Sandhurst Road is India’s first two-tier station.

Exactly a century on, the Central Railway last week begun the process of replacing and strengthening the original Glasgow-built elevated harbour line bridge at Sandhurst Road railway station. The station built on a rail flyover has its name in the history books for being country’s first two tier station.
The bridge, which begun construction in 1921 and completed around 1923, was built by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway company and operated India’s first electric railway trains.
“The bridge is about 100 years old. It was constructed in 1923.  It used to be a ballasted deck slab which was replaced by channel (metal) sleepers in 1987,” Central Railway chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said.
Explaining the process, he said, “Re-girdering of this rail over rail bridge is proposed for eight spans because of its corroded condition and wear & tear. As the approach is difficult and the weight of the girder was of approximately 2,560 metric tonnes, Central Railway changed two spans work on during the Sunday block.  However, due to the constraints of approach and the weight of the girder, the block was extended by two hours and completed by 6.40 pm.  The remaining girders will be changed during the coming blocks,” he said.
Named after the then Bombay Governor William Mansfield, 1st Viscount Sandhurst, (1895-1900), the Sandhurst Road’s upper level station is a maze of steel frames and pillars. 
The viaduct has 2,788 tons of steel and is 1,728 feet long with 39 spans of various lengths and it cost Rs 20 lakh back in those days to complete the work. The station’s pillars along the platform and bridge frames have huge metal plates bearing inscriptions, detailing the particulars of the construction, year and the contractor. The plaques state “P&W Maclellan Clutha Works, Glasgow. G.I.P.R.Contract No. 1185-1921.”
Archives state that the firm P&W MacLellan from Glasgow was founded in 1811 expanded in 1871 after the opening of the Clutha Works in MacLellan Street in the Glasgow suburb of Kinning Park and had a number of contracts from the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. In fact, the firm was also involved in the construction of the famous Chenab Bridge for the Indian State Railways in 1888, linking the Sandhurst Bridge to an era when large railway bridges were coming over huge rivers and sea beds. The company shut down as late as 1979.


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