A 110-year-old structure at Andheri station will soon fade into history to make way for new railway tracks on the Harbour line leading to Goregaon. The stone-walled barrack built in 1902 is flanked by a ticket counter on one side, and a station master’s office on the other side, which has long fallen into disuse.
This structure stands next to platform no 1 of Andheri station on its west side. To its north stands a food stall and a concourse that leads commuters to the road, while on the other end there is a demolished barracks where the GRP earlier had its police station.
Covered in moss, the decrepit structure rises to the height of the foot overbridge (FOB) that flanks it. Blue plastic sheets placed by food stall owners cover most of the structure.
“We will be demolishing this structure before January 15. Sadly, we wont be able to preserve any part of it,” said an official from Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC), a joint initiative of the state government and railway authorities that is extending the Harbour line from Andheri up to Goregaon.
Two lines will be extended till platform nos 6 and 7 of Andheri station, as part of the Rs 5,300 crore Mumbai Urban Transport Project Phase–II (MUTP-II). The two lines will cost Rs 103 crore and are expected to benefit around two lakh commuters who travel daily on the Harbour line.
The new tracks will also ease overcrowding on the Western line, as commuters who want to alight at Goregaon will have the option of boarding a Harbour line train from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) instead of Churchgate.
In order to extend the lines till Goregaon, platform nos 6 and 7 at Andheri will be extended after demolishing part of platform no 1, the ticket booking counter near the two platforms, the staircase of the foot overbridge and railway offices.
Further north, a huge steel structure has been erected in the shape of a dome. “We are in the process of procuring a small plot of land at Jogeshwari, where tracks will come up,” added the official.
Apart from this, they have also laid part of the tracks, constructed separate platforms, and a skeletal framework for a roof at Jogeshwari station, meant for Harbour line trains.
The new Oshiwara railway station being built at a cost of around Rs 20 crore too will be opened as part of this extended Harbour line by June 2013, once work on the road overbridge (ROB) is completed and a level crossing currently being used by vehicles is closed.
They are also building pillars over a creek running between the two stations to accommodate the new tracks. The MRVC will construct a new platform on the west side of Goregaon station to accommodate the extended line.