City Landmarks – Baldia Railway Station

Drive through Mauripur road and you will instantly recognize few landmarks that have been registered in our subconscious over the years. You drive through KPT flyover crossing KPT Building and Custom House on your right. After descending from the flyover you notice Lyari’s colorless multistory residential blocks on your right. You may notice a tiny structure on your left which is a few steps below the ground level now. That’s Wazir Mansion Railway Station which has not seen a train in decades but still is functional with staff and equipment ever present. Next up is People’s football stadium, one of the largest and most popular in the area. A little further is Lyari Railway Station which has been abandoned and been used by hawkers who display their merchandise on what would have been railway station’s platform. The type of merchandise vary depending on the season of the year. You will probably speed through the rest of your journey missing a certain ‘Crown Tyre Market’, recently built over the ground where ‘Crown Cinema’ once stood. You may be able to recall it. It was a stunning structure. Also you will probably not notice ‘Baldia’ railway station, the last Karachi circular railway station on Mauripur Road.

There is not much to stop for at Baldia Railway Station these days. There’s just a skeleton of a basic building left hanging. All the fixtures and equipment have been removed. Unlike Lyari railway station, there is not any settlement nearby therefore the platform and empty rooms have not been put to any alternate use. However there are some signs that someone has used it as sleeping quarters briefly. There are some foul drawings inside and an unpleasant smell. There’s some plantation and branches, both on the tracks and the platform. It is hard to imagine how life here would have been during the glory days of Karachi Circular Railway. The station has a simple basic design with two rooms and an open area for people to queue up for getting tickets. Both rooms have lots of windows and roshandans. There are some instructions written above the window of one of the rooms. That’s perhaps the only surviving signage which hints that the building was used as a railway station.

We have been ageing with these landmarks. We are all realizing that our dreams will never come true.

Categories: City Landmarks

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