Lucknow 's Charbagh Railway Station building, an outstanding one in the world

orchard, Charbagh station,Lucknow.  Azhar Khan

Among the more than 7000 railway stations in India, Lucknow's Charbagh station is considered as one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world and its beauty and grandeur can be matched  only by  a few Indian station buildings. Architecturally, it is an outstanding building that has a unique aura about it.

The Lucknow city, UP has two railway stations   - one is just railway station (official name Lucknow NR, station code LKO) for broad gauge trains and the , other being "Lucknow Jn" (station code "LJN"). Lucknow NR Railway Station (Charbagh) is  of particular interest to us because, it is a  major hub for the Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway system (MEMU). Lucknow has 13 railway stations connecting various parts of the suburban areas. 

During the British Raj,  a decade later after the major rebellion against the East India company's misrule, on  23 April 1867, the 47 mile Lucknow-Kanpur section  was opened for traffic
and it was part of the Oudh Rohilkhand Railway. From  1925 to 1952, the present Lucknow division was operating under East Indian Railway, serving 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, with a total route of 1,458.94 km (906.54 mi), through 194 stations. 

Lucknow Charbagh railway station. TrekEarth

Uttar Pradesh happened to be the most populous state in the country then and the introduction of railways was quite helpful to the various communities that lived near the river Ganges.  Charbagh Railway Station was built in 1926. In order to blend with the local architecture, the building design is typically Mogul along with  visible elements of Rajput and Awadhi designs dominated  by domes and minars. They  match those beautiful historical buildings in this place that go back in time during the days of Oudh Nawabs. The red-brick building in Charbagh  (south part of the city), has a frontage of long verandahs adorned with Mogul arches. The word' Char Bagh' 

Lucknow Charbagh railway station.

means  four gardens  that existed here earlier until 1867. Both stations are well connected with major cities across the country, including    Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai,  Guwahati and others.

Charbagh railway station, Lucknow.

The  architect of Charbagh railway station building   is 
J. H. Hornimen and Chaubey Mukta Prasad, a consulting engineer for Ms Lanebrown and Hulett played a crucial role in major planning and design work. The building' foundation stone was laid  on 21 March 1914  by  Bishop George  Herbert and it took 9 long years to complete the building in 1923. A huge sum of ₹ 70 lakhs was spent on the building,  The unusual feature of this railway building is: 

01. It has a large garden in front of the building, 
02. The aerial view of Charbagh railway station, brings out a stunning view as if the entire railway station that  looks like  a chess board and the domes and pillars of the building appear to be pieces on the board. 
03. Tunnels (subway) below the Station are now  used for moving goods  safely from one platform to another: It is most helpful to those who find it difficult to climb the stairs. 
04. If standing on the porch of the station, you cannot hear  the noise coming off the moving  trains.
From design and planning point of view, it is considered  as one of the most beautiful railway stations in India.  The Government Railway Police station at Lucknow's Charbagh railway station holds an ISO 9001 certificate.

The ground plan is rectangular in shape with projecting porticoes. There are several towers and clusters of circular Awadhi domes. The wide, raised platforms have several halls and rooms for official purposes.

The station which currently handles around 110 pairs of passenger trains   (220 trains) and 33 pairs of goods/freight trains, will undergo To meet the ever increasing  demand of traffic some development projects were proposed.  As part of this plan, a 9 m high concourse, which will be around 180 metres in length and 115 metres in width, will be constructed. Facilities like retail area, washrooms, waiting area, travellators, polyclinics, food court, shopping area, ATM and drinking water will be included in the concourse, covering all platforms.

The Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway:

Crane locomotive,The Oudh and Rohilkhand

Commemorative gold medal The Oudh and Rohilkhand

The Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway formed in 1872 with the assets of the Indian Branch Railway Company and the government guarantee,  had its headquarters at Lucknow. The network in north India covered mostly north of the Ganges river from Benares (Varanasi)  up to Delhi. It built lines from Lucknow to Hardoi, Lucknow to Barabanki and Moradabad to Chandausi in 1872 and extended the last to Bareilly in 1873 It built a line from Varanasi to Lucknow in 1874. It was merged into the East Indian Railway on 1 July 1925 but this section of the Cawnpore-Burhwal Railway was worked by the Bengal and North Western Railway and was transferred to the Oudh and Tirhut Railway on 1 January 1943.

The Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway built the famous Dufferin Bridge (now called Malaviya bridge) over the Ganges  at Varanasi in 1887 with Frederick Thomas Granville Walton as Chief Engineer, and its line was connected to East Indian Railway Company’s line at  Mughalsar.  Earl Dufferin was the then Viceroy of India.