Lucknow Charbagh railway station: One of the two important railway stations of Lucknow, Charbagh railway station, is all set for a complete makeover. The station which currently handles around 110 pairs of coaching (220 trains) and 33 pairs of goods, will undergo major renovation in order to meet the increased demand of traffic. Under the station redevelopment 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, travelators, polyclinics, food court, shopping area, ATM and drinking water will be included in the concourse, covering all platforms.
Another interesting feature of the Charbagh railway station would be the fact that the flow of passengers will be segregated for arrival and departure. A 10 meter width Subway has also been planned to back up the station’s redevelopment plan. In order to boost the station’s infrastructure a second entry is being developed with a design similar to the main station building. The Charbagh Railway station will also have two additional platforms. In addition to this, with an estimated cost of Rs 94 crore, 4 line entry and 4 line exit facilities have been sanctioned, which are already in execution stage.
The history of the Charbagh Railway station dates back to 1867 when on 23 April, the 47 mile Lucknow-Kanpur section was opened for traffic, which further became a part of Oudh Rohilkhand Railway. The contemporary Lucknow Division, which was a part of East Indian Railway from 1925 to 1952, caters to 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, covering a distance of 1,458.94 km through 194 stations.
Prior to 1867, the Charbagh Railway station was an orchard. The present day station building was built in 1926 in a Mughal architectural design, enhanced with domes and minars. The architecture of the station building harmonises well with Lucknow’s other important historical buildings which date to the days of the Nawabs of Oudh. The railway station derived its name from the place Charbagh in the south of Lucknow, where it is located. The name ‘Char Bagh’ refers to four gardens which existed in that place.
The red brick station building has a frontage of long verandahs furnished with Mughal arches. Mukta Prasad, a counsulting engineer for Ms Lanebrown and Hulett, played a major role in designing the station building. A large garden with a palatial appearance is also present in front of the building, which is blended in Rajput, Awadhi and Mughal architecture.
An interesting fact about the station design is that an aerial view of the station makes it appear as a chess board while the domes and pillars appear to be pieces of the game. The station building has numerous towers and clusters of circular Awadhi domes. It was built on a raised plinth, the building has a rectangular ground plan with projecting porticos, making it one of the most beautiful railway stations of India.
Meanwhile, the Transportnagar station is being developed as a by-pass station to Lucknow. This will provide interface with metro station. Also, in order to meet the demand of passengers, Alamnagar will be transformed as a satellite station. There are also plans to implant two additional platforms for receiving and dispatching trains. In order to decongest the Charbagh station, Manaknagar station will also undergo renovation. Additionally, facilities like high level platform, circulating area, parking area will be provided. Work for both the stations are already in advance stage of sanction.