Third oldest railway station in country set to turn 156

While a quick glance from outside might depict a ‘remote’ train station, a closer study would reveal a piece of history.

The Royapuram Railway Station, the first in South India and third in the country after the Victoria Terminus in ‘Bombay’ and Howrah Station in ‘Calcutta’, will turn 156 next Thursday.

Few in the area, predominantly inhabited by fishermen, may be aware of its history, but it was this station, inaugurated by Lord Harris on June 28, 1856, that served as the railway headquarters till 1873. One might not believe it today but all trains from the then Madras Province left for various parts of the country from this station in Royapuram, now considered an overcrowded urban ghetto.

A large part of the station in Royapuram might have been reduced to rubble today, but there is a lot of history left in it to be protected for posterity.

The Railway Ministry had conceded to the demands of some history buffs and architectural conservationists and announced in this year’s Budget that it would study the feasibility of converting Royapuram into Chennai’s fourth terminal.

Lured by the commercial benefits a terminal would bring, few locals have also joined the chorus now. People of north Chennai are hopeful that at least south-bound trains would be shifted to Royapuram, which was the case after north and east-bound trains were shifted to Chennai Central in 1873.The south-bound trains were moved to Egmore which came into existence in 1907.

Published in: on June 27, 2012 at 12:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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