The terminus was designed by British architectural engineer Frederick William Stevens in the style of Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture. Its construction began in 1878, in a location south of the old Bori Bunder railway station, and was completed in 1887, the year marking Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria, the building being named, Victoria Terminus.
The station's name was changed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (station code CST) in March 1996 to honour Shivaji, the 17th-century founder of the Maratha Empire, whose name is often preceded by Chhatrapati, a royal title. In 2017, the station was again renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (code CSTM), where Maharaj is also a royal title. However, both the former initials "VT" and the current, "CST", are commonly used.
The terminus is the headquarters of India's Central Railway (India). It is one of the busiest railway stations in India, serving as a terminal for both long-distance- and Mumbai Suburban Railway trains.
The station took ten years to complete, the longest for any building of that era in Bombay. This famous architectural landmark in a Gothic-revival style was built as the headquarters of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.
During its construction, a marble statue of Queen Victoria was installed in the main façade of the building, in a canopy under the clock. In the 1950s, authorities had begun to remove statues of the British Raj figures from government buildings and public spaces based on a directive from the Government of India. Most of the statues, including that of Queen Victoria, were sent to Jijamata Udyan (later renamed ''Rani Baug'') where they were left lying on the grass in the open until at least the 1980s. A Right to Information Act, 2005 report was filed, but had no records of the missing statue being exported out of India. Historians now believe that the statue was smuggled out, sold by politicians,
destroyed in honour of Emperor Shivaji, founder of the Maratha Empire. In December 2016, the First Modi ministry passed a resolution to change the name to ''Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus'' in the Maharashtra Assembly and in May 2017, the home ministry officially sent a letter to the state government denoting the name change, following which the station was yet again renamed as the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. However, both the former name "VT" and the current name "CST" are popularly used.
On 26 November 2008, two terrorists entered the passenger hall of the CST, opened fire and threw grenades at people. The terrorists were armed with AK-47 rifles.One of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab, was later caught alive by the police and identified by eyewitnesses. The others did not survive. The attacks began around 21:30 when the two men entered the passenger hall and opened fire, their assault ending at about 22:45 after they exited the station via the North FOB towards the west to Cama Hospital back entrance. The CCTV evidence was used to identify and indict Kasab.
The station building is designed in the High Victorian Gothic style of architecture. The building exhibits a fusion of influences from Victorian Italianate Gothic Revival architecture and classical Indian architecture. The skyline, turrets, pointed arches, and eccentric ground plan are close to classical Indian palace architecture. Externally, the wood carving, tiles, ornamental iron and brass railings, grills for the ticket offices, the balustrades for the grand staircases and other ornaments were the work of students at the Sir Jamsetjee Jeejebhoy School of Art. The station stands as an example of 19th-century railway architectural marvels for its advanced structural and technical solutions. The CST was constructed using a high level of engineering both in terms of railway and civil engineering. It is one of the first and finest products of the use of industrial technology, merged with the Gothic Revival style in India. The centrally domed office structure has a 330-foot long platform connected to a 1,200-foot long train shed, and its outline provides the skeleton plan for the building. CST's dome of dovetailed ribs, built without centering, was considered as a novel achievement of the era.
The interior of the building was conceived as a series of large rooms with high ceilings. It is a utilitarian building and has had various changes required by the users, not always sympathetic. It has a C-shaped plan which is symmetrical on an east-west axis. All the sides of the building are given equal value in the design. It is crowned by a high central dome, which acts as the focal point. The dome is an octagonal ribbed structure with a colossal female figure symbolizing Progress, holding a torch pointing upwards in her right hand and a spoked wheel in her left hand. The side wings enclose the courtyard, which opens on to the street. The wings are anchored by monumental turrets at each of their four corners, which balance and frame the central dome. The façades present the appearance of well-proportioned rows of windows and arches. The ornamentation in the form of statuary, bas-reliefs, and friezes is exuberant yet well controlled. The columns of the entrance gates are crowned by figures of a lion (representing Great Britain) and a tiger (representing India). The main structure is built from a blend of India sandstone and limestone, while high-quality Italian marble was used for the key decorative elements. The main interiors are also decorated: the ground floor of the North Wing, known as the Star Chamber, which is still used as the booking office, is embellished with Italian marble and polished Indian blue stone. The stone arches are covered with carved foliage and grotesques. Internally, the ceiling of the booking hall was originally painted blue, gold and strong red on a ground of rich blue with gold stars. Its walls were lined with glazed tiles made by Maw & Co of Britain. Outside, there are statues representing Commerce, Agriculture, Engineering and Science, with a statue representing Progress on the central dome of the station. Air-conditioned dormitories were inaugurated at CST on 16 April 2013. The facility has 58 beds for men and 20 for women.
The station has been the location of filming the "Jai Ho (song)" song in ''Slumdog Millionaire''; and the 2011 Bollywood ''Ra.One''.
, Bori Bunder railway station, Timeline of Mumbai history
211 Trains found crossing station Chhatrapati SHIVAJI MAHARAJ Terminus - CSMT
CSMT (06:00)HWH (01:45) 42hr 0mins
GKP (08:30)CSMT (12:20) 15hr 30mins
DSJ (09:15)CSMT (15:40) 134hr 45mins
CSMT (11:30)DSJ (15:30) 132hr 30mins
MAS (12:30)CSMT (16:20) 11hr 30mins
CSMT (13:30)GKP (18:35) 10hr 30mins
CSMT (14:30)NGP (05:40) 9hr 30mins
CSMT (15:30)SC (05:30) 8hr 30mins
CSMT (15:30)CPR (04:40) 32hr 30mins
CSMT (17:15)DEC (04:10) 150hr 45mins
DSJ (19:00)CSMT (08:20) 149hr 0mins
CSMT (19:35)MAS (23:25) 4hr 25mins
NGP (21:00)CSMT (12:10) 3hr 0mins
CPR (21:15)CSMT (06:15) 26hr 45mins
SHM (21:45)CSMT (09:25) 26hr 15mins
PUNE (23:50)CSMT (04:10) 0hr 10mins
CSMT (23:55)SHM (11:35) 24hr 5mins
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