Secunderabad railway station

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Secunderabad Junction
Indian Railway Station
Junction Station
Secbad rly stn.jpg
North (main) entrance of the station
Station statistics
Address Hyderabad
India
Coordinates 17°26′01″N 78°30′06″E / 17.4337°N 78.5016°E / 17.4337; 78.5016Coordinates: 17°26′01″N 78°30′06″E / 17.4337°N 78.5016°E / 17.4337; 78.5016
Elevation 535.60 metres (1,757.2 ft)
Line(s) Nagpur-Hyderabad line
Vijayawada Junction-Wadi
Secunderabad-Repalle
Nanded-Guntakal
Connections Bus stand, Taxicab stand
Structure type Standard (on ground station)
Platforms 10
Tracks 11
Parking 300+[1][2]
Baggage check Available[3]
Other information
Opened 1874[4][5]
Electrified 1993 (Fully)
Accessible Handicapped/disabled access
Station code SC[6][citation needed]
Zone(s) South Central Railway (headquarters)
Division(s) Secunderabad
Station status Functioning, An ISO-9001 Station[7]
Formerly Nizam's Guaranteed State Rlails
Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Rails
Traffic
Passengers (2008–09) 36.5 million appox. Increase 10% ([8][9])

Secunderabad Railway Station, also referred as Secunderabad Junction, is a major intercity railway station and a commuter rail hub in the Hyderabad Urban Area. It is located in the city of Hyderabad and falls under the South Central Railway zone of Indian Railways. Built in 1874, by the Nizam of Hyderabad State, during the British era, this station was the main station of the Nizam's Railway, until the opening of Kachiguda Railway Station in 1916. Later on, its operation was taken over by the Indian Railways in 1951, when the Nizam's Railway was nationalized. The main portico and concourse are influenced by Asaf Jahi style architecture.[10] The station building resembles a fort and is one of the tourist attractions in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.[10]

The station is well connected by rail to all parts of India. Over 190 trains arrive at, or depart from, the station, daily, transporting over one hundred thousand passengers to their destinations across the country. Situated on the VijayawadaWadi (main line of SCR) and NandedGuntakal railway lines, it is the zonal headquarters station of the South Central Railway (SCR), and also the divisional headquarters station of Secunderabad Division of the SCR. The station has also achieved the ISO-9001 Certification for quality management in ticket booking, parcel and luggage booking and train management of platform.[7] In recent years, the railways has proposed to upgrade it into a world-class station, with emphasis on vertical expansion of the complex.[11] It is connected to almost all the parts of the twin cities (Hyderabad and Secunderabad) by the Hyderabad MMTS and Hyderabad Road Transport's buses, making it convenient for passengers to commute to and from the station.

History[edit]

Pre-Independence Nizam era[edit]

A locomotive at the Secunderabad Station, circa 1928

The proposal for constructing Secunderabad Railway Station was raised in 1870[4] when the Nizam of Hyderabad State decided to connect the state with the rest of Indian sub-continent. The Nizam's Railways was formed as a private company and construction of the Secunderabad-Wadi line started in the same year. This line would connect Hyderabad with the Great Indian Peninsular Railway's (the railway company owned by the British India) main line at Wadi Junction. The Nizam provided all the expenses for the construction.[4]

After four years, the Secunderabad-Wadi Line was finished along with the Secunderabad Railway Station on 9 October 1874.[5] This was the first time that railways were introduced in Hyderabad. The main portico and concourse of the station were influenced by Asaf Jahi architecture.[10] The station building resembles a fort and is one of the tourist attractions in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.[10] The Nizam State took over the Nizam's Railway and the state owned Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway was formed in 1879.[4] In 1871 the Secunderabad station was connected to the Singareni Collieries Company by a 146 miles (235 km) line. The Secunderabad-Wadi line was extended to Vijayawada Junction as the Vijayawada-Wadi line in 1889.[4] The following year, the broad gauge connection between Vijayawada Junction and Chennai Central opened.[4] This made rail travel between Hyderabad and Chennai (then Madras) possible.

The Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railway Company was established in 1900 with the opening of the Manmad-Secunderabad metre gauge line.[12] However, the company eventually merged into Nizam's State Railways in 1930.[12] In 1916 another railway terminus, Kachiguda Railway Station, was constructed as the headquarters of Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway and also to regulate the traffic at Secunderabad.[10] Diesel rail cars by Ganz were tried out for the first time in Hyderabad State, by Nizam's State Railway, in 1939.[12]

Indian Railways[edit]

On 5 November 1951, the Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway was nationalized by the Government of India and merged into the government owned Indian Railways under the Ministry of Railways.[13] The Secunderabad Station was assigned to the Central Railways zone of Indian Railways with Mumbai CST as its headquarters. In 1966 a new railway zone, the South Central Railway, was formed with Secunderabad as its headquarters, it also being the headquarters of the Secunderabad Division.[13] The zonal headquarters of South Central Railway, called Rail Nilayam, was constructed in 1972. The divisional headquarters of the Secunderabad Division was built in 1980.[10]

The Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunications (IRISET), one of the six Centralised Training Institutes of Indian Railways, was set up in Secunderabad by the Ministry of Railways on 24 November 1957.[14] It was meant to cater to the specialised training needs of the railway staff and officers in the fields of railway signalling and telecommunication. Being an ISO 9001 certified training institute it today caters to the needs of the entire Afro-Asian region.[citation needed][clarification needed] In 1967 the Ajanta Express was introduced between Kachiguda Railway Station and Manmad (via Secunderabad). With an average speed of 42.5 km/h it was the fastest metre gauge train in India when introduced. In 1969 the Golconda Express was introduced which would travel between Secunderabad and Vijayawada Junction. At that time it was the fastest steam-hauled train in the country with an average speed of 58 km/h. and was later extended up to Guntur.[14] To facilitate effective operational and administrative control the Secunderabad Division was split into two divisions in February 1978: Secunderabad Division and Hyderabad Division.[10]

The early standalone computerised reservation system began its operation at Secunderabad in July 1989.[15] But, with the introduction of the Computerized Passenger Reservation System (PRS) at Secunderabad Station by SCR, from 30 September 1989,[10] the rail reservations at Secunderabad were made easy. This system was later linked to New Delhi, Howrah, Mumbai and Chennai in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 1999 respectively. This version was before the CONCERT system of reservation was developed to interconnect the stations. CONCERT was developed at Secunderabad in September 1994[15] but the first prototype of the CONCERT passenger reservation system was not implemented at the station until January 1995.[16]

The SecunderabadMahbubnagar metre gauge section was converted to broad gauge in 1993, breaking one of the important north-south meter gauge freight connections in India towards the north from Secunderabad. The same year the Secunderabad Station was electrified towards Kazipet and Vijayawada Junction. The electric locomotive shed in South Lallaguda (near Secunderabad Station), with a capacity to maintain 100 electric locomotives, was built in 1995.[15]

Recent history[edit]

The Rajdhani Express at the station

The Rajdhani Express which connects the state capitals of India with the National Capital of India was proposed in Andhra Pradesh between Secunderabad and the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station in the 2001 Indian Rail Budget.[17] The Secunderabad Rajdhani Express was introduced on 27 February 2002.[10] The Hyderabad Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS), the first of its kind in Andhra Pradesh, was introduced in 2003 with two lines: LingampallyHyderabad Railway Station with 13 services, and Lingampally Railway Station – Secunderabad with 11 services each day (initially).[18] Another line was constructed between Secunderabad and Falaknuma Railway Station. On 30 June 2004 the SCR operated the last metre gauge train on the Nizamabad–Manoharabad line[19] bringing to an end the metre gauge services which started in the 1930s on the Secunderabad–Manmad line of the Nizam's State Railways (formerly Hyderabad-Godavari Valley Railways). This was to facilitate the conversion of the track to broad gauge under the Project Unigauge[20] program of Indian Railways.[21] This line was open to traffic by 7 February 2005[20] after its conversion to broad gauge, allowing railway traffic on the Secunderabad–Manmad stretch of the Kachiguda Railway StationManmad line.[20]

The South Central Railway introduced the high-speed goods train, the Himalaya Special, from Secunderabad on 7 November 2007. Intended for speedy transportation of goods such as coal, this train was expected to run at 100 km/h.[22] In the 2008–2009 Indian railway budget Secunderabad station was planned to upgrade to world-class facilities.[23][24] The first Duronto Express for the South Central Railway was on 14 March 2010 between Secunderabad and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station, and was flagged off by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, K. Rosaiah, from the Secunderabad Station.[25]

The station[edit]

Secunderabad Railway Station (Central Station) is one of the biggest and busiest railway stations in the Indian railway system. It is the main railway terminus and a major commuter hub in the Hyderabad Urban Area which is the capital of Andhra Pradesh state, the main one of the three major railway stations serving the city, the other two being Kachiguda Railway Station and Deccan-Nampalli Railway Station.

