Churchgate station gets a makeover

Churchgate has always been CST’s plain cousin. But it is undergoing a makeover, which will show it in sparkling new light. By the end of this month, the station building’s facade and sides will be completely covered in glass, on which will be depicted the complex crisscrossing of tracks near junctions . Western Railway officials said Churchgate will be the only station in the country to sport a glass exterior, elevating it to the league of select stations in Japan, Australia, Germany and England. About 50% of the glass work is over. The covering will filter out 13% of light in the visible spectrum and 90% of ultraviolet (UV) rays. The glass panels will be placed 1.8 metres from the building walls to allow ventilation. A WR official said the UV protection will reduce heat inside the building, bringing down the need for fans and air conditioners. The glass—which is shatterproof to guard against mobs—will cover a surface area of 16,145 sq ft, providing a kaleidoscopic refraction of the WR headquarters across the road. The building, in the process of being listed as a UNESCO heritage site, is in the Indo-Saracenic Revival style (also the style of the Taj MahalPalace & Tower, the Gateway, the BMC building and the GPO). The glass work, costing Rs 1.99 crore, is part of the Rs 20-crore Churchgate beautification project, which will be wrapped up in a few days. The project highlights are: putting up silver and blue aluminium composite panels in the interior and on the exterior of the building (white and blue comprise WR’s colour code for naming stations); extending platforms three and four to accommodate 15-car local trains; extending the roof to accommodate 12-car trains, the first such extension in 60 years; and revamping toilets, booking offices and the water cooler area.

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