- Howrah station
Howrah Station is one of the two major
train stations serving Howrahand Kolkata, India; the other is Sealdah Station, in Kolkata. Howrah is situated on the West bank of the Hooghly River, linked to Kolkata by the magnificent Howrah Bridgewhich is an icon of Kolkata. It is the second-oldest station and one of the largest railway complexes in India.
In 1854 the British colonial government in India started building a rail link from Kolkata to the coalfields in
Bardhamandistrict. (This was the second railway line constructed in India after the first one from Mumbaito Thaney in 1853). The line started from Howrah, then a small town at the west shore of the river Hooghly River.
At first it was a single line track and a station at Howrah was built for goods only. It was a small shed with a few warehouses beside it and a ticket counter. However traffic gradually increased and the station building was extended. Due to heavy increase of traffic a new station building was proposed in 1901.
The new station head house was designed by British engineer Halsey Ricardo. The new station was brought into service on 1 December 1905. This building is the current Howrah station building. The classic station had 13 platform tracks.
It was expanded in the 80s with the addition of 8 platform tracks in an area to the North of the station which previously had a parcels terminal, bringing the track count up to 21. At the same time a new Yatri Niwas (transit passenger facility) was built North of the original head house.
Howrah Station is slated to get an additional 15 platform tracks North of the current station in the next decade to bring it up to a total of 37 platform tracks.
Trains from this station serve the Kolkata urban area via the
Kolkata suburban railway, the state of West Bengal, and most major cities of India. Its twenty-three platforms handle over three hundred trains each day, serving more than a million passengers. It is served by two zones of the Indian Railways: Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway.
The station operated by the Eastern Railway.
South Eastern Railway was previously known as the Bengal-Nagpur Railway (BNR, affectionaltely called "Be Never Regular" because of its notorious tardiness) which built the truck route from Kolkata to
Nagpurconnecting to Great Indian Peninsular (GIP) route to Mumbai and the trunk route to Vijaywadaconnecting 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.
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 21 platforms in Howrah Junction /Central. The first Rajdhani Expressin the country ran between Howrah and New Delhiin 1969.
Howrah Station houses the divisional headquarters of the Howrah Division of Eastern Railway zone of
Indian Railways. Mohammad Jamshed was appointed the Divisional Railway Manager for Howrah Division in 2008.
For passengers it has an enormous covered waiting area between the head house and the platforms. The head house has Waiting Rooms and Retiring Rooms for use by passengers awaiting connecting trains. In addition there is a Yatri Niwas which provides dormitory accommodation for passengers awaiting connections.
North of the station there is now a new Railway Museum displaying artifacts of historical importance related to the development of Eastern Railway.
In addition the station complex includes the following:
*Diesel Loco shed(50+ locos)
*Electric Loco Shed(65+ locos)
*EMU Car Shed(15+ parking slots)
*Coach Maintenance Complex servicing consists of many prestigious trains like the Rajdhani and Shatabdi Expresses.
* [http://www.calcuttaweb.com/train.htm Trains from Howrah Station]
* [http://www.irfca.org Indian railway fan club]
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