It is the zonal headquarters of South Central Railway[26][citation needed] and the divisional headquarters of the Secunderabad Division.[26] Secunderabad Railway Station is the second busiest station after Vijayawada Junction Station. And the third biggest junction in SCR after Vijayawada and Guntakal junctions. To reduce the railway traffic at Secunderabad railway station the Railway Board had decided on a fourth main station[27] for Hyderabad to regulate the increasing passenger traffic at Secunderabad. There are two proposals for the new terminal, Malkajgiri Railway Station and Moulali Railway Station.

Layout[edit]

The Platform No.10 at twilight

Secunderabad Station has the standard station layout with a perfect traction inside the station. All the tracks in the station are broad gauged and electrified. The Nanded-Guntakal line that passes through is non-electrified, so diesel trains are common.

Platforms[edit]

The station has 10 platforms[28] which are covered by an R.C.C (Reinforced Cement Concrete)[clarification needed] roof. Each platform can handle a train with more than 24 coaches.[28] All the tracks are broad gauged and there is an additional track between platform no's. 7 & 8 which is a service track for the MMTS[29] and suburban trains where two trains halt at the same platform (due to their short length). Platform Nos. 6 & 7 are each divided into two as 6A, 6B and 7A, 7B.

The main service usage for the platforms is:

  • 1 and 2: Used by the long distance Inter-City express trains that start from Secunderabad/Hyderabad Stations with high passenger densities like the Rajdhani Express, Garib Rath, Andhra Pradesh Express etc.
  • 3–5: Used by Inter-City express trains with relatively less passenger densities. They either originate or pass through Secunderabad Station. Most of them are regional trains.
  • 6 and 7: Used by Hyderabad MMTS and Suburban transits rail traffic.[29]
  • 8: Used by regional trains and some mail Express trains
  • 9: Used by special trains or also serviced by other trains at peak hours.
  • 10: Used by Hi-Speed long distance S/F Express and Inter-City express trains also with high passenger densities and that pass through the railway station.

Junction[edit]

The Secunderabad Railway Station is a junction of tracks from 5 directions – Secunderabad to:

  • Kachiguda-Kurnool-Guntakal-Bangalore
  • Malkajgiri-Bolaram-Nizambad-Nanded-Parbhani
  • Vikarabad-Wadi
  • Bibinagar-Kazipet-Dornakal-Vijayawada Junction
  • Bibinagar-Nalgonda-Guntur-Tenali-Repalle

The Vijayawada-Secunderabad line and Repalle-Secunderabad line combines at Bibinagar junction near Secunderabad Station. Of these lines the Vijayawada Junction-Wadi line is the only electrified one.

Services[edit]

In brief
Total number of tracks: 11
Number of passenger tracks 10
Trains
(daily):
190[30] Inter-city and local
Passengers
(daily):
100,000[30]

The Secunderabad Railway Station is serviced by as many as 190 Inter-city and Suburban rail trains daily, on average. Most of these services originate or terminate at the station. The Vijayawada Junction – Wadi line, which passes through the station, is one of the busiest lines of South Central Railways. The station is also a freight station with many freight rail services, by Indian Railways, using the station. It has a Freight Operation Information System[31] for efficient monitoring of freight movement and plans are underway to start coaching operations information systems also.

The services that originate or pass through the station[edit]

The Secunderabad Station is serviced by many lines. Of all the lines that pass through the station, Vijayawada Junction – Wadi line is the most important one and also one of the busiest in South Central Railway.

