North Eastern Railway
The North Eastern Railway came into existence on 14th April, 1952 by amalgamating two major railway systems – Assam Railways and Oudh and Tirhut Railways, and Cawnpore-Achnera section of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway. On 27th February, 1953, Cawnpore-Barabanki Railway was merged with North Eastern Railway. Later again on 15th January, 1958, it was divided into two different railway zones – North East Frontier Railway and North Eastern Railway, with all the lines to the east of Katihar transferred to the former.
With its headquarters at Gorakhpur, it is one of the 16 Indian Railway Zones. Located in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, Gorakhpur is the longest railway platform of the world. It is one of the top 100 Indian Railways booking stations as it connects to almost each and every prominent Indian city. With a capacity of handling about 189 trains, this station caters to over 3 lakhs passengers on a daily basis.
With about 3450 km of the route line, this railway system serves around 486 stations in the North-East Zone. This zone, situated on the eastern tip of India, generally consists of hilly and forested areas. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and western districts of Bihar are the major areas that are served by this railway system.
After the re-organisation again in 2002, North Eastern Railway (NER) now comprises three main divisions – Varanasi, Izzatnagar and Lucknow.
Formed on 1st May, 1969, Varanasi Railway Station is mainly a passenger traffic-oriented division. Until 1981, this division was just a metre gauge division but as gauge conversion started, it was converted into a broad gauge division. At present, all the sections of this division are working on a broad gauge except the two – Indara-Dhori and Thawe-Chhapra Kacheri sections. This division covers three districts of Western Bihar and 12 districts of U.P.
Gorakhpur-Chhapra, Chhapra-Aunrihar, Bhatni-Allahabad, Gorakhpur-Paniyahawa, Mau-Shahganj, Aunrihar-Jaunpur and Indara-Phepna are the main broad gauge routes of the division.
Gorakhpur-Chhapra, Varanasi-Chhapra, Varanasi-Gorakhpur, Indara-Phepna and Gorakhpur-Paniyahawa are the principal running routes for goods and carriage trains of the division.
Comprising one of the three divisions of NER, Izzatnagar Railway Station or IZN caters to about 36000 passengers on a regular basis with over 24 trains starting from, terminating at or passing through this junction. For maintaining cleanliness, this station has bagged a shield and Rs. 5000 cash prize from the Railway Board in the past.
Lucknow Junction Railway Station or LJN, one of the two major railway stations of the city, is well-connected to all the major cities like Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Guwahati, Jammu Tawi, Bhopal, Pune, Chandigarh and Jaipur. Also referred to as the Choti Line, this station has six platforms. As per recent news, an AC Double Decker Express is going to be proposed between New Delhi and this junction. Earlier, this junction had only metre gauge tracks but with the gauge conversion, this junction now has all broad gauge tracks. This railway station features cab-way, battery operated cars and Wi-Fi connection. This junction has huge train traffic with over 100 trains originating from, terminating at or passing through it.
Moradabad, Siwan and Varanasi are the major stations on this route. The other stations on this route are Muzzampur, Kathgodam, Lalkuan, Dudwa, Nepalganj, Nautanwa, Jarwa and Kanakpur. With about 640 km of broad gauge tracks and 390 km of metre gauge tracks, Izzatnagar division has a total route of about 1030 km. On the other hand, Lucknow division has a total route of about 1169 km, with 567 km of broad gauge tracks and 602 km of metre gauge tracks. Of all the three, Varanasi division has the longest route line of about 1253 km, with 1109 km of broad gauge tracks and 144 km of the metre gauge tracks. Thus, in total, NER has about 2314 km of broad gauge tracks and 1135 km of metre gauge tracks.