Varanasi Junction, popularly known as Varanasi Cantonment Railway Station is the rail hub of Uttar Pradesh. It is partly under the administrative control of Lucknow Division of the Northern Railway Zone and partly under the administrative control of Varanasi Division of the North Eastern Railway Zone of the Indian Railways. The first railway line to Benares was opened from Howrah station in December of 1862. George Turnbull, the Chief Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company was responsible for deciding the route and building the 541-mile line that passed through Bandel, Burdwan, Rajmahal and Patna. The station was built on the right bank of the Ganges.
In 1872, the Oudh & Rohilkhand Railway Company opened the line from Benares to Lucknow. In 1887, Dufferin Bridge was constructed over the Ganges at Benares that made it possible for trains to travel to Mughalsarai.
The present station building on the city side was built between the years 1975–77. The cantonment-side building was opened in 1998 and the circulating area was renovated in 2008.
Equipped with a modern Route Interlock System along with an automated signalling system the Varanasi Cantonment Railway Station is ranked 14 in the cleanliness scale among the 75 busiest A1 category stations in the country. Buoyed by an overall rank of 30, the station handles countless passengers travelling over 250 trains each and every day.
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