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Vol. XXXII No. 23, March 16-31, 2023

Heritage Watch: Egmore Station – Then, Now and In Future

And so, finally, Egmore station is to see some sweeping changes, much of it essential. The story “Egmore Station to undergo extensive makeover” has all the details. Once the Madras terminal of what was the South Indian Railway Company (headquartered in Trichy), it stands on land acquired from Dr. Senjee Pulney Andy, one of the early Scottish-qualified medical men of the city. The terminus itself opened in the 1870s with what seems to have been a classic style station (see VERY OLD, pic courtesy T. Stanes & Co).

The present edifice, designed by Henry Irwin in 1902 but considerably tweaked by the railway architect E.H.C. Bird, saw construction begin in 1905 and opened for business on April 11, 1908. The contractor was T. Samynada Pillai who undertook construction of several other iconic buildings in South India. Egmore station was a thing of beauty, with its three-span roof structure, carved pilasters and brackets based on South Indian temple design, its dome, corner towers and contrasting use of brick, granite and sandstone. Its chief attractions were its refreshment rooms (catering by Spencers and ice from Unger’s Royal South Indian Ice Factory) and the drive-in platform, alas, both gone now. Our OLD shows a photo taken in 1914 and featured in Southern India by Somerset Playne.

Our PRESENT is by William Satish. The station, as per railway statistics, handles Rs. 32 crores worth of tickets per year, translating to 117 lakh tickets sold. It serves 552 trains every day with 24,600 peak hour footfalls.

Our PROPOSED is from the plans provided by the Southern Railway.

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