The Southern Railway has written to the Chennai Corporation seeking land from Stanley Medical College and a Christian cemetery for converting the Royapuram railway station into a terminus.

Speaking at a press meet held in the city on Wednesday, Southern Railway’s general manager Rakesh Mishra said feasibility studies had shown that the existing station was too small.

“There is very little space for the entry of trains. In order to expand the entry point, we have to take land from Stanley Hospital and the cemetery. We have written to the Chennai Corporation asking whether it would be possible for them to spare some land,” said Mr. Mishra.

The Royapuram station, the oldest in the country, was inaugurated on July 1, 1856. The station is a Grade I heritage structure.

Mr. Mishra noted that the coach maintenance yard in Basin Bridge was in bad shape due to poor maintenance despite it being a prominent facility that handles around 1,600 coaches. “There are a host of problems. Employees complain of mosquito bites and have often seen many rodents too,” said a railway source.

Mr. Mishra said that no funds had been received for maintenance of the yards. “We have taken stock of the situation and will try to effect improvements in phases,” he said.

The land belongs to Stanley Medical College and a Christian cemetery