Watch | Inside India’s oldest, surviving railway station

A video on India’s oldest, surviving Royapuram railway station

Updated - July 09, 2022 01:38 pm IST

Published - July 06, 2022 12:31 pm IST

The Royapuram railway station in Chennai is India’s oldest surviving railway station. This station is still functional even as it enters its 167th year.

The Royapuram station sent the first train of southern India chugging out, on June 28, 1856.

The first passenger train carried the Governor of Madras Presidency, Lord Harris and 300 European delegates.

It was operated from the Royapuram railway terminus to Wallajah Road which is now called Walajapet* in Kancheepuram district. On the same day, a second train was operated from the railway terminus to ‘Triveloor’ - presently known as Tiruvallur.

It was inaugurated on July 1, 1856 by the then Governor, Lord Harris.

It remained Chennai’s main railway station till 1907.

The Royapuram station was built by Madras Railway Company. The heritage building was designed by William Adelpi Tracey.

In 2005 it was renovated keeping the old structure intact at a cost of ₹35 lakh.

Unlike the Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations, the Royapuram railway station is mostly isolated with only a few commuters dropping in to take one of the few odd trains that currently stop at the station.

Passengers believe that improving amenities like the extension of the foot-overbridge to the south side of the railway station, installing of closed circuit television cameras and posting of parking contractors, would help in the Royapuram railway station regaining its past glory.

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