Railway stations, as we know them in India, may soon undergo a massive transformation. With underground parking, food plazas and separate terminals for arrival and departure, they may put airports to shame.
The Indian Railways has decided to modernize more than 20 stations. To begin with, it has received applications from five leading global architects and India’s RITES to redesign the New Delhi station under a plan that may cost up to Rs5,000 crore.
The plan would be funded by handing over the land on lease to the private consortium, that would be allowed to earn by developing the area and leasing the space.
Mint takes a look at the architects who have bid for the project:
Terry Farrell andPartners: Best known as the firm that designed the Vauxhall Cross building, or the home of MI6, you can see its work in a couple of 007 movies. It also designed the transportation centre for the Inchon airport in Seoul, South Korea. The centre houses three rail systems, which include metro, standard and high-speed trains, all in the same complex. Terry Farrell has experience in designing a number of railway terminals, including the Kowloon station in Hong Kong and a few other similar projects in Lisbon. All these railway stations are designed to integrate smoothly with road links using facilities such as connecting tunnels.
Von Gerkan, Marg und Partner: This German design firm planned the Spandau railway station in Berlin. The tracks at this station are completely covered by a glass roof system that allows stargazing while waiting for trains. The firm has also designed the Metropolitan Express, which is an inter-city shuttle executive train in Germany.
Aedas Ltd: This Hong Kong-based firm is already working on a project that involves developing railway land and funnelling the money into the station development project, a methodology now being adopted by the Indian Railways. It is designing Moscow’s Yaroslavki station using this approach. Aedas is also part of a team that will design a rail link between the Edinburgh airport and railway stations across the country. The firm will be responsible for the design of the main railway station at Edinburgh, which will be linked to the airport.
Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum Inc: Hong Kong-based HOK has designed the Amsterdam passenger terminal. A complete glass and steel structure, the terminal is designed in such a manner that the city skyline is visible through the glass panelling from almost any point. The building is designed with high beams in the shape of a vessel that was intended to remind visitors of Amsterdam’s shipbuilding tradition.
Rites: The design subsidiary of the Indian Railways has been involved in almost every construction project taken up by the ministry in India. Some of its latest projects include consultancy for the Quazikund-Baramulla railway project and the dedicated freight corridor. For once, despite its working knowledge of how the railways functions in India, RITES may have to depend on market expertise as the station modernization plan is ambitious and quite unlike any railway structure it has designed in the past.
Arep Ville France:No details available.