The Lines are:[32]

Inter-City Train Services[edit]

The LED display boards of the train services at platform no.2

The Secunderabad Station is one of the busiest railway stations in Indian Railways. Over a hundred thousand passengers use this station daily, with more than 190 rail services transporting them to their destinations. The Secunderabad Rajdhani Express between Secunderabad and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station was introduced on 27 February 2002.[10] Two other Rajdhani Express trains also halt at the station, both originating at Bangalore City Railway Station. There are a couple of Garib Rath services which operate at the station. One is the Secunderabad Vishakhapatnam Garib Rath Express which operates daily,[33] the other being the one between Secunderabad and Yeswanthpur (Bangalore).[34] The Duronto Express, the non-stop express train, was introduced between Secunderabad and Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.

All the inter-city rail services which operate at the station are operated by the Indian Railways. New services are introduced every year in the Union Railway Budget, presented in the Parliament of India by the Railway Minister. Even the SCR introduces special rail services to various destinations of high passenger preference to reduce congestion. This is during the peak rush periods, like Summer Vacation and other festivals. The Secunderabad–Mumbai bi-weekly Duronto Express, announced in the 2010–11 Union Railway Budget of India,[35] is expected to be initiated by 31 March 2011.[36] Being the zonal headquarters of South Central Railway and because of its presence as a major station in Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, Secunderabad Station is well serviced with a large number of super-fast Inter-City express trains by Indian Railways. Most of the services operate to Vijayawada Junction, Visakhapatnam, Delhi, Howrah Station, Chennai Central and Bangalore. The largest outflow and inflow of passengers is between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam. The Godavari Express is one of the most prestigious trains of the South Central Railway.[37]

Servicing trains[edit]

Passengers checking their berth status on the charts at Platform No.1
The view from Platform No.1, overlooking to a train halted at pt.2

The following are the Super-fast Express long-distance trains that originate or pass through Secunderabad:

Train number Train name Origin Destination Frequency (inbound/outbound)
12513/14 Guwahati Express Secunderabad Guwahati Saturday/Sunday
12581/82 Bhubaneshwar Express Pune Junction Bhubaneshwar Wednesday/Thursday
12589/90 Gorakhpur Express Secunderabad Gorakhpur Friday/Thursday
12591/92 Bangalore Express Gorakhpur Bangalore Tuesday/Sunday
12603/04 Chennai Express Hyderabad Deccan Chennai Daily
12703/04 Falaknuma Express Secunderabad Howrah Daily
12705/06 Guntur Express Secunderabad Guntur Daily
12708/07 AP Sampark Kranti Express Tirupathi H.Nizamuddin [N 1]
12709/10 Simhapuri Express Secunderabad Gudur Daily
12713/14 Satavahana Express Secunderabad Vijayawada Junction Daily
12719/20 Ajmer Express Ajmer Junction Hyderabad Deccan [N 2]
12721/22 Dakshin Express Hyderabad H.Nizamuddin Daily
12723/24 Andhra Pradesh Express Hyderabad New Delhi Daily
12727/28 Godavari Express Hyderabad Visakhapatnam Daily
12731/32 Tirupathi Express Secunderabad Tirupathi [N 3]
12733/34 Narayanadri Express Secunderabad Tirupathi Daily
12737/38 Goutami Express Secunderabad Kakinada Daily
12747/48 Palnadu Express Vikarabad Guntur Daily
12749/50 Visakha - Mumbai LTT Express Visakhapatnam LT Terminus Daily
12751/52 Manuguru Express Secunderabad Manuguru Daily
12759/60 Charminar Express Hyderabad Chennai Daily
12763/64 Padmavathi Express Secunderabad Tirupathi [N 4]
12791/92 Manikarnika Express Secunderabad Patna Daily
12805/06 Janmabhoomi Express Secunderabad Visakhapatnam Daily

The following are the specialized Indian Railways services that travel through Secunderabad station:

