The 113-year-old building inside that railway station complex here that served as the Kollam railway station for more than sixty years is being stripped of its colonial charm. Roofers were seen atop the building on Saturday stripping off the heritage roof and replacing it with metal sheets.

Like a houseboat

The building constructed by Sree Moolam Thirunal Rama Varma (1885 to 1924), ruler of erstwhile Travancore, has the roof designed to look like a houseboat from a distance. Historians say the design was specially sanctioned by the ruler.
The station was a major terminal and in 1904, a rail link from there to Thiruvananthapuram was not even thought of though the same ruler commissioned it fourteen years later, in 1918. In 1904, the Kollam station had only a single platform and four tracks on its yard.

After the construction of a new building in the 1970s to house the railway station, the old one was neglected and soon turned derelict though some offices and the railway court functioned from it.

Railway authorities here said that the old roof was being replaced under directions from the divisional railway office.