Above - The Station then in 1920 - photograph from the Hindu Archives.
And now in July 2008
I took this picture ( as usual from a moving car) - I had read an article about the history of the station and had been determined that I would also take a picture of the station. Unfortunately when we arrived, we got off and walked towards the parking lot away from the main building. I was disappointed, and in the events that followed I quite forgot all about it.
Luckily, as we were on our way to take the train back home, this view suddenly sprang before us. I was not seated in the front, but it did not deter me and I dug into the bag and pulled out the camera just in time to get at least a reasonably good view of the station quite a good distance away thanks to a good 8 MP camera that I had with me.
Quoting from the article it was probably inaugurated around 1873. Conceived as a subsidiary to the main station at Royapuram, the building was designed by George Hardinge, a famous British architect living in Madras. The Central Station with its clock tower is an enduring landmark. The building has gothic elements and is well maintained. Its biggest advantage is that there are no steps to climb with luggage. Early on, all the best trains started from platform one. It is significant that all the premium trains now start from platform nine, 10 and 11 while platform one has trains doing only short runs. Interestingly, it’s the only station that has a platform numbered 2a -Actually meant for delivering water and goods to the station staff, the Shatabdi now starts from here.
The elder one would probably remember this station - the number of trips made home from Chennai and she would also be thankful that there were no steps to climb!!