|Location:||Kharagpur, West Bengal|
|Lines:||Howrah - Mumbai|
Howrah - Chennai
Howrah - Adra
|Connections:||Auto Stand and Bus Stand|
|Structure:||Standard (On Ground Station)|
|Platforms:||10 (1, 1A, 2, 2A, 3, 3A, 4, 4A, 5, 6)|
Four for suburban trains and six for long distance trains
|Owned By:||South Eastern Railway|
|Formerly Owned By:||Bengal Nagpur Railway, till 1947|
Eastern Railway, till 1966
Kharagpur or abbreviated as KGP, is a major junction on South Eastern Railway. It falls on the Golden Quadrilateral routes of Kolkata - Mumbai and Kolkata - Chennai. All important trains from Howrah towards Chennai and Mumbai stop here.
It is also the divisional headquarter of Kharagpur Division, SE Railway.
Kharagpur also has one of the biggest railway workshops in India with the longest railway platform in the world [1072.5 m]
Geographical location of Kharagpur and its rail links with the rest of the country favoured construction of a centralized workshop with facilities to carry out major repairs of all broad gauge stock. In 1900 the work was sanctioned and the construction of the workshop completed in 1904.
The first Railway establishment at Kharagpur started with the commissioning of the rail link between Cuttack – Balasore – Kharagpur and from Sini to Kolaghat via Kharagpur. Kharagpur as a junction station was established in Railway map in December 1898. It is said that the people were initially afraid to travel by train for the fear of accident over the bridge (fear of collapsing of bridge), fear of getting outcaste status since there were no separate seating arrangement for different castes and religions. However, things changed due to famines in the early 20th century. The Railway Company came forward and offered jobs to the local unemployed men, gave them free ride by train and even offered a blanket for traveling by train. This promotional scheme broke the taboos and made rail transport acceptable to the society.
Midnapur, the district headquarters was connected (up to the bank of Kasai river) in February 1900. Construction of the bridge over Kasai completed in June 1901. The rail line from Howrah to Kolaghat up to the eastern bank and from Kharagpur up to western bank of Rupnarayan River was completed in 1899. However through trains between Howrah and Kharagpur could only be possible in April 1900 after the bridge over Rupnarayan river was completed.
Howrah – Amta light Railway (2 ft gauge - 610 mm ) line was completed in 1898 and was operated by M/s Martin & Co. of Calcutta. This link remained operative till 1971. After closure of the light railways, demand for a broad gauge line between Howrah and Amta gained momentum. The project got completed in four phases. In the first phase, the line between Santragachhi and Domjur was completed in 1984. In the 2nd phase under Project Unigauge it got extended up to Bargachia in 1985. Extension up to Mushirhat (Mahendralal Nagar station) was completed in 2000 and the final lap up to Amta got completed in December 2004.
The need for rail link between Panskura and Tamluk was conceived at the beginning of 20th century, almost at the same time when the rail link between Howrah and Kharagpur was opened. Railway company received offers for construction from two Agencies, M/S Martin & Company and M/s Babu Nibaran Chandra Dutta. The former against guaranteed return of 3.5% while the latter without any guarantee. Although the offer of the latter was lucrative, the dilemma of whether to offer the work of construction to a native or not forced the project to be abandoned. After Independence, the requirement of rail link connecting Panskura and Durgachak came up primarily for the purpose of constructing Haldia Port. The rail link between Panskura – Durgachak via Tamluk completed in 1968, which was later on extended to Haldia in 1975. Extension of rail link to Digha from Tamluk was sanctioned in 1984 and it took 20 years to complete this project in two phases, the first phase of linking Tamluk and Kanthi completed in November 2003 and the tourist destination Digha got connected to Howrah/Shalimar in December 2004.