Originally written in December 2017
The hectic construction activity of a series of bridges, station upgrade with new platforms and lots more following the September 29 stampede has led to history being uncovered at the site earlier this week.
Railway officials breaking down an isolated cabin at the north end of Elphinstone Road station to extend the platform have come across an old bell most probably belonging to the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI), which is now called Western Railway.
Railway engineers said that the railway bell was hanging outside the cabin and has been in disuse, but is in good shape. “It has now been saved from the demolition and will be preserved,” an official said.
The BB&CI Railway station bells have been scattered on all stations across Western Railway and most of them are in good shape. Many of them have wordings BBCIR and the manufacture’s name and date etched on them. It is not clear whether this bell has any.
The bells were the main form of communication in the earlier times and were used to announce the arrival and departure of trains to alert passengers. Several of the vintage station clocks and bells have found their way to various railway heritage galleries and museums. Railway officials said they will assess the value of this particular one and then take a call.
“We are yet to date it and assess if this particular bell has any vintage value. If it is found to be important, we will move it to the heritage gallery at Churchgate,” WR Mumbai Central Divisional Railway Manager Mukul Jain said.