How many railway stations in India?

This is a question which could not be answered easily. A rough estimate some years ago would have been 7000-8000. Finally we have a more accurate answer.

This appears in a document called “National Rail Plan”-Draft Final Report dated 2000. On page 91 we have this:

Depending on how you count, the number could be anything from 7349 onwards.

Why does this station exist? – continued.

While most railway routes run between major cities, the stations in between would include fairly large stations which may not be justified by the local population. These could be junctions which have to be at particular locations, or loco sheds and watering/coaling points at suitable intervals preferably with a good water supply, or workshops which need space as well as a suitable supply of skilled and unskilled labor.

I am giving a few samples of each case. This is not meant to be an exhaustive listing, and anyone who wants to enumerate all cases in each category is welcome to do so.

Junctions in small places:

Amla, Arakkonam, Bhusaval, Bina, Daund, Dornakal, Gomoh, Gudur, Guntakal, Itarsi, Jolarpettai, Katni, Kazipet, Kharagpur, Khurda Road, Kiul, Lumding, Manmad, Mughal Sarai, Shoranur, Tundla, Villupuram, Viramgam.

(Of course, some like Mughal Sarai are not too far from larger urban centres.)

Rajasthan has a number of these, e.g. Bandikui, Bayana, Degana, Luni, Marwar, Merta Road, Phulera, Ratangarh.

Loco sheds in small places:

(These include those which are not junctions):

Abu Road, Balharshah, Bitragunta, Dongargarh, Gangapur City, Jhajha.

Major railway workshops/offices in small places not counted so far:

Adra, Alipur Duar, Chakradharpur, Chittaranjan, Dahod, Danapur, Jagadhri, Jamalpur, Kapurthala, Marhaura, Mariani, Podanur, Rangiya, Rewari, Yelahanka.

Sometimes one can guess why a steam loco shed (or at least a watering point) was located at a particular place, considering that steam locos had to stop every 150-200 km.

Considering the Mumbai-Delhi (WR) route:

Valsad is 194 km from MMCT and 197 km from Vadodara.

Gangapur City is 171 km from Kota and 153 km from Mathura.

Try to see the logic of the location of Bitragunta, Dongargarh, Jhajha etc.

However, Balharshah gets in because it was the terminus of the Nizam’s State Railway for a long time before the GIPR reached it.

City in the news

This small city in Western Uttar Pradesh is in the news.

It is unusual in that there are 4 different stations with that small city’s name.

If you take the trouble to study the geography, you will see that Hathras Jn is a small town centred around the station. While this is on the BG main line from Delhi to Allahabad, Hathras Road is on a (former MG, now BG) branch which crosses the main line. So they are practically at the same location. Part of Hathras Road station is on a bridge which crosses the main line at one end of Hathras Jn. This would be apparent from the picture of Hathras Road above.

Hathras City (the main town) is on the same branch line mentioned above which is on the North Eastern Railway. Hathras Killah is on a short branch line from Hathras Jn.

They are on the North Central Railway.

Confusing? See if this helps:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/search/Hathras+Jn/@27.60885,78.0931984,14z

Mendu is a small station lying between Hathras Road and Hathras City.

From the map, you can also see that Killah and City are quite close.