Howrah Railway Station-the signature attraction of Kolkata
Situated at the west Bank of Hooghly River and being connected by Howrah Bridge, the Howrah Railway Station is the largest and second oldest railways station and rail related administrative railway complex in India. The area is quite big and in some areas old construction is still maintained, which has added a colossal impression for the place. Besides huge infrastructure, the station has wide arrangements of passengers comfort amenities like waiting rooms, vehicle carriage ways, books stall, food stalls, pharmacy, etc for the best convenience of the passengers.
Howrah Station was not constructed overnight and it has tiny but interesting history of its own. The initial plan of the station was drafted and submitted by George Turnbull, the Chief Engineer of the East India Company in 1851.The initial estimate for building the entire station complex was 250,000 INR, and four tenders were received against the proposal. In 1901 the second platform complex of Howrah Station was built; it was planned by Halsey Ricardo. The new complex started its commercial operation from 1905 and at present known as the new Howrah Station complex; it has ultra modern 15-track platforms.
Currently, there are 23 platforms in the Howrah station complex; number 1-15 platforms are used for Eastern Railway and number16-23 railways platforms are fixed for SE Railway. The major components of the station complex are
• Diesel loco shed, which can accommodate 84 diesel loco
• Electric loco shed, which has space to accommodate 96 locos.
• An Electric Trip Shed with the facility to house around 15–20 locos
• Howrah loco shed can accommodate WAP-4 type 100 locos at a time.
• EMU Car shed for 15+ car parking facility
• Two vehicular carriageways connecting flyovers at the end of the platforms supporting quick exit/entrance of the vehicles
• Coach Maintenance Complex for some ultra fast and super sophisticated trains
Howrah station, although is a major component of Indian Railway system, has become one of the prime tourist attractions and a heritage spot of Kolkata, which is still working at full pace. Recently, a railway museum has been constructed near the station which displays multiple artifacts, which have major contribution in development of Eastern Railway.
Some important details of the Howrah station are;
Station code of Howrah railway station : HWH
It is also one of the oldest and largest railway stations in India.