What’s in a name?

-William Shakespeare

Travelling across India by train is a special experience. When you plan a long journey by train you get to spend some quality time with your companions and have a chance to reconnect with them. Moreover, trains are the best mode to travel as they are cheap, comfortable, and pass through wonderful landscapes across the country. You come across different people, different regions, and different regional specialties sold at different types of stations in India. Some of these railway stations are known for being the busiest railway stations in India, whereas some are known for their beauty and others for the top-class amenities they offer to the passengers. But, have you ever wondered why do certain railway stations have a suffix added to their name? Well, words like Central, Junction, Terminus, etc. in station names are there for a particular reason. 

Let us understand why stations are named in a certain manner and how they help differentiate between different types of stations in India so that you know their significance. You can even share this interesting titbit of trivia with your travel companions the next time you pass through or visit these stations.

Terminus or Terminal:

Anand Vihar Terminal
Anand Vihar Terminal
Image Credit: India Rail Info

Terminus or Terminal literally means the end. If you see a terminus post the name of any particular station in India, it means that the tracks end there. So, if your train enters a terminus, it won’t go beyond that station in the same direction, it will return in the opposite direction only from there. India has many famous terminal stations or terminus in all directions of the country. These types of stations in India are generally the biggest stations in the city or the state where they are located.

Famous Terminals in India:

  • Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT), Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Anand Vihar Terminus, New Delhi
  • Rajendra Nagar Terminus, Patna, Bihar
  • Puri Railway Station, Puri, Odisha
  • Udhagamandalam Railway Station, Ooty, Tamil Nadu

Also Read: Most Beautiful Railway Stations In India That Will Leave You In Awe


Bareilly Junction
Bareilly Junction
Image Credit:
India Rail Info

A junction in common language means a point from where one can go towards different directions as per their wish. Similarly, Junction suffixed to any railway station in India means that at least 3 railway routes are coming in and out of that railway station. Let us remind you that it has nothing to do with the single lines or double lines that we commonly discuss in relation to the railway tracks, but it means that there are at least 2 different routes for a train entering the railway station in different directions. One of the most common types of stations in India, Junctions are usually big stations on railway routes with multiple platforms from which trains can proceed in different directions. Mathura Junction railway station is the biggest junction in Indian railways from where 7 different routes originate.

Famous Junctions in India:

  • Kalyan Junction, Maharashtra
  • Salem Junction, Tamil Nadu
  • Vijayawada Junction, Andhra Pradesh
  • Bareilly Junction, Uttar Pradesh
  • Secunderabad Junction, Telangana

Also Read: A List Of 10 Historic And Iconic Oldest Railway Stations In India


Mumbai Central
Mumbai Central
Image Credit:
India Rail Info

We have probably come across central railway stations for sure, especially in the context of big metropolitan cities in India. All big cities in India have multiple railway stations as a norm. Central stations are generally the busiest railway stations in the city and probably the oldest ones. These types of stations in India deal with a large number of arrivals and departures and consequently have a large footfall. Whenever you book your railway tickets to a central railway station of a particular city, know that it is the most important railway station in the city. There are only 5 Central railway stations in India.

Central Railway Stations in India:

  • Mumbai Central, Maharashtra
  • Chennai Central, Tamil Nadu
  • Trivandrum Central, Kerala
  • Mangalore Central, Karnataka
  • Kanpur Central, Uttar Pradesh

Also Read: 13 Busiest Railway Stations In India That Are Always Bustling And Hustling


Agra Cantt
Agra Cantt
Image Credit:
India Rail Info

We know you are probably thinking about what a Cantt is and why the authorities bother to use it in the name of the stations. Well, Cantt is an abbreviation for Cantonment, which is a large military establishment across the country. These types of stations in India were established to ease troop movement and the logistical operations for the defence services of the nation. They are, for all these reasons, located in the cantonment area of the city and are generally a small station of the city meant to serve the defence personnel primarily, but also available for public use. So, whenever you come across any Cantt. railway stations, remember that it aids in the security of the country and the countrymen that are keeping us safe.

Famous Cantonments (Cantt) in India

  • Agra Cantt, Uttar Pradesh
  • Delhi Cantt, New Delhi
  • Ambala Cantt, Haryana
  • Bangalore Cantt, Karnataka
  • Bathinda Cantt, Punjab

Also Read: List of Frequently Used Indian Railway Abbreviations


Nasik Road
Nasik Road
Image Credit:
India Rail Info

Ever wondered what ‘road’ has to do with a railway station? Well, the word pretty much does justice to its name once you get to know the reason behind it. There are certain railway stations on the railway route which do not pass through a big city or town, but rather pass just outside them. So, when a railway route has a station that is near to a city or town, but does not pass through it, and rather a road connects the city to the railway station, then such railway stations have ‘road’ in their name.

Famous ‘Road’ in India:

  • Nasik Road, Maharashtra
  • Abu Road, Rajasthan
  • Bilaspur Road, Uttar Pradesh
  • Dalhousie Road, Himachal Pradesh
  • Bhadrachalam Road, Telangana

So there you have it! The difference between all the different types of stations in India! Now you have answers to questions like – what is a Central railway station? What is a Junction? What is a Terminus? What is a Cantt.? And why we use “Road” in the name of railway stations?

So, next time you are booking train tickets or are passing through one of these railway stations, you will be aware what these types of station names imply. You will have all the information regarding different types of station in India, such as whether it is one of the most important railway stations, or whether it is a military cantonment, or if the city is far from the railway station or not, simply by looking at the name.

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