Indian Railways, which is operated by Government of India under the Ministry of Railways, is solely responsible for the rail transport in the country. It is considered as the fourth largest railway network in the world, with a running track of 92,081 km and covers a distance of 66,687 km. Indian Railways has carried 8.107 Billion passengers in 2015-16 alone.
That is approximately 22 Million passengers a day. In order to make the rail travel comfortable, 7216 stations are built in different parts of the country. There is a difference in the names of stations, like some are named Junction, some as Terminus and some are named Central. So, have you ever wondered what is the difference between a Junction, Terminus, Central and a Railway Station?
Railway stations are mainly differentiated into 4 types.
A station is known as a Terminus/Terminal when the trains can enter and leave the station in only one direction. In other words, the track ends in the other direction. A train has to leave in the same direction as it entered. Some examples of Terminus are:
- Bandra Terminus (BDTS)
- Howrah Terminus (HWH)
- Bhavnagar Terminus (BVC)
- Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST)
- Cochin Harbour Terminus (CHTS)
- Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT)
- Yavatmal Terminus (YTL)
A Central is a busiest and most important station in a city, which has multiple stations. It deals with a large number of arrivals and departures. These may be the oldest stations, so they are named as central. It is not necessary to have a Central if a city has multiple stations. There are 5 Central stations in India:
- Mumbai Central (BCT)
- Chennai Central (MAS)
- Trivandrum Central (TVC)
- Mangalore Central (MAQ)
- Kanpur Central (CNB)
If there are at least 3 different routes coming in and going out of a station, then it is called a Junction. In simpler words, trains entering the station should have at least 2 different routes to leave the station. Some examples of Junction are:
- Mathura Junction (7 routes)
- Salem Junction (6 routes)
- Vijayawada Junction (5 routes)
- Bareilly Junction (5 routes)
A station is simply a place where a train stops for passengers/goods to enter and leave the train.