While colonial railways continue to be the most preferred shooting location for ad films and movies, there are at least two new locations that are now becoming preferred shooting sites for films. The Virar car shed in Mumbai’s far flung suburb and the administrative office at Churchgate Station.
Two years after it was inaugurated for stabling local trains, Mumbai’s Virar car shed is being used for the first time to shoot the remake of 1983 popular film Hero starring Sooraj Pancholi and Atheya Shetty. The car shed which lies between Nalasopara and Virar Railway Station has multiple loop lines that allow for simultaneous movement of trains, making it a preferred location, said officials. The availability of a service road also makes movement of film equipment easier. In fact, the Western Railway is set to earn Rs.16 lakh from the film that is scheduled for release later this year!
It’s the success of films shot in these locations which are giving rise to these preferences. Both, the Irrfan Khan starrer The Lunchbox (2013) and Advani’s D-Day (2013) have made railway administrative offices popular. And now the administrative office at Churchgate Station will be seen in Kabir Khan’s Phantom that has Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif as it’s leading cast.
“While requests for shooting inside running trains or at platforms are made on a regular basis, recently there has been a spurt in demand for shooting inside railway offices,” said Sharat Chandrayan, Chief Public Relations Officer, WR.
Meanwhile, among the old spots, Mumbai’s Goregaon station remains a favourite for film shooting, owing to the railway yard structure. The upcoming Ek Villain starring Sidharth Malhotra and Riteish Deshmukh has been shot between Goregaon and Churchgate on a local train.
“There is a loop line at Goregaon station which helps to run trains reserved for shooting without disturbing regular services during the day. Also, the simultaneous movement of two trains can be shown, thereby making Goregaon Station a popular choice among film-makers,” said a senior railway officer from WR.
Another typical location is platform 4 at Mumbai Central, which is usually unoccupied between 11 am and 5 pm. The Shahid Kapoor starrer Phata Poster Nikla Hero, Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone’s Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani and more recently the Parineeti Chopra starrer Haseee Toh Phasee were shot here.
While close to 15 feature films and ad-films were shot on WR in 2012-13, around 26 have been shot at CR locations in 2013-14.
“A proactive approach and more number of films with scripts requiring shooting at railway sites has helped increase revenue,” said Atul Rane, Chief Public Relations Officer, CR.
Gunday starring Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor was shot at Wathar Station near Pune and was a major contributor to the revenue with CR earning over Rs.59 lakh from the film.
The Aamir Khan starrer PK, scheduled for release this year, has helped CR net Rs. 14.26 lakh. Certain portions of the film have also been shot at CSTM and Chauk Station near Karjat. The Salman Khan starrer Jai Ho was also shot at Chauk Station, with the CR earning Rs 12.13 lakh from the film.
Preferred shooting locations
Goregaon Railway Station
Mumbai Central main line station
Kandivali car shed
Trains running between Goregaon and Churchgate
Virar car shed
Platform 18 of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Karjat to Panvel
Wadi Bunder yard
CSTM and Chunabhatti