New Delhi: The sprawling Delhi junction will hog the limelight as the Delhi division of the Northern Railways gears up to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the advent of railways in the Capital.
The railways plans to preserve the temporary two-room structure at the railway station as a heritage site. It was from here that the Delhi division started functioning in 1864.
According to officials, Delhi Junction, commonly known as Old Delhi station, was constructed in April 1864 to cater to 100 passengers.
“It is beyond imagination that a station designed to deal with 100 passengers a day is catering to over three lakh passengers. We have decided to preserve the old structure as it reminds us of the advent of railways in the Capital. The first train had arrived here from Howrah via Ghaziabad,” Divisional Railway Manager of Delhi Division Arun Arora said.
Similarly, the first structure at the station, built in 126, will also be preserved by railway officials. Arora said the station started operations from a single room.
“Officials have been asked to preserve a wall of the room to enable showcasing the legacy of railways to the maximum number of people,” the DRM said.
Likewise, original structures at other stations, including Hazrat Nizamuddin and Sarai Rohilla, will also be showcased as part of the celebrations, which begin on May 7.
To commemorate the arrival of the first train to the Capital, officials are planning to roll out a special train with a steam engine from Safdarjung to Old Delhi. The train will carry children and some dignitaries.
“The idea is to commemorate the historic event and spread awareness among children,” Arora said.
The present station, whose construction began in 1890, was built in Mughal style and resembles both a fortress and a mosque.
Officials said the station was designed in such a way that it could be used as a hotel and shelter during emergencies.