In this blog we are going to see about ‘History Of Chennai Central Railway Station’.
Marking the initial days of the railways in the Indian Subcontinent, the Madras Railway Company began to network South India in 1856. The first station was built at Royapuram, which remained the main station at that time.
Expansion of the Madras Railways network, particularly the completion of the Madras–Vyasarpadi line, called for a second station in Madras, resulting in Madras Central coming into being.
Madras Central was built in 1873 at Parktown as a second terminus to decongest the Royapuram harbour station, which was being utilised for port movements.
The station was built on the open grounds that had once been called John Pereira’s Gardens, belonging to Joao Pereira de Faria (John Pereira), a Portuguese merchant in the port town of Negapatam (present day Nagapattinam) who settled in Madras in 1660.
The garden had a house used by Pereira for rest and recreation. Having fallen into disuse, the garden had become a gaming den, with cock-fighting being the favourite sport at that time, until when the Trinity Chapel was built nearby in 1831 and the Railways moved into the area in the 1870s.
In 1907, Madras Central was made the Madras Railway Company’s main station. The station gained prominence after the beach line was extended further south in the same year, and Royapuram was no longer a terminus for Madras. All trains were then terminated at Madras Central instead.
The Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Company was formed in 1908 and took over the Central station from the Madras Railway Company. The station’s position was further strengthened after the construction of the headquarters of the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway (erstwhile Madras Railway and now known as the Southern Railway) adjacent to it in 1922.
Madras Central was part of South Indian Railway Company during the British rule. The company was established in 1890 and was initially headquartered in Trichinopoly. Egmore Railway Station was made its northern terminus in 1908. It was then shifted to Madurai and later to Madras Central.
With the opening of the Egmore Railway Station, plans were first made of linking Madras Central and Egmore, which was later dropped. The company operated a suburban electric train service for Madras city from May 1931 onwards in the Madras Beach-Tambaram section.
In 1959, additional changes were made to the station. Electrification of the lines at the station began in 1979, when the section up to Gummidipoondi was electrified on 13 April 1979. The lines up to Tiruvallur were electrified on 29 November 1979 while the tracks along Platforms 1 to 7 were electrified on 29 December 1979.