Indian Railways is one of the oldest, largest, and busiest railway networks in the world. Divided into several zones and divisions, it is also a well-managed network in itself. The many railway stations in India spread across the country are one of the most integral parts of the railways. An Indian railway station is a very interesting place where all sorts of things happen all at once. From the running trains and rushing passengers, and back-to-back announcements, to hawkers selling their wares, and the chattering of the passengers you’ll never experience a dull moment here. Such a chaotic place yet we are left in awe whenever we start or end our train journey at these railway stations, especially if they are amongst the oldest railway stations in India.
The oldest railway stations in India are not just a part of our history and heritage but are also a great example of fine architecture and the management skills of Indian Railways. These railway stations have stood the test of time and still are good to last for decades if not centuries. Some of them are recognised UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some are a part of our lovely memories.
So without wasting much time let’s take a trip back in time with these iconic oldest railway stations in India.
1. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Opened in 1853, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus in Mumbai is the oldest railway station in India. Renovated in 1888 in its present form, it also boasts of being the most photographed railway station in India. Earlier known as Victoria Terminus, CSMT is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic Revival architecture that has also found its place in the UNESCO World Heritage list. This busiest railway station in Mumbai has 18 platforms of which 7 are used for suburban transit and 11 are utilised for long-distance trains, and witnesses a daily footfall of over a million passengers.
- Station Code: CSMT/CSTM
- Zone: Central Railway
- Division: Mumbai CR
2. Howrah Junction
Howrah Junction in West Bengal is one of the most well-known oldest railway stations in India. Opened in 1854, Howrah junction is not only one of the busiest railway stations in India but also in the world. It has 23 platforms and serves more than a million passengers daily in the Kolkata Metropolitan Region. Over 600 trains pass through this station daily making it one of the most important stations in India.
- Station code: HWH
- Zone: Eastern Railway (ER)
- Division: Howrah
3. Royapuram Railway Station
Royapuram Railway Station in Chennai is one of the oldest railway stations in India that is still functioning. The first ever train in South India started its journey from Royapuram Railway Station in the monsoon of 1856. A modest railway station with 4 platforms that serves Chennai suburban services is a simple red and white colonial structure with grand Corinthian pillars that simply remind us of its glorious past and makes it a heritage worthy of preservation.
- Station Code: RPM
- Zone: Southern Railways
- Division: MGR Chennai
4. Agra Fort Railway Station
Overlooked by the mighty Agra Fort in the historical city of Agra, Agra Fort Railway Station is one of the oldest railway stations in India that used to have both the meter-gauge and broad-gauge lines. Opened in 1872, it is also the oldest station in Agra that serves over 80 thousand passengers daily through its 4 platforms. Agra Fort Railway Station is an important station for tourists visiting the World Heritage Sites in the city of Agra which are included in our Agra tour packages.
- Station Code: AF
- Zone: North Central Railways
- Division: Agra
5. Virangana Lakshmibai Jhansi Junction
Built in the late 1880s, Virangana Lakshmibai Jhansi Junction, popularly known as Jhansi Junction Railway Station is one of the oldest railway stations in India, in the Bundelkhand region. It is a major railway hub for both passenger and commercial services and all the trains passing through it halt here as a norm. Jhansi Junction is where India’s fastest train Gatimaan Express operates from.
- Station Code: VGLB
- Zone: North Central Railways
- Division: Jhansi
6. Old Delhi Railway Station
Opened in 1864 and renovated in its present form in 1903, the Old Delhi Railway Station is the oldest railway station in India serving the national capital. Located near the iconic Chandni Chowk, the architecture of Old Delhi Railway station is inspired by the elements from Red Fort. Over 250 trains pass from Old Delhi Railway Station making it an important and busy railway station in Northern India that handles over 2 lakh passengers daily through its 16 platforms.
- Station Code: DLI
- Zone: Northern Railways
- Division: Delhi
7. Vizianagaram Railway Station
Vizianagaram Railway Station in Andhra Pradesh is an important railway station on the Howrah-Chennai main line that came into existence in the late 1800s. Serving Vizianagaram city from its 5 platforms, this old railway station has all the modern facilities for passengers at its premises. It is a class-A railway station of the Indian railways.
- Station Code: VZM
- Zone: South Coast Railways
- Division: Waltair
8. Barog Railway Station
Located on the iconic Kalka-Shimla railway line, Barog railway station is a small station that is nestled in the mountains of Himachal Pradesh. One of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in India, the Barog Railway Station was inaugurated in 1903 and named after Colonel Barog. Located just at the beginning of a tunnel with its Scottish-style roofs, Barog Railway Station not just serves the commuters, but also the Instagrammers who flock here to capture this picturesque location. An underrated gem, Barog must be included in your Himachal tour packages.
- Station Code: BOF
- Zone: Northern Railways
- Division: Ambala
9. Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station
Built in 1914, the Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station is one of the most beautiful oldest railway stations in India. Built with a mixture of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture overlooking beautiful gardens it is the place where Jawaharlal Nehru first met Mahatma Gandhi in 1916. It is one of the busiest railway stations in Northern India that serves 1.25 lakh people daily through its 9 platforms. An aerial view of the railway station represents it as a chess board and the domes and pillars of the building resemble the pieces of a chess game.
- Station Code: LKO
- Zone: Northern Railways
- Division: Lucknow NR
10. Nagpur Junction Railway Station
Opened in 1925 in its present form, Nagpur Junction is one of the oldest railway stations in the state of Maharashtra. This A1 category railway station is an important junction and is located at the geographical centre of the country. As a busy 8-platform railway station that serves over 1.5 lakh people daily, it is equipped with all the major facilities for passengers.
- Station Code: NGP
- Zone: Central Railways
- Division: Nagpur
These old railway stations are a witness to several historical moments of our freedom struggle, our independence, and even the natural calamities like floods and earthquakes that our country has been through.
Also Read: World’s Longest Train Journeys – Where the journey is the best part about reaching the destination
Whenever you get a chance to visit any of these stations, take a moment to marvel at the beauty and simply soak in the history of these places. We are sure you will be mesmerized by the beauty and the history of these railway stations which are witness to the passage of time since they were built from rock and mortar.
We do hope that these monuments are not swept away in the wind of modernisation and hold their old-world charm for future generations to visit and experience for many years to come.
The Indian Railways not only does a commendable job at preserving the history of these relics but also at providing an opportunity to all those who are looking to start their own travel brand.
If you are also looking to start your own travel brand, you can do so too by becoming an authorised IRCTC agent.
When you become an IRCTC agent with Akbartravelsonline.com you not only get the recognition that comes along with the Akbar brand but also the flexibility to work full-time or part-time while continuing your current job.
As the principle agent of IRCTC, we are authorised to issue IRCTC agent licenses with which you can provide various travel-related services and earn up to Rs.80,000 in commissions per month by booking bus, train and flight tickets, offering visa services, making online bill payments, recharging mobile phones, doing money transfers, and so much more.
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