Friday, 10 March 2017

Impressive colonial building, Southern Railways HO, Chennai

South Indian Raiway HQ, Chennai Alamy

The impressive building  near the Central Station on Poonamallee High Road, Chennai that serves as the Southern Railway headquarters is yet another popular landmark in this big city and this historical building following an Indo-Saracenic structure  was built in 1921 as the new Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Company (MSMR) headquarters (successor of Madras Railway Company), replacing the general office of MSMR at Royapuram Railway Station (now part of Chennai). Presently  this Head Office of the Southern Railways covers the entire southern region. In the colonial period the railroads were run only by the British companies with British directors, using funds raised in India.  The unsavory fact is the railways were introduced by the British for their international trade benefits out of Indian tax payers' money. However, we have to accept the fact that they built sturdy railway stations, vast railway tracks, rail bridges across countless rivers,  etc., without compromising on quality.
, Chennai. southern Railways HQen.wikipedia.org/
This Chennai  building was constructed  at a cost of rupees two million  plus and the contractor was one T. Samynada Pillai, a leading Bangalore-based building contractor. Since he did a good job, the famous and majestic  Egmore Railway Station was built later by Pillai and his team. A fascinating fact that may be worthy of mention is  for the first time in India reinforced concrete was used and the classical and Dravidian styles were introduced by the architect N. Grayson, an employee of  the Madras & Southern Mahratta Railway.It is believed a  total of rupees  3 million had been spent and it took nine long years to complete the project. The building came into being on 11 December 1922. 

The central bay of the building has two rectangular wings, both of which are designed  around a lush courtyard. Considering the tropical climate and hot summer, the architect took special care to have large windows set in place at vantage points to allow the sea breeze to waft through, reaching the courtyard from the front and then going out through the opposite wing.

Tit-Bits:
Southern Railway HQ. Talks From a Native Indian
Turrets on Southern Railway HO, Chennai. Panoramio

Tit-Bits:

01. For  the  first  time  in  India reinforced
concrete  was used for the construction work. Yet another feature is mixing of  Dravidian style of architecture

02. Bombay  Central  India   Railway  Office  was  
designed by F.W. Steven’s in Gothic Style.

03. Lahore railway office was designed by James Ransome  in 1905 in Indo - Saracenic


04. The same building contractor who built the SR headquarter building, also built the huge Egmore Railway station that operates trains to the southern regions mostly on the eastern southern peninsular India.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_Railway_Headquarters,_Chennai