A LITTLE KNOWN HERITAGE STRUCTURE OF MUMBAI:
REAY ROAD RAILWAY STATION – THE CUTEST SUBURBAN RAILWAY STATION IN MUMBAI
A few days ago, on my way to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Nautical College (LBS CAMSAR) at Hay Bunder in Mumbai, I decided to go by train and caught a harbour branch local at CST Mumbai, and crossing Masjid, Sandhurst Road and Dockyard Road stations, got down at Reay Road. Walking towards the exit I was spellbound by the exquisite beauty of the station building, which stood like a sentinel above the railway lines passing through beneath it, an elegant clock in the centre. Many Mariners, in their younger days, would have passed through its portals without even giving it a second look. It’s the cutest and most petite railway station I have ever seen. Let me tell you about it.
Did you know that Reay Road Railway Station, a prime landmark of Mumbai, is a 19th Century Heritage Grade I structure? Surely you knew CST (VT/ Bori Bunder) and Churchgate were Heritage Buildings, but did you even imagine in your wildest thoughts that Reay Road was an equally prestigious one embodying excellence in architectural style, design, building technology and material usage!
Reay Road railway station, on the harbour branch railway line of the Central Railway, rises to the top of a road bridge whose span bestrides and overlaps the railway track underneath. The railway tracks tunnel through an arch on the southern side. The station superstructure, constructed of stone, atop the arch, has in its center a majestic clock overlooking the platforms and tracks as if keeping a benevolent and watchful eye on the goings on below. It is an elegant and unique example in compressed space utilization, a masterpiece - a true work of art. I have not seen a railway station like Reay Road anywhere else.
I think Reay Road is the only Heritage Railway Station on Mumbai’s Harbour line. The other heritage stations on Mumbai’s suburban railway include Byculla in the Central railway and Bandra on the Western railway.
The next time you are in Mumbai, catch a harbour local and get down at Reay Road. Stand aside and let the commuters rush away; and then look towards the southern side and marvel at the adorable and captivating heritage masterpiece. And do let me know how you felt!