The New Delhi Railway Station (station code NDLS), situated between Ajmeri Gate and Paharganj is the main railway station in Delhi. New Delhi railway station is the busiest and largest railway station in India. It handles over 350 trains and 500,000 passengers daily with 16 platforms.[2] The New Delhi railway station holds the record for the largest route interlocking system in the world along with the Kanpur Central Railway Station i.e. 48. The station is about two kilometres north of Connaught Place, in central Delhi.

Most eastbound and southbound trains originate at New Delhi Railway Station. However, some important trains to other parts of the country also touch/originate at this station. Most pairs of Shatabdi Express originate and terminate at this station. It is the main hub for the Rajdhani Express, hence making it the biggest and busiest railway station of Indian Railways.

History

Before the new imperial capital New Delhi was established after 1911, the Old Delhi Railway Station served the entire city and the Agra-Delhi railway line cut through what is today called Lutyens' Delhi and the site earmarked for the hexagonal All-India War Memorial (now India Gate) and Kingsway (now Rajpath). The railway line was shifted along Yamuna river and opened in 1924 to make way for the new capital. Minto (now Shivaji) and Hardinge (now Tilak) rail bridges came up for this realigned line. The East Indian Railway Company, that overlooked railways in the region, sanctioned the construction of a single story building and a single platform between Ajmeri Gate and Paharganj in 1926. This was later known as New Delhi Railway station. The government's plans to have the new station built inside the Central Park of Connaught Place was rejected by the Railways as it found the idea impractical.[3] In 1927–28, New Delhi Capital Works project involving construction of 4.79 miles (7.71 km) of new lines was completed. The Viceroy and royals entered the city through the new railway station during the inauguration of New Delhi in 1931. New structures were added to the railway station later and the original building served as the parcel office for many years.[4][5]

Modernisation

In 2007, Farrells were commissioned to modernise and expand the station in time for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Farrells are the lead consultant for the Masterplan for Indian Railways for the redevelopment of New Delhi Railway Station to be in line with the pace of modernisation and growth in the city centre. To provide station and property development over and around the station. The first phase was planned to be operational by the time of the games.[6] The redevelopment was expected to cost 60 billion (US$891.6 million) and 13 consortiums have placed bids to win the contract to upgrade and modernise the terminal[7] on a Build-Operate-Transfer basis for 30 years.[8]

The station occupies 86 ha[9] and 10–20% of it (50 acres) could be used for retail and commercial use.[8] In September 2009, the new building of the station on the Ajmeri Gate side was opened by Northern Railway; built at Rs250,000,000 by Gangotri Enterprises Limited and the building has a total floor area of 9,000 m2 spread over three floors.[10]

WiFi

Northern Railways concluded a tender in May 2013, won by a Mumbai-based company, to enable free Wi-Fi connectivity at the station, at an approximate cost of 8 million (US$120,000). Service became available later in the year.[11][12]

Delhi Metro

New Delhi Railway Station is served by New Delhi station on the Yellow Line of the Delhi Metro, and also by the Delhi Airport Metro Express (Orange Line), which connects it directly to Indira Gandhi International Airport.[2]

Services

Some of the most important trains among 100 that depart from New Delhi are: