Howrah Railway Station

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Howrah Railway Station

           

HowrahHowrah railway station is the oldest station and largest railway complex in India. It is one of the four intercity railway stations serving the city of Kolkata, the others being Sealdah Station, Shalimar Station and Kolkata railway station. The terminal station is located on the west bank of the Hooghly River, linked to Kolkata by Howrah Bridge. With 23 platforms, it has the highest train-handling capacity of any railway station in India; and is one of the busiest railway stations in terms of passenger volume per day.

British colonial government started constructing a rail link from Kolkata to Bardhaman district where coalfields were available in 1854. When they started constructing railway line at that time in Howrah, it was a small town

Initial plans for the first Howrah station were submitted by George Turnbull the Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company on 17 June 1851. In January 1852, it became clear that the government authorities would not sanction the purchase of sufficient land nor the necessary waterfrontage despite remonstrations from Turnbull that the terminus would grow enormously. In May 1852, the detailed station plans were the major work of him and his team of engineers. In October four tenders for building the station were received varying from 190,000 to 274,526 INR against an estimate of 250,000 INR.

British period’s engineer Halsey Ricardo designed the present Howrah station building. 15 platform tracks were built for the station and after sometime they built 8 more platform tracks. Currently Howrah Station has 23 numbers of platforms and there are plans of building more platforms. For the convenience of the passengers they made Yatri Niwas which provides dormitory/single room/ double room accommodation for travellers.

The station is served by the Eastern Railway for local trains to Belur Math, Tarakeswar, Katwa, Bandel, Sheoraphuli, Bardhaman and numerous intermediate stations (see Main Line, Chord and Tarakeswar branch line); and mail/express trains to Central, North and North-East India. A narrow gauge line connects Bardhaman and Katwa and is currently served by DMU trains (all other lines run EMU trains). There is a plan to extend the suburban train service from Bardhaman to Mankar and Guskara, by electrifying the Khana–Guskara existing stretch, which is currently served by diesel loco hauled trains. The Bardhaman–Mankar stretch is now served by electric loco hauled trains.

howrah12The South Eastern Railway serves local trains to Amta, Mecheda, Panskura, Tamluk, Haldia, Kanthi, Medinipur and Kharagpur; and mail/express trains to Central, West and South India. The Tamluk–Kanthi stretch is currently electrified and now EMU runs up to Digha. There is a plan to extend the suburban train service from Kharagpur to Jhargram and Narayangarh. Both stretches are now served by electric loco (EMU) hauled trains.

This station is so important that around six hundred trains runs from this station each day and servers millions of travellers. Both Zones Eastern and South Eastern Railways serve this station. Howrah is linked with Kolkata station through Kolkata suburban railway and also well connected with other major cities of India.

South Eastern Railway was previously known as the Bengal-Nagpur Railway (BNR, derisively called “Be Never Regular” because of its notorious tardiness) which built the truck route from Kolkata to Nagpur connecting to Great Indian Peninsular (GIP) route to Mumbai and the trunk route to Vijayawada Junction connecting with the GIP route to Chennai. Eastern Railway was previously known as East Indian Railway (EIR) which built the trunk route from Kolkata to Delhi and beyond.

Four of India’s most important trunk rail routes end in Howrah. They are Howrah-Delhi, Howrah-Mumbai, Howrah-Chennai and Howrah-Guwahati. Today there are 23 platforms in Howrah Junction /Central. The first Rajdhani Express in the country ran between Howrah and New Delhi in 1969. Eastern Railway handles trains for northern, north-western, north-eastern & eastern India through Barddhaman line & Katwa line. South Eastern Railway handles trains for southern, south-western, south-eastern, western, and central India through the Medinipur Line. The Kanthi line is also serving long distance intrastate trains.

The Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway section are connected by two links, one is Lilua-Tikiapara link, and other is Rajchandrapur/Dankuni-Maurigram link, currently used by only goods trains. There are proposals to introduce passenger train service on these two links to facilitate quick travel between the two sections avoiding Howrah.
In 1969, India’s first Rajdhani Express was started between Howrah to New Delhi

Howrah Station houses the divisional headquarters of the Howrah Division of the Indian Railway’s Eastern zone.
For passengers it has an enormous covered waiting area between the main complex and the platforms. The main complex has waiting and retiring rooms for passengers awaiting connecting trains. In addition there is a Yatri Niwas with dormitory/ single room/ double room accommodation. The vehicular carriageways along the length of platforms allow passengers to be dropped near rail compartments — a facility unique among most major stations of the country.

Howrah Station houses the divisional headquarters of the Howrah Division of the Indian Railway’s Eastern zone.
For passengers it has an enormous covered waiting area between the main complex and the platforms. The main complex has waiting and retiring rooms for passengers awaiting connecting trains. In addition there is a Yatri Niwas with dormitory/ single room/ double room accommodation. The vehicular carriageways along the length of platforms allow passengers to be dropped near rail compartments — a facility unique among most major stations of the country.

Some Trains Originating from Howrah Junction:
1.Rajdhani Express:

  • 12301Howrah – New Delhi Rajdhani Express via Grand Chord
  • 12305Howrah – New Delhi Rajdhani Express via Patna

2.AC Duronto Express:

  • 12262 Howrah Mumbai CST Duronto Express
  • 12222 Pune Howrah Duronto Express
  • 12245 Howrah Yeshvantapur Duronto Express
  • 12847 Howrah Digha Duronto Express
  • 12273 Howrah – New Delhi Duronto Express

3.Shatabdi Express:

  • 12019 Howrah Ranchi Shatabdi Express
  • 12041 Howrah – New Jalpaiguri Shatabdi Express
  • 12277 Howrah Puri Shatabdi Express

4.Jan Shatabdi Express:

  • Patna Howrah Jan Shatabdi Express
  • Howrah-Bhubaneswar Jan Shatabdi Express
  • Howrah-Barbil Jan Shatabdi Express

5.Garib Rath:

  • 12881 Howrah Puri Garib Rath Express
  • 12882 Puri Howrah Garib Rath Express

6.Double Decker Express:

  • 12385 Howrah – Dhanbad Double Decker Express

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA7. Super fast:

  • 12249 Howrah – New Delhi Yuva Express
  • 12703 Howrah-Secunderabad Falaknuma Express
  • 12381 Poorva Express (via Grand Chord)
  • 12303 Poorva Express (via Patna)
  • 12841 Coromandel Express
  • 12323 Howrah New Delhi Express
  • 12810 Howrah Mumbai Mail via Nagpur
  • 12321 Howrah Mumbai Mail via Allahabad Junction
  • 12311 Kalka Mail
  • 12333 Howrah-Allahabad City Vibhuti Express
  • 12369 Howrah-Haridwar Kumbha Express
  • Howrah-Guwahati Saraighat Express
  • 12327 Howrah-Dehradun Upasana Express
  • 12331 Howrah-Jammu Tawi Himgiri Express
  • 12102 Howrah-Mumbai LTT Jnaneshwari Express
  • 12860 Gitanjali Express
  • 12152 Howrah-Mumbai LTT Samarsata Express
  • 12130 Howrah-Pune Azad Hind Express

8.Mail/Express:

  • Howrah-Amritsar Mail
  • Howrah-Amritsar Express
  • Howrah-Sri Ganganagar Udyan Abha Toofan Express
  • Howrah-Muzaffarpur Jan Sadharan Express
  • Howrah-Darbhanga Express
  • Howrah-Gaya Express
  • Howrah-Raxaul Mithila Express
  • 11448 Howrah-Jabalpur Shaktipunj Express
  • Howrah-Jamalpur Express
  • Kamrup Express