Mumbai: Byculla station to be dismantled
CR planning demolition to make 5th, 6th lines between CST and Kurla
The building at Byculla station which will be demolished
Central Railway authorities are planning to dismantle the old station building at Byculla to make way for the planned 5th and 6th lines between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)-Kurla, which would be used by long-distance trains. At present this station building – a ground plus one stone building – runs parallel to the platform.
Incidentally, Byculla station has witnessed the first train that ran in erstwhile Bombay, from Bori Bunder to Thane in 1853. Britishers then built a grand new station in 1891 at Byculla, which even today is serving lakhs of CR commuters every day.
This stone walled building painted in white and its border in brick red, is a good example of an exemplary work of architecture. Besides two ATMs and a taxi stand, there’s also a garden on the premises. The entrance has an arched shaped entrance with Mangalore tiles. Author Rajendra Aklekar had once written in his book on railway heritage that the Byculla station is among the few which is wider than the older railway stations in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, sources in CR say, as per plans, they will be adding two more rail lines at a cost of Rs 800 crore — to be dedicatedly used by long-distance trains. “We are scouting for land space wherever possible,” said a railway official.
Between Kurla and Parel, the two new proposed lines are likely to come on the west side and from Parel onwards till Chinchpokli, they will run on the east. This diversion is due to the Western line coming alongside it at Parel. “I’ll have to check the detailed plans, but we are trying every possible way for the two new rail lines to be accommodated properly,” said Ravindra Goyal, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai) of CR.
Since there are hundreds of buildings and structures all along the rail line, land acquisition along the stretch is one of the hurdles CR officials are facing. But CT officials say that once the two new lines are made; they will be in a better position to operate suburban and long distance trains.
Currently, long-distance trains run on the fast lines if they start from CST, which hampers the operation of fast local trains. But if the long-distance trains depart from Kurla LTT, they will have two more segregated lines all the way till Thane.