19 October 2023
The transformation of India's largest railway station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) in Mumbai, renowned for its neo-Gothic architecture, will be carried out by teams from SYSTRA India.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an historic railway station in Mumbai, India

The Chhatrapati Shivaji station has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004. Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, it was named after the Indian warlord Chhatrapati Shivaji at the end of the 20th century. Located in the heart of Mumbai, it is the terminus of many mainline and commuter trains, and is home to the headquarters of Central Railway, one of Indian Railways’ 19 regional divisions.

In a consortium with British engineering firm Mace, SYSTRA India will be working on a PMC contract involving project management and redevelopment of the station on behalf of the Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA). The aim is to preserve the station’s heritage while modernising it to make it a multimodal hub.

The station will be transformed, notably through the creation of new spaces on its roof, several catering areas, a new waiting room and a shopping arcade, while continuing to welcome thousands of passengers every day. SYSTRA and Mace will be responsible for the overall management of the project, starting with the design studies, followed by supervision of site operations, with particular attention paid to quality, safety, and interface management, right through to delivery of the project to RLDA.

The CSMT station is a historic railway terminus and UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, to which the local people are very attached. It is therefore a real honour for us to be involved in this project. The redevelopment of the station will improve public facilities and the range of services on offer, positioning Chhatrapati Shivaji among the most modern stations in the world.

Hari Somalraju, Managing Director, SYSTRA India

Already involved in numerous metro projects in Mumbai, as well as the coastal road project, SYSTRA India is adding to its presence in the Indian economic capital with the modernisation of this station, which serves two major intercity lines to Solapur and Sainagar Shirdi, as well as a large number of suburban lines, some of which have been automated with SYSTRA since 2020.

The station from the outside
The station interior

A station that symbolises Mumbai

As well as being one of India’s largest railway stations and its oldest terminal, Chhatrapati Shivaji is a landmark of Mumbai. The ten years it took to build from 1878 to 1888 was a record length of time.

Its cathedral-like appearance, with stained-glass windows depicting locomotives, made it an emblem not only of the country’s economic capital, but also of the meeting of Indian and British cultures: the architects called on local craftsmen to incorporate local aesthetic traditions, with a view to the building being the precursor of a new style, specific to Mumbai, hence the choice of a stone dome, turrets and pointed arches reminiscent of traditional Indian palace plans. What’s more, the entrance doors are surmounted by a lion and a tiger, the former representing the United Kingdom and the latter India.

The station is also famous for being featured in the final scene of the film Slumdog Millionaire and for hosting the filming of its soundtrack, Jai Ho! (You are my destiny), composed by A. R. Rahman and the band Pussycat Dolls in 2009.

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