Train number Train name Origin Destination Frequency (inbound/outbound)
12219/20 Mumbai Duronto Express Secunderabad LT Terminus [N 5]
12285/86 New Delhi Duronto Express Secunderabad Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station [N 6]
12429/30 Bangalore Rajdhani Express Bangalore Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station [N 7]
12437/38 Secunderabad Rajdhani Express Secunderabad Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station Monday/Wednesday
12493/94 Bangalore Rajdhani Express Bangalore Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station [N 8]
12025/26 Secunderabad Pune Shatabdi Express Secunderabad Pune Monday, Wednesday,Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
12735/36 Yeswanthpur Garib Rath Express Secunderabad Yeswanthpur [N 9]
12739/40 Visakhapatnam Garib Rath Express Secunderabad Visakhapatnam Daily
22203/04 Vishakapatnam Duronto Express Secunderabad Visakhapatnam Triweekly
Notes[edit]
  1. ^ Monday,Thursday Saturday/Monday,Wednesday,Friday
  2. ^ Friday,Sunday/Monday,Wednesday
  3. ^ Wednesday,Friday/Monday,Wednesday
  4. ^ Monday,Tuesday,Thursday,Saturday,Sunday/Tuesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday
  5. ^ Thursday,Sunday/Tuesday,Friday
  6. ^ Tuesday,Saturday/Thursday,Sunday
  7. ^ Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday/Monday, Tuesday, Thursday Friday
  8. ^ Monday, Thursday, Friday/Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
  9. ^ Tuesday,Thursday,Saturday/Tuesday,Thursday,Sunday

Commuter rail[edit]

Secunderabad Railway Station is the only station in Hyderabad MMTS to be connected with all the four MMTS commuter lines. It is the major commuter inter-change hub of the Hyderabad MMTS.

The Station is on both Line-2[38] and Line-3[39] of the Hyderabad Metro, which is under construction. Once the metro is finished it is projected to be the busiest commuter railway station in the Hyderabad Metro area.

Secunderabad Station is also the hub of suburban transit trains (push-pull trains). These DHMU's run in the non-electrified rail lines in the suburbs of the Hyderabad Urban Area. These also run in the electrified lines of MMTS).

Lines[edit]

The following are the lines of Hyderabad MMTS that originate or pass through Secunderabad:

Station facilities[edit]

The Foot-over bridge at the Platform No.1

Secunderabad Railway Station is a well equipped railway station with a number of passenger facilities. Secunderabad Station has passenger facilities like that of any other station of the South Central Railway. It is also well equipped with ultra-modern security and parking. There is also a coaching depot next to the station for maintaining the train coaches and cleaning them before they arrive at the station. However, there is a problem of congestion in the areas around the station.[40]

Passenger Facilities[edit]

Passengers using the Secunderabad Station are fully equipped with as many facilities as in any other railway station in the Indian Railways. Many facilities like lodging, restaurants, cafes, coffee shop, book stalls, waiting halls, cloak rooms, Cyber cafe[41] tourism agents counters, train inquiry counters, train status display (digital) boards, train status announcements, foot bridges etc. are provided to the passengers using the station.

The passenger facilities include book stalls include Gita Press, Vedanta Book Stall of Ramakrishna Mutt and Wheeler book stalls with several genres of books ranging from spiritual, moral and religious to news papers and magazines. The specialty food stalls include restaurants maintained by IRCTC and other private vendors. Also there are stalls of Vijaya Dairy (milk products and sweet deserts) and Himachal Pradesh Apple Juice store. All these can be located on the Platform number 1.

There is also a pharmacy on Platform 1 along with a dispensary and a first aid kit. Recently in June 2013 there was construction for building escalator on every platform.The escalators are now being operated by passengers from mid of July 2013.

Waiting halls[edit]

There are several waiting halls in the Secunderabad Railway Station provided for the passengers, three at the north entrance and a couple other at the south side entrance of the station. There is an air-conditioned waiting hall on platform No.1 and a non-A/C dormitory on the first floor.[42][43] The new A/C waiting hall is free of cost to passengers holding A/C class ticket. The latest dormitory facility would be in addition to the existing A/C dormitory with eight beds and 13 rooms, each with two beds.

Both the waiting-halls at the south entrance of the station are air-conditioned. Constructed on platform no. 10 in the station, the waiting halls are meant for both upper and second class passengers and have plush chairs, air-conditioners, pay-and-use toilets and ample space. Everyday nearly 11,000 passengers visit these waiting halls.[44]

Security[edit]

Secunderabad Railway Station is very well equipped with security equipment. There are CCTV's, door frame metal detectors, hand-held sensors and other detection equipment. There are also many security personnel available in the station.

