10 Oldest Railway Stations In India

OT Staff

Indian Railways

Indian railways began during British colonial rule, with the first railway line between Bombay and Thane being established in 1853. Railway stations and office buildings were subsequently built across India, blending Indo-Saracenic, Victorian and Mughal architectural styles.

East Indian Railway Mail leaving Kalka Station circa 1906, one of the oldest Indian trains | Wikimedia Commons

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus

The Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, formerly Victoria Terminus, is India's first railway station. It was built by the Great Indian Peninsular Railway in 1878 and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Designed by F.W. Stevens, the station boasts an Indo-Saracenic style with a stone dome, turrets, pointed arches, and an unconventional ground plan.

A view of the majestic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus | Shutterstock

Howrah Railway Station

Howrah Railway Station, built in 1852, is one of India's oldest and busiest stations. Designed by British architect Halsey Ralph Richard, it has a striking red structure with Romanesque architecture. The station has 23 platforms and serves almost one million passengers daily on 600 trains.

A view of the left flank of Howrah Railway Station | Bernard Gangnon/Wikimedia Commons

Royapuram Railway Station

Royapuram Railway Station in Chennai is the country's third oldest station. Designed by William Adelpi Tracey, it features grand Corinthian columns and was inaugurated on July 1, 1856, by Lord Harris, the Governor of Madras Presidency. The station's first passenger journey included Lord Harris and 300 European delegates.

An old photograph of Royapuram Railway Station | Wikimedia Commons

Old Delhi Railway Station

Old Delhi Railway Station was a small building transformed by East Indian Railway in 1864. The 1903 renovation added two platforms. Its architecture blends Greco-Roman and Indo-Islamic styles inspired by the Red Fort. It has 16 platforms handling hundreds of trains and passengers, making it one of the busiest stations in the capital.

Passengers in front of Old Delhi Railway Station | Shutterstock

Jaipur Railway Station

Jaipur Junction is a busy railway station built in 1875. The station's architecture captures the essence of the Pink City. At an elevation of 428 metres, it is one of the busiest railway stations in Rajasthan, serving over 40,000 passengers daily.

A view of the architecture of Jaipur Railway Station | Wikimedia Commons

Puducherry Railway Station

Puducherry Railway Station was built in 1879 during the colonial rule. It has Greco-Roman columns on its façade, transporting visitors back to the colonial era. It connects major cities like Chennai, Villupuram, Tirupathi, Mangaluru, Kanyakumari, Bengaluru, Kolkata, New Delhi, Bhubaneswar, and Mumbai.

The front facade of the Puducherry Railway Station | Wikimedia Commons

Ghum Railway Station

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway's "Toy Train" passes through tea gardens from NJP to Darjeeling. The three-hour journey stops at stations such as Sukna, Kurseong, Sonada, and Ghum, where India's highest railway station is located. The Ghum station, built in 1881, houses a museum exhibiting the evolution of steam engines and a collection of old tickets.

A view of the Ghum Railway Station | Shutterstock

Virangana Lakshmibai Station

The Virangana Lakshmibai Station, formerly Jhansi railway station, connects the north and south of India. Built by the British in the 1880s, it has a fort-like structure painted in maroon and off-white, inspired by Jhansi Fort and Rani Mahal.

A view of the Virangana Lakshmibai Station

Barog Railway Station

Barog Railway Station, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands on the Kalka Shimla Railway line. Built by the British between 1898 and 1903, the station houses administrative offices and a passenger rest house and is also home to the famous 'Tunnel Number 33,' which is 1143 metres long.

A shot of a tunnel on the UNESCO World Heritage Site railway line from Shimla to Kalka | Shutterstock

Charbagh Railway Station

Lucknow's Charbagh station was designed by H Horniman, an Englishman, in 1914 and constructed in 1926 featuring a palatial appearance with domes, minarets, arches, and verandas. The station appears like a chessboard from the sky, with turrets and domes resembling chess pieces.

The magnificent Charbagh Railway Station | Shutterstock
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