Mumbai Central to get New York's iconic Grand Central makeover

Railway authorities want stations like Mumbai Central, Bandra and Borivli to copy New York's iconic Grand Central model

(Left) Mumbai Central could look like Grand Central station
(Left) Mumbai Central could look like Grand Central station

Imagine this — Towering buildings, fancy restaurants, movie theatre, commercial offices, three and four star hotels, supermarkets and shopping malls — all inside a Mumbai railway station. Well, it may soon be a reality as three railway stations on the Western Railway (WR) are gearing up for a complete transformation, with all these amenities to be built on more than 70,000 square metres of land.

On Saturday, the Western Railway authorities called tenders for the redevelopment of three stations — Mumbai Central, Bandra Terminus and Borivli — at a cost exceeding R700 crore. The rail authorities claim that they want architects and developers to ideate with railway stations like Grand Central of New York as their benchmark.

This tender comes just four days after the railway ministry had a meeting with officials here in Mumbai. The revamp will happen on the guidelines set up by the Railway Board in Delhi, wherein 23 stations across India will undergo transformation.

"We will be commercially exploiting the rail, land and air space around these stations. The floor space index (FSI) will be decided after discussions with the local civic authorities," said GC Agrawal, general manager, Western Railway. The FSI is a component that allows the developers to grow vertically while constructing buildings.

At present there are slums and illegal structures in plenty along the railway lines, which are situated at prime locations. Sources said that as part of this modernisation, passenger amenities will also be upgraded, flooring of platform surfaces improved and station buildings redeveloped. Revamped stations will also have digital signage, escalators, elevators, self-ticketing counters, executive lounges, walkways, free and paid WiFi.

700
Amount in crores to be spent on revamp

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