The terminus was designed by British born architectural engineer Frederick William Stevens, in an exuberant Italian Gothic style. Its construction began in 1878, in a location south of the old Bori Bunder railway station, and was completed in 1887, the year marking 50 years of Queen Victoria’s rule, the building being named, Victoria Terminus.⁣

Frederick William Stevens received ₹16,14,000 as the payment for his services. The design has been compared to George Gilbert Scott’s 1873 St Pancras railway station in London.⁣

The site where the building now stands was once a storehouse for goods that arrived in or were shipped out from Mumbai. Bori, which is sack in Hindi and Bunder, which means port in Persian come together to give CST its original name, Bori Bunder — the place where sacks are stored. ⁣

It was from here that the India’s first passenger train was flagged on April 16, 1853 and ran all the way to Thane covering a distance of 34 km in 57 minutes, setting in motion the wheels of what would come to be called Indian Railways.⁣

On 3rd February 1925, the first ever electric train of India completes its journey from Victoria Terminus to Kurla on the Central Line (Mumbai Suburban Railway).⁣

The station’s name was changed to Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) in March 1996 to honour Shivaji. In 2017, the station was again renamed Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSTM) However, both the former initials ‘VT’ and the current, ‘CST’, are commonly used.⁣

The terminus is the headquarters of India’s Central Railway. On 2nd July 2004, the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO nominated this magnificent specimen of late 19th century railway architecture as a World Heritage Site.⁣

On 26 November 2008, two terrorists entered the passenger hall of the CST, opened fire and threw grenades at people. The terrorists were armed with AK-47 rifles. One of the terrorists, Ajmal Kasab, was later caught alive by the police and identified by eyewitnesses. ⁣

CSMT is used by more than three million commuters daily. It has a total of 18 platforms—seven platforms are for suburban EMU trains and eleven platforms (Platform 8 to Platform 18) are for long-distance trains.