Transportation plays a very important role in any nation’s development and if any nation works constantly on making transportation better, it assures that nation will grow faster then any other nation. When colonials ruled over the Indo-Pak, the colonial administration worked on transportation resources so that they could transfer their goods and passengers more quickly. At that time, they introduced railway system in Indo-Pak region and to start this railway system colonials picked Karachi. It can tell us how important Karachi was for Britain at that time.
Sir Bartley frère was the person who introduced and inaugurated railway system in this region. It was 29th of April 1858 when Sir Bartley frère laid foundation stone of the first track of railway, started from Karachi and ends at Keemari where the port was. Frere at this point said that by laying this project, Karachi would be known as mega city in the subcontinent. In January 1859 track between Karachi Cantt & Keemari was completed and after this Karachi Cantt to Kotri track was started, after which everyone knew Sindh Railway Company.
For Karachi to Kotri track, there was a contract between East India Company and Sindh Railway Company according to which this track was to be completed until 1861 and this was the first track, which have honored to have first ever Train engine in subcontinent. Till that time there was no bridge connecting Kotri and Hyderabad together, so people had to pass the Indus River by Ships.
In 1877, Sindh Railway Company started a project of which the first phase was to lay a railway track between Multan and Hyderabad and in second phase connecting Kotri and Quetta via Karachi. First phase was completed in November 1879 and First Train travelled from Hyderabad to Multan while in 1887, first train from Kotri left for Quetta. Now it was time to make a connecting bridge between Kotri and Hyderabad so that train could go directly from Quetta to Multan and it was May 1900 when the iron bridge was constructed on which train could travel. At that time Sindh Railway Company became North Western Railway Company, which could deliver goods from Karachi port to North West of the subcontinent.
In 19th century’s last decade, there were two mega buildings constructed by colonial administration on which one was Lady Duffren Hospital and another One was Karachi Cantonment Railway Station, now known as Cantt Station Karachi.Public Works department’s engineering department and right constructed this building. After its construction, this building was counted as one of the longest buildings in Karachi.
This building is constructed in Italian and roman style and one can see Italian style pillars holding this building and roman gothic entry gate till now. This style was now known as Indo Classical style.
At both sides, Roman’s gabbled elements were used with Roman arches and steel roof, which makes building proportionally balanced.
Entry gate’s roof is completely built in Roman style. Windows over the gate are beautifully crafted in Roman way that are known as Roman Arches and its roof has symbolic religious touch in it.
This building is made of Gizri Limestone that prevents it from every kind of weather and was available locally.
On an average around 5000 people travel from Cantt station Karachi daily and This Building is now an announced protected heritage by Government of Pakistan.