Howrah Junction is one of the major railway stations in the city of Kolkata, India. It is the busiest railway station in India in terms of train frequency. Around 673 train routes start, end, or pass through the station daily. With 23 platforms, the largest number of platforms in the entire Indian railway system, it has the highest train-handling capacity of any railway station in India. One of the busiest railway stations in terms of passenger volume per day, 1220 stations are directly connected to Howrah railway station via 293 passenger trains.
Initial plans for the first Howrah railway station were submitted on 17 June 1851 by George Turnbull, the Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company. In January 1852, it became clear that the government authorities would not sanction the purchase of sufficient land nor the necessary water frontage despite demonstrations from Turnbull that the terminus would continue to expand. In May 1852, the detailed station plans were made by Turnbull and his team of engineers. In October, four tenders for building the station received from 190,000 to 274,526 rupees against an estimate of 250,000 rupees.
Due to a great increase in traffic, a new station building was proposed in 1901. The British architect Halsey Ricardo designed the new station. It was opened on 1 December 1905. This building is the current Howrah station building, with 15 platform tracks.
It was expanded in the 1980s with the addition of 8 platform tracks on the south side of the station, bringing the track count up to 23. At the same time, a new Yatri Niwas (transit passenger facility) was built south of the original station frontage.