BB & CI Railway Offices
The Bombay, Baroda and Central India (BB& CI) Railway was established as a company in 1855, starting with the construction of a 47-kilometre (29-mile) broad gauge track from Ankleshwar to Utran on the West Coast, now in the state of Gujarat. In 1864, the railway was extended up to Bombay.
The first suburban railway In India was started by BB&CI between Virar and Colaba, a station in Bombay Backbay in 1867. On November 5, 1951,the BB&CI Railway was merged with the Saurashtra Railway, Rajputana and Jaipur Railways to form the Western Railway.
Its head office was originally at Surat but then shifted to a building at Churchgate, which was built at the turn of the 19th century. The structure was constructed under the direction of Frederick William Stevens, an English architectural engineer who was known for his Victorian style. Construction began in 1894 and was completed 5 years later at a cost of Rs 750.000. The structure is an example of Indo Saracenic style combined with colonial and Islamic architecture. It is a large stone multi-storey building with multiple domes.
Repairs had to be carried out in 1905 after a fire caused by the illuminations to celebrate the visit of the Prince of Wales. It continues to be one of the finest railway buildings in the world and architecturally one of the most magnificent edifices existing today.