Stroll By The Heritage Museum Inside CST On Your Next Office Break
What Makes It Awesome
Used to walking through the main doors of CSMT to catch a train back home, we had to backtrack a little. We found the entrance to the museum quite easily near the main entrance. For a weekday afternoon, there were quite a few people present – mostly college students, gazing intently at the museum walls.
How To Make The Railway Pay For A War, Mills & Boons, as well as books by Daphne Du Maurier and John Grisham are some of the books we found inside the Heritage Museum. The first, which possibly is the most intriguing book title we’ve come across in recent times, was a heavy, leather-bound book in the dining hall that we would have loved a chance to leaf through.
The rest were a part of the ‘restricted entry’ library collection meant just for railway employees: a collection so fun, enviable and a complete opposite of the dining hall collection, that we felt like inventing a familial connection to the railways just to get access. As soon as we entered the main central building, we were impressed by detailed and intricate engravings of tiny owls and birds on the walls and pillars.
These, combined with a magnificent three-storey high staircase, was enough to transport us back to Hogwarts. We also had a chance to view the hustle and bustle of the main terminal from above, sit in a glass-walled tea room and check out colonial-era furniture which is now used for conferences and meetings.
By this time, much of the group had dispersed and we were able to ask impertinent questions. Thanks to a keen guide, we turned a key in a grandfather’s clock (so old-school) while he explained the mechanism of how CST’s clock tower works in a similar way. We heard about how steam engines turned to diesel, Bori Bunder (its original name) turned to VT, CST, and now CSMT, and saw old Morse telegraph machines along with an actual telegraph book with the codes for different messages (talk about well-prepared).
At the same time, we also felt a little inadequate on hearing about how the architect, FW Stevens was invited to draw up plans for the station when he was just 20 years old, but we brushed the thought aside.
Finally, as we were exiting CSMT, we were waved goodbye to by a cheerful guide and were yawned at by a disinterested cat lazily stretched upon a model locomotive. And we thought to ourselves, what a wonderful world.
Open Monday through Friday from 3 PM to 5 PM, it can be a legit break from work. The entrance is in the right wing of the building, near the bus stands. Remember, the museum is closed on public holidays, and the entry fee is INR 200, and INR 100 for students.