Cantonment Railway Station

It’s a revelation, and distressing as well, to read that the City Railway station is in bit of a mess. I haven’t been there since a long time but I can almost visualize its state, reading the detailed report. Yet, just a while back, I recalled reading plans announced by the Railway guys to give it a complete makeover & metamorphosis. I guess all that was just on paper? Anyway.

Its sibling – the Cantonment Railway Station – has a chequered history as well inspite of being, unlike Big Brother, only a transit station ( at least today ). Perhaps, that accounts for its better preserved state? Here’s what its fa├žade looks like.


It has only two platforms, unlike the City Station with 10 platforms. The earliest reference to the Cantonment station is in 1864 when the ‘Jolarpettai – Bangalore Cantt. branch was added & the Bangalore Mail began running.’

The next reference is in 1882 – much to my delight – when Bangalore City station was linked to Bangalore Cantonment! Which means, in effect – somebody tell me my logic (first math, now logic!) is right – that the Cantonment station preceded the City Station in its construction & operation!


I was a regular on the splendid KSRTC bus service from Chennai to Bangalore but lately (thanks to Prabhu ) I’ve begun to frequent trains. I get off and on at Cantt. Station. Everytime I do, I get the feeling that the station is caught in a time warp or some such thing like that. I don’t mean in a negative sort of way…its just that it has an unprepossessing & quaint air to it. No flashy, gimmicky stuff to give you the impression of being modern. Only the reservation counters with their computers are the giveaways. That and the fact that train movement is controlled by a state of the art interlocking system, the first one to be installed in Bangalore for the South Western Railway division.

When you are there to board a train, the air is punctuated by the usual announcements about arrivals of trains and the metallic clang warning about a train departing. People mill around, yet there’s a relaxed air; unless somebody is late in arriving and others give way for fear of being pushed onto the tracks!!!!!

Its all jolly good fun and its a change to be in such a laid back atmosphere. I only wish they had some fine chairs – you know, the reclining ones? – to sit back and enjoy! A freshly made, chilled nimbupani, perhaps, by the side.

Cool, eh?


4 Comments so far

  1. Suyog (unregistered) on April 29th, 2006 @ 9:55 am

    Having to pass by the Cantonment Railway station almost on a daily basis, I agree that it has a certain old world charm which the City Railway Station lacks terribly. I had been there on a photo shoot last year and life in it seemed to be so different from the world outside. Everything was so relaxed and peaceful. Just like the Bangalore of yesteryears…

  2. shek (unregistered) on April 29th, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

    Why isnt the line electrified?I dont see any overhead wire in the pic.

  3. usha (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 9:43 am

    hey, that is one of my favourite spots in bnagalore. sucha charming station – one would not believe it is part of sucha big city. Thanks for writing about it!

  4. rubic_cube (unregistered) on May 1st, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

    For the very reasons that you mention, Cantt station remains my favorite station in the city!

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