Chennai Central takes on its youthful ‘sibling’ Egmore Station


One is synonymous with Madras, whereas the opposite is an icon in its personal proper, if ignored. Which stirs extra feelings in you, Chennai Central or Egmore station?

One is synonymous with Madras, whereas the opposite is an icon in its personal proper, if ignored. Which stirs extra feelings in you, Chennai Central or Egmore station?

A sepia-toned image of a clocktower alongside the banks of Buckingham Canal is the primary picture that crosses your thoughts, when anyone utters the golden phrase: Madras. It’s the place that receives each traveller with open arms, regardless of geographical boundaries. The place Mani Ratnam’s characters roam, fostering cutesy romances. That is Chennai Central — sure, we’re old school and
nonetheless swear by that identify.

Madras Central, because it was recognized, got here into existence in 1873. You do realise that we’re speaking about 147 years of historical past, proper? The place do we start? In fact, it’s an architectural marvel that’s each Gothic and Romanesque.

Designed by George Harding, it’s unfold throughout 17 platforms with over 19 trains working on common. A information report in 2012 said that the station performs home to over 180,000 passengers at any given level of time. It may not be the cleanest railway station within the nation (we’re engaged on it), however certain boasts glorious connectivity and hassle-free providers. Allow us to take cinema, for example. Each filmmaker tends to romanticise Chennai Central, which, sadly, isn’t the case with its ‘underdog’ sibling. Sure, there have been films that manifested faux hopes about prepare rides (courtesy: Gautham Menon). My journeys, for one, are crammed with tales of desperation to satisfy a Jessie or Meghna. However the secret’s to not get carried away by cinema.

There’s extra to Chennai Central than its wealthy legacy and vibrant historical past. It’s that sheer pleasure of crossing the Basin Bridge Station, expectedly peeping by way of the window solely to be acquired by a signboard that reads: Chennai Central. It’s an expertise each Madras-bred would relate to.

Srivatsan S not bothers to verify the chart sheet and is satisfied that his co-passengers are a pair of their 50s

It isn’t straightforward being the youthful sibling, however that’s how Egmore has at all times been handled, compared to the Central railway station. Filmmakers go overboard shoving that previous clocktower in your face, making an attempt to wring out emotion for ‘Madras’. Nonetheless, our Egmore has been quietly and effectively ferrying thousands and thousands of passengers yearly since 1908, when it sprung to life to complement Central.

Designed by Sir Henry Irwin, this pink and white neo-classical construction with its lengthy corridors and clocktower is among the metropolis’s youthful icons. As Chennai’s spoken historical past goes, it was made out of a British fort that was presumably used to retailer ammunition. It’s iconic in multiple approach: till 2004, this station hosted the world’s solely meter-gauge suburban prepare.

Its 11 platforms are the place trains certain Southwards, wish to Trichy, meet ones certain Northwards, to Hyderabad and Mumbai. In response to a 2008
The Hindu report, alongside these tracks are hole vertical columns, that had been engineered to gather rainwater which was made to stream right into a tank. That’s the Egmore type: environment friendly with no frills or fancies.

For my first 4 years in Chennai, going to Egmore meant taking one step nearer to house, which again then was Mumbai.

To today, once I discover myself on the station commuting for work, I move by the Dadar-Chennai Egmore Specific and may’t assist however daydream… what if I purchased a ticket and jumped in?

Sure, Egmore could not have Central’s vastness or get the adulation from filmmakers and common upkeep from the Authorities that Central does. However that’s what occurs whenever you ignore the youthful sibling, and make your firstborn your foremost venture (Mother!)

Sweta Akundi swears she has no underlying sibling pointsto deal with, however will at all times root for the underdog

On this column, we pit two Chennai icons in opposition to one another


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