25 June 2009

Buried treasure: Row of arches at Bhandup station in Mumbai

A stunning find to announce. The Central Railway is building two new tracks between Kurla and Thane stations to decongest the suburban railway network in Mumbai. They have cleared the space of all weeds and whatever was lying there to flatten it up to lay the new tracks. During the process, it has been found by me that the old Bhandup station's stone platform has a row of arches under it. There are about 20 or more continuous row of arches under the platform.

It could be nothing at all and a simple drain, or some interesting old bridge (remember that Asia's first train pic) or an old cargo shed underneath. It is definitely worth a check.
I check them closely and they have quite old brickwork over the arch. The entire platform above is an old stone structure from the G.I.P Railway era. The platform is now not in active use, but was known to have salt department sidings and a narrower gauge line that originated from here to collect salt and bring it near the main lines. The smaller lines, called trolley lines, are no longer present, but the area nearby is popular as Trolley Lines.

It is more significant because the first passenger train in Asia had run in 1853 along the same route and Bhandup is one of the oldest stations on the line.
--Rajendra B. Aklekar