The 104-year-old Patri Pul, which had come up in 1914 during World War I, was brought down on November 18, 2018 in five hours flat. Railway archives state the steel and cast iron parts required for the bridge had come all the way from England, and work had been done along with quadrupling the line.
Records show how the line from Bombay to Kalyan originally came up in 1854, and in 1914, upgrades started with four-tracking or quadrupling and construction of wider overbridges along the line.
Old official reports state that one of railways’ key concerns has been detention of trains at level crossings, and hence, they planned road overbridges along the stretch, to be done simultaneously with quadrupling of the lines.
All the road overbridges passing the CR between Bombay and Kalyan have come up between 1914 and 1925. Since Kalyan had an important east-west link road crossing the line, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway, now called Central Railway, came up with this overbridge, today known as Patri Pul. The interpretation of the name has a few theories – because it was made of iron or solid stone foundation. One of the Hindi interpretations means the bridge that crossed the tracks. “However, there has been no confirmation,” an official said.
The line from Bombay VT to Thane had already been quadrupled, but the section between Kalyan and Thane was done progressively over between 1914 and 1917 and completed in three stages.
According to the ‘Engineer’ journal in August 1914, “During a war, there is a big demand for iron and steel products for naval and military purposes, but as far as that time was concerned, the engineering industry has not been affected by the crisis.
The Head, Wrightson and Company of Thornaby-on-Tees have received a contract from India’s Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company for the supply of steel work and other material required in connection with the erection of a large locomotive engine shed, and also for a double line through span bridge for erection over Mumbra Creek in connection with the quadrupling of the Bombay and Kalyan lines.”