45 cameras are installed at different locations on the station premises, including static and Pan-Tilt-Zoom (PTZ) high-end cameras. These cameras are equipped with internet enabled digital video recorders and display monitors which are interconnected with data cables. The Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras can rotate 360 degrees and have a range of one km. The system controls are housed at the Railway Protection Force (RPF) post in the station.[45]

Personnel from the Railway Protection Force (RPF) are also available to maintain a constant vigil on those moving under suspicious circumstances. Nine surveillance cameras were installed at the station.[46] Indian Railways will also soon raise a commando outfit on the model of National Security Guards (NSG) to provide counter terrorist activities at the railway station.

Following increasing threats of terrorism in India[29] SCR has started a baggage check at an estimated cost of Rs. 27 lakhs (USD$65000) as part of a pilot project.[47] As a means of stepping up security measures the railway authorities have also conceived an Integrated Security Scheme covering security measures at railway stations. An integerated security team system was introduced at the station in the 2009 rail budget.[48]

Recent Incidents[edit]

  • On 14 July 2008, a caller rang up the police main control room around 1030 hrs and informed about bombs placed at Secunderabad railway station, passport office, Swathi tiffin centre and a bus stop, all within the limits of Secunderabad.[49][50] Between 1 pm to 1:15 p.m of 15 July four smoke bombs were said to be about to go off on platforms one, six and seven. The railway authorities immediately alerted the EMRI 108 service, but nothing happened on that day.[51]
  • Another bomb threat call was rung in on 8 October 2009[52] to which kept police on tenterhooks for two hours. The caller, who spoke in Telugu, told the operator that a bomb was planted in the Secunderabad railway station and it would explode within an hour. The Cyberabad police alerted their city counterparts who rushed to the railway station and launched a search for possible explosives. Local police, bomb disposal squads and the railway police scoured the entire premises, and even the trains, in search of explosives but found nothing after which the call was declared a prank.

Parking and other technology[edit]

The Secunderabad Railway Station has a large car and two-wheeler parking facility. There is also an auto rickshaw stand at the entrance of the station. At the south side entrance of the station the passengers are provided with a taxi stand for the city taxis and private taxi cabs.

Secunderabad Railway Station is the first railway station to be installed with an automated parking system.[53] The new parking lot, built at a cost of Rs. 6 million,[54] has a ticket dispenser installed at the entry point to detect the arrival of the vehicle and issue a magnetically coded ticket, which indicates time and date of arrival. This allows the vehicle access to the parking area. A manual pay station has been set up at the exit point.

There are two ticket counters provided for the passengers in the Secunderabad Station. Passengers can buy tickets for second class and general compartments in the train as they are not reservable.[55] A computerized reservation facility is provided as well as an information cell for tourists. For the ease of passengers a Passenger Operated Enquiry Terminal (POET) facility is available.[56] To access information on the movement of trains the National Train Enquiry System (NTES) can be accessed.[56] Indrail passes are available at the reservation center, which is about 200 meters from station.

Water recycling[edit]

The South Central Railway, in a bid to conserve water, installed a water recycling plant at Secunderabad railway station at a cost of Rs. 12 million.[57] The maintenance of trains including washing of 800 coaches, aprons and platforms of the station requires over 30,000 litres of water daily. With the installation of the water recycling plant all the used water is collected through pipes and sent to the plant for biological and chemical treatment. Though not fit for drinking, recycled water is good enough for cleaning the coaches and platforms.

Future[edit]

The main portico of the station
The South Entrance Gate of the Station

During the budget session of the Indian Railways 2008–09 the then Railway Minister, Lalu Prasad Yadav, rolled out a design to turn the over 200-year-old Secunderabad railway station into a grander facility, at a cost of Rs. 40 billion (USD$1 billions).[58] Later in the maiden budget of 2009-10, Ms.Mamata Banerjee listed 50 stations to be upgraded into world-class facilities which included the Secunderabad station. The idea was to transform the station into an ultra-modern train hub with added facilities. According to the Ministry, the upgradation will be done on the lines of Rome's central railway station, Roma Termini (Stazione Termini).[59] The Late Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy directed the proposal for developing the old Gandhi Hospital land adjoining Secunderabad Railway Station on the lines of Toronto railway station, which was developed into a major terminus for commuters, a commercial hub and a parking facility.[60]

