Mumbai: The railway ministry will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this afternoon with the Unesco for the heritage conservation and development of Bandra station. It will be done in the presence of Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. Bandra railway station is a Grade I heritage structure and efforts will be taken to give it the original look back again. United National Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will play a key role in the conservation work. The restoration will include developing the public realm works, landscaping, making Bandra station a cultural hub by sporting contemporary art by local artists, beautifying the nearby areas and the concourse and tiling the platforms.
The idea behind the conservation project is to make the station feature in the heritage walks and local festivities organized by Bandra residents.
WR had spent Rs 63 lakh to restore the heritage building and the work included removal of ad hoc roof addition and replacing it with a “heritage-sensitive roof”, removing the paint on wooden members to expose the framework and then polish them, refilling of stone masonry joints with lime mortar and fixing the doors and windows.
History of Bandra Railway Station
Bandra is a railway station on the Western line and Harbour line of the Mumbai Suburban Railway network. It serves the Bandra suburban area as also the upcoming commercial area called Bandra-Kurla-Complex (BKC). Bandra Terminus is near to Bandra railway station and serves Interstate traffic on the Western Railway.
The 19th century Victorian building of Bandra Station is a Grade I heritage landmark and a breathtaking example of a railway station building that masterfully blends colonial idioms such as cast iron pillars with vernacular roof forms. This structure is among the most picturesque of Mumbai’s railway stations and this project was aimed at restoring this busy railway station as a pilot for others.
All Fast and Slow Local Trains have halt at Bandra Station. Suburban Local Trains on Western Railway towards Borivali, Virar (North) as well as towards Churchgate, Mumbai Central (Inter-State Train Terminus), Dadar(South) have a very good frequency (one Local every 2-3 Minutes). Bandra is also directly connected to Mumbai CST through a Branch Line via Wadala Road (Harbour Line, Central Railway). However, Suburban Local Trains are often too crowded. ‘BEST Buses’ are also available from ‘Bandra Terminus Bus Stand’ or ‘Bandra (West) Bus Stand’ ; both being very close to the Railway Station. Auto Rickshaws are also available.
The charm of this station in its station building and canopy. Sloping Mangalore tiled roofing, spacious layout and Grecian facade add to the beauty. After decades of neglect, it has recently (2008) been restored.