premises,” says a CR official. The first such drive, to paint its walls took place in 2015. Railway officials believe that the new indicators will make Matunga even more vibrant.

Based on public response, the project could be replicated at other stations. “If we get positive feedback from people on having similar display boards at other railway stations, then we can surely look into it,” says a senior CR official.

Talking point
Last October, a group of 30 college students began work on giving the Matunga station a vibrant look though murals and graffiti. The beautification project was an initiative of MAD (Make a Difference), a voluntary organisation mostly comprising college students.

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Meticulous: An exhaustive map of the Mumbai railway network prepared by the Industrial Design Centre of IIT-B, at Matunga station Matunga station has a huge map of the Mumbai railway network, prepared by the Industrial Design Centre of IIT-Bombay, mapping all rail routes on the central, Harbour and western lines. This map details the exhaustive rail network, right up to Karjat/Kasara/Khopoli, Dahanu, Panvel and Roha.

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