Railways trying to avoid confusion post name change.
Mumbai: Mumbai’s iconic railway station Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) will retain its ‘CSTM’ code even though its name has been changed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus. This is because the abbreviation of the new name would be CSMT, which is also spells out the new name of Kolhapur station — now known as Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus. The Railways still uses KOP as Kolhapur station’s code, but the similarities might lead to confusion, officials said.
Officials have said that both the stations already sound similar as it is and changing CST’s code to CSMT would not be helpful.
An official said, “If you are a commuter who’s not familiar with Mumbai’s CST and Kolhapur’s Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj Terminus, there might be confusion when booking tickets at the counter.”
Changing names in order to shed the colonial hangover is absolutely fine, but codes are difficult to change, he said. “Changing the code is a completely different and confusing ball game. A change in one code would mean that that the entire Indian Railways has to change it in all the books that each department has, which is a gargantuan task.”
Another issue is the fact that a station code cannot exceed four letters.
As a result, CSTM cannot become CSMTM, as the Railway Board has drawn up a word limit of four letters to prevent the codes from becoming too long.
Another official said, “People began to make suggestions that there should be five or even seven letters but the Railway Board felt that there would be no end to this and set the word limit of the station codes to four.”
Central Railway (CR) chief public relations Sunil Udasi said, “For now. We are only aware that the code is not changing. The Railway Board must have some reasoning behind this.”
What does the code mean?