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Art and Culture

Flinders Street Station – An Urban Myth.

There is an urban myth surrounding Flinders Street Station in Melbourne. If you have ever been to
Melbourne, you must have passed by it at least once. It’s pretty darn hard to miss. And if you are a
resident of Mumbai, or in fact have extensively travelled in Mumbai something like déjà vu might
have accompanied you, as it did for my dad who recounted this story to me.

So, here’s the thing, Flinders Street Station was built during early twentieth century. A competition
was held to design the building and these people, James Fawcett and H.P.C Ashworth, won.
Apparently, the same company who was handling the design for Flinders Street Station was also
handling the design for Victoria Terminus in Mumbai and behold – a mix-up!

The designs which were supposed to go to Melbourne were sent to India and thus the gothic structure
of Victoria Terminus or as it’s known today, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, was born. When the
blunder was discovered, Victoria Terminus or Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, was halfway complete.
Some changes were made to both the stations to cover up the mix up, so that they don’t end up
looking identical.

Now if you are at all aware of the history of Victoria Terminus, you will know it was built between
1878 to 1888, thus the inconsistency. And yet this myth roams around even today.

Well who doesn’t love a good urban myth?

-Surabhi Mishra.

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