Styled after how airports handle passenger services, besides having escalators and lifts, the proposed facility will have shopping malls, food plazas, entertainment and recreation centres. The plan also includes vertical expansion[11] of the station by constructing platforms on different floors. This would enable the railways to make maximum benefit of the built up area. Segregation of arriving and departing commuters to minimise conflicting movement, and integration of the proposed integrated bus terminus (IBT) and metro services to facilitate travel of passengers, will be key ingredients in the upgrade. The current security apparatus at the station — CCTVs, doorframe metal detectors, hand-held sensors and other detection equipment-might be overhauled to fit into the new scheme of things. Centralised lighting, seating areas, waiting rooms, retiring rooms and internet kiosks would be upgraded.[61]

Since over a 10,000 passengers commute through Secunderabad railway station in 190 trains everyday, the project needs to be developed forecasting the needs for next 100 years.[30]

Even the Union Railway Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee, asserted the same in June 2009 while presenting the maiden Budget 2009–10 and added with more stations in the list.[62]

With the over 200-year-old Secunderabad Railway Station embarking on a new journey, conservationists fear the massive upgrade may leave the heritage building as to the memory of a bygone era. An amount of Rs. 85 million has already been spent on various developmental works in the station.[63]

A series of meetings was convened with Railway Board authorities in July 2009. It was decided to hire a consultant to sketch a master plan for the project including facilities to be incorporated, timeframe for completion and estimated cost. Global tenders inviting the consultants were issued on 26 September[30] and the authorities would open them on 30 October to select the successful bidder who would be given a time frame of ten months to sketch the master plan,[64] but the date was later extended to 24 December which in turn had an indefinite extension due to non-availability of bidders.[65]

The Bhoiguda (south) side of Secunderabad railway station is planned to be developed with a host of facilities. A new building is being designed with four floors, of which the first and second floors are now completed at a cost of Rs. 22 million.[54]

In the Indian Rail Budget of 2009–10 the Union Railway Minister of India Ms.Mamata Banerjee introduced a new type of rail-service called Duronto Trains[66] which would run from Secunderabad to New Delhi. This is a non-stop train which would only have technical halts.

Recent events[edit]

  • On 14 October 2006, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad waved off the flag for a 1962 WP 7200 model steam locomotive Ruby Queen and the seven carriages as part of SCR's ruby jubilee celebrations.[67] On its inaugural run to Falaknuma, the heritage train had only one stop — Kachiguda. The 'queen' was enthusiastically received by people who gathered at the station on that day.To run 120 km, the awesome beauty consumes just 15,000 kg of coal and 25,000 litres of water.[68] The highlight of that train was the 33-seater vice-regal coach RA 29, built in 1921, for the Prince of Wales on a State visit to India.
  • On 4 February 2008, The tri-coloured Azadi Express train exhibition showcasing the defining moments of India’s freedom struggle arrived at Secunderabad station.[69] The 12-coach train displays rare and historically important photos, 3D models, murals and audio-visual presentations in each coach describing brutalities of the British imperialists and sacrifices made by Indians during the first Indian War of Independence in 1857 and other developments in the country. The train began its journey from New Delhi on 20 September 2007 commemorating 150 years of freedom struggle and 60 years of Independence. Since then, it had traveled the length and breadth of the country and finally ended its journey on 11 May 2008.
  • The Red Ribbon Express (RRE), the train spreading awareness on HIV/AIDS across the country, made a halt in Secunderabad station on 15 April 2010. It was stationed for two days. Turnout at the train was so heavy that the volunteers manned aboard and outside the train had to rush through the visitors to make way for others waiting in queues. Every visitor who came out of the train seemed brimming with the information and knowledge gained about the disease.[72]

Gallery[edit]

Secunderabad Railway Station
The Station in 1890, circa 
The station, circa 1948 
The Main Entrance of the Station 
The South Entrance Complex 
The front gate with the main complex in the background 
The arial of the station from Pt.No.10 
Another view from Pt.10 
Secunderabad Garib Rath Express Halted 
Secunderabad Railway Station board 
Secunderabad Railway platformboard 
Secunderabad Railway Station entrance 
MMTS Local at Secunderabad Railway Station 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Automated parking system at Secunderabad Railway Station". The Hindu. 22 March 2006. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
  2. ^ "Automated parking lot inaugurated". The Hindu. 24March 2006. Retrieved 14 September 2009. 
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