CHENNAI: After three years Southern Railways has begun the renovation of Central station. The exterior walls of the century-old main building is a combination of Gothic and Romanesque style architecture. The main building is being coated white after completing minor patch up works and chemical coating.
“The iconic structure will sport white colour for four days before getting coated with maroon colour. The building was last painted in January 2016,” said a senior railway official. The station which came into existence in 1873, in order to decongest the then Royapuram Harbour station, was designed by British architect George Harding. The 136-feet tall central clock tower is a key feature that exhibits the Romanesque style of the building.
The beautification of main building and suburban terminal is being carried out at a cost of Rs 84 lakh. As per the scheduled maintenance of heritage building, the exterior should be painted once in every two or three years. The Chennai Circle of Archaeological Survey of India will provide technical support to the Railways for maintenance.
Official sources said, Railways has decided to build a roof to provide weather shield, connecting suburban terminal and main building for passengers. Another roof connecting the main entrance of the station and the bus stop will also be built. “A roof will provide a cover for passengers who walk up to the bus stops in front of the clock tower in main building,” added official sources.
According to official records, about 65,000 passengers visit Central every day. While 57 Express, Superfast and Premier trains, about 110 train services operate from Chennai Central every day, 15 others pass through the station.
About 65,000 tickets are sold at Chennai Central including suburban services, every day, of which 10,500 are platform tickets. The station earns Rs 40 lakh a day.