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Lucknow Charbagh Railway Station (official name Lucknow NR, station code LKO) is one of the two main railway stations of Lucknow city for broad gauge trains. It is situated at Charbagh in the south of the city, hence the popular name. The words ‘Char Bagh’ refer to the four gardens which existed here earlier.[1] Lucknow city is well connected with all metro and other important cities like Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Jammu Tawi, Guwahati, Chandigarh, Pune, Jaipur and Bhopal either by Lucknow Charbagh(N.R.) or by Lucknow Junction(N.E.R.). The terms “Lucknow Charbagh railway station” and “Lucknow NR station” are used for the same railway station LKO. This is one of the busiest railway stations of India. More than 85 passenger trains originate from here and more than 300 trains pass from the station.

Built on a raised plinth, it has a rectangular ground plan with projecting porticos. There are several towers and clusters of circular Awadhi domes. The wide, raised platforms have several halls and rooms for official purposes.Lucknow Charbagh railway station (LKO) is operated by Lucknow Division of Northern Railway. Trains operated mainly by Northern Railway terminate at or pass through this station. It is also the main hub for the Lucknow-Kanpur Suburban Railway system (MEMU). It has nine platforms. As of 20 July 2016, more than 320 trains (or 146 pairs of trains) (including 1 Duronto, 2 Rajdhani, 1 Shatabdi, 46 Superfast trains i.e. 23 pairs of superfast trains, 3 Garib Raths and 142 i.e. 71 pairs of express trains ) and 28 slow passenger trains (or 14 pairs of trains including MEMU and DEMU) started from, terminated at or passed through LKO station.The Charbagh railway station building’s foundation stone was laid in 1914 and the building was completed in 1923. It has a large garden in front of the building. It incorporates the mix of Rajput, Awadhi and Mughal architecture and has a palatial appearance. A unique feature of the Charbagh railway station is that an aerial view of the station building shows it as a chess board and the domes and pillars of the building appear to be pieces of a chess game. Architecturally, it is considered one of the most beautiful railway stations in India. The Government Railway Police station at Lucknow’s Charbagh railway station holds an ISO 9001 certificate.

Charbagh Station, the major railway station of Lucknow, is an architectural masterpiece. The ostentatious structural design of Charbagh Railway Station enthrals a tourist at the onset. Built at a whooping price of Rs. 70 lakhs, it was designed by J.H. Hornimen. The foundation of the Charbagh Railway Station was placed by the Bishop, in March 1914.The Lucknow division is headed by Divisional Railway Manager (DRM). on 23 April 1867, the 47 mile Lucknow-Kanpur section was opened for traffic. This became part of the Oudh Rohilkhand Railway. The present Lucknow division, in 1925 was part of East Indian Railway till 1952. It caters to the Rail transport requirement of the most populous state of the country, serving 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh, with a total route of 1458.94 km, through 194 stations.Lucknow’s Charbagh Railway Station, till 1867, was a large orchard. The present Station building was constructed in 1926 with domes and minars of Saracan design, intended to harmonise with the architecture peculiar to the important historical buildings to the city which date to the days of the Nawabs of Oudh. The building constructed in red brick has a frontage of long verandahs adorned with Mughal arches.

The adjacent and almost contiguous railway station, officially known as Lucknow Junction railway station or Lucknow Jn NER (station code LJN), is unofficially considered a part of Charbagh railway stations. Colloquially, it is known as “Chhoti Line”, historically it harboured NE Railways’ Meter Gauge trains of erstwhile Izzatnagar Division, now falls under Lucknow Division of NE Railway. It is the terminus station for broad gauge trains of North Eastern Railway just like Howrah, Chennai Central and Mumbai CST. Therefore, trains that enter this station have to reverse their direction to get out of the station even if the train’s destination is beyond Lucknow. It is a separate building, with a distinct identity with red sandstone, but almost a continuation of the main LKO (Northern Railways) station building.Lucknow JN or LJN station has six platforms. The platform no.6 is accessible to the two wheelers, auto rikshaws and cars through an underpass cabway. This cabway is third cabway of Indian Railway after Howrah and Gorakhpur railway stations.As of 1 May 2016, more than 160 express trains (or 23 pairs of Mail/Express trains), 28 Superfast Trains, 1 pair of Shatabdi, 3 pairs of Garib Rath express and 18 slow passenger trains started from, terminated at or passed through LJN station.Earlier Lucknow junction was the terminus for metre gauge trains as almost all tracks of North Eastern Railway zone were metre gauge. With the conversion of most of these tracks to 1676 mm broad gauge under project Unigauge, the Lucknow junction does not have any metre gauge tracks. Now the terminus for the remaining metre gauge trains is Lucknow Aishbagh junction (station code ASH). Lucknow Aishbagh junction also has broad gauge tracks.