Will James Street Rly Stn get back its sheen?
The erstwhile ticket counters at the 141-year-old historic James Street Railway Station now lies in a state of neglect with repeated efforts by railway officials to restore it failing to yield the desired results. The James Street Railway Station, built in 1874, was the second station after Secunderabad on the Hyderabad-Wadi sector.The old platform till date stands as testimony to the olden times and has adopted the typical Deccani style of construction with a combination of columns and jalis.
It was during restoration that the old platform was revived, leaving the booking counters in a sad state of affairs. “I remember buying tickets at these counters during my younger days. The James Street railway station never had heavy traffic, but it was a stop by for the few passengers who resided in the nearby localities. It was initially part of Nizam’s Guaranteed State Railway which with time changed to Central Railways, which is inscribed on the walls near the counter,” said Anuradha Reddy, INTACH, Convener, Hyderabad chapter.
“The railway line was a part of Wadi-Hyderabad, which is one of the oldest Railway lines in the State. It is very sad to see that the counters are now lying in shambles and also go unnoticed. The counters have to be restored to the past glory as the station is in working condition and a help centre can be set up to give it a life,” she added. Historian, Ghiasuddin Akbar, said, “James Street Railway Station was introduced as a stopover on the Secunderabad line.
The station never witnessed any passenger traffic, but more predominantly a part of the Cantonment Board and there were more of British personnel who used it for various purposes. With the division of the Railways after 1966, the station was left unwanted till, 2003. It was with the introduction of MMTS in 2003, the station was restored by keeping the old platform intact and also added new platforms and counters. The authorities could not restore these old booking counters, which once served the old Hyderabadis and there are many memories of them attached to it.
MMTS official who prefers anonymity, said, “It was in the year 2003 during the restoration of the railway station for the MMTS, we tried to restore the counters, but that could not be accomplished. The counters are located under the bridge and it did not seem like they could be put into use again. The counters were in a very bad shape and were stinking beyond imagination as they have been left locked for a very long period and the people around also started using it for several undesirable activities which resulted in the present condition. There are still plans to restore them and we will try our level best to bring it back to glory.”