The Central Railway has shockingly pulled down the 107-year-old heritage tower building of Matunga Carriage and Wagon workshop in Mumbai that housed its offices and entry exit set up to make way for new swanky building.
Central Railway refuted the allegations and said the building was beyond life and had to go. “The building was not in the city heritage list and the structure had become very unsafe. It was important to raze it for safety. We will try and save any relics if possible,” Central Railway chief public relations officer Shivaji Sutar said.
The old three-storey stone building had thatched roof and wooden pillar ceilings, typical of early 20th architecture.
In February 2022, the Central Railway had similarly pulled down the earliest power sub-station building at Kurla, one of the last remaining vestiges of the industrial heritage of the country’s first electric railway. The workshop upgrade has now led to the loss of another such old building.
Built in 1915 by the old Great Indian Peninsula Railway company, the workshop was set up as a repair house for broad gauge and narrow-gauge coaches and wagons on a triangular piece of land skirted by the Central Railway suburban corridors on the east and the Western Railway corridors on the west.
A place of national importance, the Matunga workshop has been helpful during both the first and second world wars manufacturing shells and converting coaches for military movements, supply of food grains & other ancillary supplies. The workshop also many firsts to its credit.
Lamenting the damage of heritage, city heritage experts said that the railways have some of the exceptional heritage buildings in the city and that they should try and preserve them. “A wonderful old building which should be preserved will be lost forever  Railways should have more taste for heritage than others it is a pity,” said city historian Deepak Rao said.

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