Howrah Junction railway station

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Howrah Junction
Regional rail, Commuter rail, Light rail and Rapid transit station
Howrah Station.jpg
Howrah Station, view from Hooghly River
Location Lower Foreshore Rd, Howrah - 711101 West Bengal
Coordinates 22°34′54″N 88°20′32″E / 22.5818°N 88.3423°E / 22.5818; 88.3423Coordinates: 22°34′54″N 88°20′32″E / 22.5818°N 88.3423°E / 22.5818; 88.3423
Elevation 12 metres (39 ft)
Owned by Indian Railways
Operated by Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway Zone
Line(s) Howrah-Delhi main line
Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line
Howrah-Chennai main line
Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line
Platforms 23
Tracks 25
Connections Bus interchange ferry/water interchange
Structure type Standard (on ground station)
Parking Available
Other information
Status Functioning
Station code HWH
Division(s) Howrah (ER)
Opened 1854; 164 years ago (1854)
Electrified 1954; 64 years ago (1954)[1]
Previous names East Indian Railway Company
Preceding station   Indian Railway   Following station
Eastern Railway zone Terminus
South Eastern Railway zone Terminus

Howrah Junction (station code HWH) is one of the major railway stations in the city of Kolkata, India. Approximately 293 passenger trains pass through the station each day requiring its 23 platforms and a high train handling capacity. Approximately 673 train routes start, end, or pass through the station, connecting 1220 stations to Howrah Junction.[2] Howrah Junction is one of five intercity railway stations serving the city of Kolkata, the others being Sealdah, Santragachi, Shalimar, and Kolkata railway station. The station is located on the west bank of the Hooghly River.


On 17 June 1851, George Turnbull, the Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company submitted plans for a railway station at Howrah. In January 1852, the government authorities decided not to purchase the land and water frontage needed for the project. However, in May 1852, Turnbull was asked to render detailed plans for the station. The station's estimated cost was 250,000 rupees. In October 1852, four tenders for the building of the station were received. They varied from 190,000 to 274,526 rupees.[3][4]

In 1901, a new station building was proposed due to increased demand for rail travel. The British architect Halsey Ricardo designed the new station. It was opened to the public on 1 December 1905.[5] This is the current Howrah station building including 15 platform tracks.

In 1969, the first Rajdhani Express left Howrah Junction for New Delhi.

In the 1980s, the station was expanded including 8 new platform tracks on the south side of the station. At the same time, a new Yatri Niwas (transit passenger facility) was built south of the original station frontage.

Until 1992, there was a tram terminus at Howrah station. Trams departed for Rajabazar, Sealdah Station, High Court, Dalhousie Square, Park Circus and Shyambazar. Trams also departed for Bandhaghat and Shibpur. The terminus was partially closed in 1971 while the Bandhaghat and Shibpur lines were closed. Many unauthorized vehicles and pedestrians began to traverse the tram tracks and so the routes were not continued. The terminus station was converted to underpasses and a bus terminus. The part of the tram terminus for other routes continued to function until 1992, when the Rabindra Setu (Howrah Bridge) was declared unfit to carry trams because it was a cantilever bridge.

In October 2011, India's first double-decker train left Howrah for Dhanbad.

North of the station there is a railway museum displaying artefacts of historical importance related to the development of Eastern Railway. For many years the Fairy Queen, the world's oldest operational steam locomotive, was displayed on a plinth inside the station.[6]

Rail services

The Eastern Railway runs local trains to Belur Math, Tarakeswar, Arambagh, Goghat, Katwa, Bandel, Sheoraphuli, Bardhaman, Serampore and numerous intermediate stations (see Main Line, Chord, and Tarakeswar branch line). There are also mail and express trains to Central, North and North-East India. A narrow gauge line connects Bardhaman and Katwa, served by DMU trains (all the other lines run EMU trains).

The South Eastern Railway, operates local trains to Amta, Mecheda, Panskura, Haldia, Tamluk, Kanthi, Medinipur and Kharagpur and mail and express trains to Central, West and South India. South Eastern Railway, connects with the Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) route to Mumbai and Chennai.

The Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway sections are connected by two links. One is the Lilua–Tikiapara link, and the other is the Rajchandrapur–Dankuni-Maurigram link. They are used by goods trains and the Sealdah-Puri Duronto Express, avoiding Howrah.

Four major rail routes end in Howrah. They are the Howrah-Delhi, Howrah-Mumbai, Howrah-Chennai and Howrah-Guwahati routes.

Station facilities

The station is the divisional headquarters for the Eastern Railway.

The station has 23 platforms. Platforms 1 to 15 are located in the old complex, referred to as "Terminal 1". It serves the local and long-distance trains of Eastern Railway and local trains of South Eastern Railway. Platforms 16 to 23 are in the new complex, referred to as "Terminal 2". It serves the long distance trains of South Eastern Railway.

There is a large covered waiting area between the main complex and the platforms and other areas for passengers awaiting connecting trains. MTS Indian rail provides WiFi. In addition, there is a transit passenger facility with dormitory, single room and double room accommodation. First class passengers wait in an air-conditioned area with balcony views of the Kolkata Skyline and the Howrah Bridge.

The station platforms have carriageways for motor vehicles within the complex including two carriageways to platforms 8 and 9 for Eastern Railway and to platforms 21 and 22 for South Eastern Railway. Flyovers at the ends of the platforms allow motor vehicles to exit the complex quickly.

Services for rolling stock

The station has a diesel locomotive shed with room for 84 locomotives. The electric locomotive shed has room for 96 locomotives. There is also an electric trip shed with the capacity to hold up to 20 locomotives. The sheds accommodate 100 WAP-4 class locomotives. The EMU car shed has over fifteen parking slots. The station has a coach maintenance complex.

The South Eastern Railway's EMU car shed is at Tikiaparaand there is an electric locomotive shed situated at Santragachhi. There is an Eastern Railways carriage and wagons workshop at Liluah.


See also


  1. ^ "[IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Electric Traction - I". Retrieved 2012-06-13. 
  2. ^ "Stations directly connected to Howrah Railway Station". Retrieved 21 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Diaries of George Turnbull (Chief Engineer, East Indian Railway Company) held at the Centre of South Asian Studies at Cambridge University, England
  4. ^ George Turnbull, C. E . pages 110, 121, 122, 125 and 127 of the 437-page memoirs published privately 1893, scanned copy held in the British Library, London on compact disk since 2007
  5. ^ "Howrah Station is veritably the heartbeat of Kolkata". The Hindu. 2005-12-02. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  6. ^ Ahrons, E.L. (1966). The British Steam Railway Locomotive. I, to 1925. Ian Allan. p. 142. 

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