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Ernakulam Terminus railway station

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Title: Ernakulam Terminus railway station  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Economy of Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram railway division, Durbar Hall Ground, Kaloor-Kadavanthra Road, Park Avenue (Kochi)
Collection: Defunct Railway Stations in India, Railway Stations in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram Railway Division
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Ernakulam Terminus railway station

Ernakulam Terminus
Indian Railway Station
Station statistics
Address Kochi, Kerala, India
Coordinates
Other information
Opened 1902
Closed 1990
Station code ERG
Owned by Indian Railways
Fare zone Southern Railway

Ernakulam Terminus (Station Code:ERG) is an abandoned railway station in the Indian city of Kochi. It was the first railway station in Kochi, built by the Maharaja Rama Varma XV of Kochi. Great personalities like Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Irwin Viceroy have visited Cochin through this old majestic railway station. Now it is abandoned and operates as a Goods Terminal of the Southern Railway.

Contents

  • History 1
  • Future plans 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4

History

The station was built in 1902 by King Rama Varma of the erstwhile Kingdom of Cochin, who also established the Shoranur-Kochi railway line. The station is located behind Rammohan Palace.The location was chosen mainly because of its proximity to the Ernakulam market. The nearby boat jetty made it convenient for people to travel to West Kochi and Vypeen. The legend goes that the king had to sell 14 gold caparisons of the elephants of the Sree Poornathrayeesa Temple at Tripunithura to fund the rail line, known as the Cochin State Rail Service.Construction began in 1899 and was undertaken by the Madras railway authorities, on behalf of the Cochin state. There was also a delay in the commissioning as bridges had to be built across a few rivers on the route The king also built a special waiting room for the royal family near the station. Dignitaries arriving in Kochi passed through the buildings of the historic railway station.[1]

Initially there were only three or four trains that plied on this route regularly. They used to stop at Chalakkudy where the steam engines were refilled with water.The Shoranur-Kochi metre gauge railway line, that was about 62 miles long, ended at the Ernakulam Terminal Station.Since there was no electricity then, the platform was lit using `petromax' lamps. Initially, there was only one track. A circular track was put up nearby to enable the engine to turn. Buses and rickshaws used to come up to the station to pick up the passengers. There was an exclusive saloon for the Maharaja that used to be attached to the train only when the Maharaja travelled. Admission to the royal, lavishly furnished waiting room was restricted to members of the royal family and VIPs.The station has facilities including parcel office, post and telegraph office, steam shed, water filling, coach maintenance etc.

The railway station was one of the busiest stations in the Kerala state. This was once the head office of Cochin State Railways and was built during the British rule.The metre gauge line was later converted to broad gauge in 1935.When the Cochin Port developed, it became imperative to extend the railway track right up to the harbour. By 1929 the present station, south of Ernakulam, came up. The track was later extended to the Harbour in 1943. Thus the old one lost its significance.Till the early sixties, the old railway station catered to passenger traffic. Then it became the Ernakulam Railway Goods Station. Till the late eighties, it was used for storage of cement. Now most of the buildings in the station premises are in a dilapidated condition. [2] During the 1980s some railwaymen started a railway club or Railway Institute here, but the location was soon shifted elsewhere.

Future plans

There is a strong demand to reopen this Terminus now, as Ernakulam Jn. is getting saturated. Once major Mail/ Express trains are shifted to here more MEMU services can be operated from Ernakulam Town, Ernakulam Junction and Cochin Harbour Terminus stations in the city.[3] The railways also mooted several plans for the space. Officials suggested that the station could be renovated to reduce the load on the Ernakulam Junction railway station. The old station held the potential to be developed as a hub for different modes of transport. It was also suggested that MEMU trains to Thrissur could be redirected here once the station was revived.Southern Railway has now made a plan to re-open the Terminus with 6 platforms, 4 Pit Lines and a renovated station building. The phase 1 of the proposal is estimated to be about INR105 crores and is awaiting approval from Railway Board.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-old-railway-station-yet-to-get-back-on-track/article5278753.ece
  2. ^ http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mp/2002/07/15/stories/2002071500630100.htm
  3. ^ http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/10/stories/2011021053880900.htm
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