Railway stations in India can be renamed for various reasons. The most common reason is to align the English spelling with the local pronunciation-as the British often modified the spellings to suit their convenience. Thus there were mass renamings in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka over the past few decades. Perhaps this was not so much of an issue in Northern and Eastern India. And there have been many name changes in Pakistan and (to a lesser extent) in Bangladesh, but those are different stories.
Then there are name changes in honour of famous people (examples like CST Mumbai, CSMT Kolhapur, Bapudham Motihari and Vanchi Maniyachi).
In fact, the stories beyond renaming of railway stations could well be a topic of a doctoral dissertation or at least a middle-sized book. Maybe I will do that one day. Today, we take up the cases of some stations which have been renamed twice-sometimes twice within a decade.
We start with cases where pictures are readily available:
The average resident of this city would probably stick to calling the station “Majestic”, in the same way his counterparts in other cities stick to Nampalli and Kalupur.
Then we have the case of Mangalore/Mangaluru. While the stations here came under Karnataka’s mass renaming in 2014 onwards, they had already been renamed in the mid-2000s for greater clarity.
The old terminus of Mangalore became Mangalore Central. Then there was a smaller station on the outskirts called Kankanadi, which was the locality’s name. But many long-distance trains stopped only there and not at the old terminus-hence it became important enough to be renamed Mangalore Jn. We see the story here:
Pictures of Mangalore (as it was) do not seem to be on the net.
But there are several other examples across the country
Olavakkot Jn->Palghat Jn->Palakkad Jn
Here Olavakkot was a small place in the vicinity of the city then known as Palghat. At some time in the 70s it was felt that an important junction (as well as a division HQ) should be renamed to mark the larger city, hence it became Palghat Jn. Large-scale renaming in Kerala (to match the local names in Malayalam) was done in around 1990, though most of the stations were renamed only in the 2007 timetable. It then became Palakkad Jn. (There is also a smaller Palakkad Town nearby) which went through:
Palghat -> Palghat Town -> Palakkad Town
Other examples in and around India include:
Meean Meer West -> Lahore Cantt West -> Lahore Cantt
Meean Meer East -> Lahore Cantt East -> Moghalpura
Mayavaram Jn -> Mayuram Jn -> Mayiladuturai Jn
Bellasis Road -> Bombay Central (Local) -> Mumbai Central (Local)
Manipur Road -> Dimapur Manipur Road -> Dimapur
Marwar Jn is said to have had several name changes in the 19th century.
“Cyclic” name changes:
Dhone Jn -> Dronachellam Jn -> Dhone Jn
Kallakudi Palanganatham -> Dalmiapuram -> Kallakudi Palanganatham
Ashapura Gomat -> Pokhran Road -> Ashapura Gomat
And if you include stations with a single name change, the list will run into hundreds.
Tail piece: Here I am largely considering changes from the 1930s to the present day (except for Lahore where we are starting with the 1860s). In the 19th century there were many rather awkward spellings made by the Brits who built the lines, with names like Ullygurh (obvious) and Unclesar (not so obvious). Ghat Cooper for Ghatkopar lives on in the station code GC, as does Coorla in CLA.
Other double changes starting from the 19th century would include
Arconum -> Arkonam -> Arakkonam
Then there were particularly odd ones I have seen in 19th-century documents, such as Sickle for Sikkal and Cynthia for Sainthia. Quite possibly someone had been thinking of his wife or girlfriend in the latter case.
The changes in names of stations in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka (but not India) can be seen here: