GUWAHATI: A vintage steam engine, built in 1956, was formally installed and a 500-square-foot waiting room for general second class passengers was inaugurated at the Guwahati Railway Station this evening, marking the first stage of the much-awaited modernization of the station.
Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) General Manager RS Virdi inaugurated the new facilities and also undertook an inspection of the station.
Speaking to reporters during the occasion, Virdi said, “We have taken up a project to beautify the Guwahati Railway Station which is the largest station in the Northeast and also increase amenities for the passengers.”
The 1956-built YG-4119 vintage steam engine, which was decommissioned in 1997, has been renovated over the last one and half months and put outside the main station.
“This is an effort to promote our heritage,” Virdi said.
The MG steam engine operated between Badarpur and Lumding between 1956 and 1997 and was in the Mariani shed since then. It was renovated and given a new touch by the NFR engineers at the Coaching Depot, Guwahati.
The waiting room for general second class passengers has also separate bathrooms for men and women and a food stall will be opened outside the room.
Virdi also inaugurated an electronic reservation display board in the station that will give real time status of passenger reservation.
“Very soon we will start allowing entry for passengers from the Paltan Bazar side. A ticket window has been started at the side and a scanner machine has been placed there. This will facilitate easier access to passengers and allow movement of pedestrians flexible,” he said.
The entry and exit system from platform No. 1 has been streamlined with separate doors for both. “We have also streamlined the traffic outside the station with separate tracks and parking places for auto-rickshaws, cars and other vehicles and a lane for pedestrians,” the NFR GM said.
Work has also started for construction of an escalator.
“We are also extending the main building of the station. Besides, since past few weeks, we have started using machines for cleaning of platforms and high-power jets for tracks,” Virdi said.