Summary - TST 44


TST 44


Understanding the Cultural Significance of Living Railway Heritage: Need for New Approaches

Key Words: significado cultural, estaciones de ferrocarril, patrimonio vivo, funcionalidad.

[ Abstract ]

Railway heritage has a unique character. While railway sites are industrial and cultural landmarks, many of them still continue to be in use. Their evolving nature plays a role in shaping their importance, but this aspect is less explored in their management. Special approaches are needed to understand the ‘cultural significance’ of living railway heritage and to manage change and continuity which characterise it. This also brings into question how the cultural heritage notions such as authenticity relate to the living railway heritage sites, where function, technology and safety are prime concerns.

Using a case of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this paper looks at how the cultural significance of this site is to be understood in the light of its living nature. It outlines limitations in the current conservation practices and suggests sustainable practices for its conservation and management, which are hoped to form basis for managing other railway sites in India.