What is the difference between Junction railway station, Central railway Station, and Terminal railway station in Indian Railways?

Mumbai central railway station

Why is the junction, central or terminal written in the name of the railway station? What is the difference between Junction railway station, Central railway Station, and Terminal railway station in Indian Railways?

The train stops at many stations during the journey, but some stations are marked as Junction, Central, and Terminal. Know why it is written like this.

The Indian railway network is the fourth largest in the world and the largest in Asia. Every day millions of people travel by railway to reach their destination. During the journey, the train passes through several stations where the sign board reads Junction, Terminal (Terminus), Central or Empty Station. After reading this, one question surely arises that the train stops at most of the stations with the above text, yet why these different names are attached after its name. Like, as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai Central, Ahmedabad Junction, New Delhi Railway Station..etc. The name actually tells about its (station) specialty. It will be really interesting to know what is the specialty of each name.

Junction railway station

According to Indian Railways, a junction in the name of a railway station in a country is when three different routes exist there. That is, if trains meet from three directions at a station, then that station is called a junction. If the junction is written behind the name of a station, it means that there is more than one way for trains to come and go to this station. To understand more simply, if a train is coming from one route, it can go from two routes, and a train can come and go from two routes simultaneously. According to a statistic, there are more than 300 railway junctions in India. However, the biggest junction is called the Mathura station, as seven different routes originate from there.

Mathura junction
Mathura junction | Credit-indiarailinfo.com

Central Railway Station

Some railway stations have Central written behind them. It means that there are many railway stations in that city and the station name written after Central is the oldest, busiest, and most important railway station in that city. Many trains pass here. However, it does not necessarily mean that if a city has three to four railway stations, the busiest station is given the name Central. For example, not one of the busiest stations in New Delhi has Central after its name. According to information, there are five central railway stations in India. They are Mumbai Central, Chennai Central, Trivandrum Central, Mangalore Central, and Kanpur Central. These stations are usually in the center of the city’s activities and have more facilities. Also, this station is big. Trains arrive and depart from many major cities of the country. Big cities are connected to each other through central stations.

Mumbai central railway station
Mumbai Central railway station |Credit- indiarailinfo.com

Terminal or terminus railway station

There is no difference between terminus and terminal. Both are the same. Terminus means that after this station there is no track for the train to proceed i.e. this is the last station. True if the train arrives there, but for the onward journey it has to return in the same direction it came. Trains can only go in one direction from the railway terminus, as there is no road ahead. At present, there is about 27 railway terminus in the country. Like, such as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Kochi Harbor Terminus, Bandra Terminus, Bhavnagar Terminus, etc.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus | Credit- istockphoto.com

Railway Station

A station that does not come under the four categories of Railways Junction, Central, and Terminus is called a station. There are many stations on the route that the train travels. Apart from this, They (station) have no identity. There are more than eight thousand stations in the country.


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