So last week while looking for some information about Kolkata’s under construction east-west line, I noticed and was shocked to see that Sealdah’s metro station has been built in a far off end of the Indian Railways’ Sealdah train station. There’s no road or path next to it which leads to the train station, so how does KMRC expect passengers to get to it? And how are passengers arriving from the railway station expected to get to the metro station?
See its odd location for yourself on the eastern corner of the tracks leading out of the train station:
zoomed in view just for you:
Here’s a satellite view along with the metro line’s new route towards Esplanade:
So really, what’s up with the odd location of the station? I don’t have an answer to this, so if you’re short of time, then please investigate for yourself (and come back to me), but if you have time then read on.
In its previous avatar, the line was to connect Sealdah with Central station, so the KMRC’s contractor, ITD Cem, would have anyways had to continue tunneling westward albeit on a slightly northern route compared to its new avatar where they have to tunnel southwestward. So the next station’s location & direction has no bearing on how & where the Sealdah station has been built. Since we’re talking about tunneling, I thought I’d remind you that both twins tunnels from Phool Bagan towards Sealdah have been completed. Tunneling from Sealdah towards Esplanade is expected to begin in the last quarter (Oct-Dec) of 2016 – see: BBD Bagh Minibus Stand & Esplanade’s Tram Tracks Will Make Way for Kolkata’s East-West Metro.
If you zoom into Sealdah’s train station, you’d notice there’s a plethora of space occupied by the taxi stand which could have have easily accommodated the station. In fact if you look closely, ITD Cem has even built a TBM retrieval shaft on the train station’s southern corner which can be seen below:
So once again, what’s the reason for why the station couldn’t have been built right in front of the railway station? It would have enabled easier access to and from the railway station. If they plan to build a FOB cutting through the Railways’ land and over the tracks, then the walking distance would be around 700 meters and good luck if you’re carrying bags along with you. This is not how multi-modal integration is suppose to be designed. The DMRC got it right at the New Delhi Railway Station and Chennai is on its way to developing a central square to integrate the metro with the railways, MRTS and Suburban train services – see: [Video] Chennai’s Central Square to Link Different Buildings & Transport Systems.
With it’s current location, I firmly believe it would have been appropriate to call it ‘Tangra station’ or perhaps ‘Beleghata station’ after the neighbordood located across the canal.
For more updates on Kolkata’s Metro, check out the Kolkata section of The Metro Rail Guy!