Located in the West Midnapore district of the Indian state of West Bengal, Kharagpur is the fourth largest city in the state. Home to the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur finds itself in the record books an entirely different reason. It holds the record for being home to Asia’s and indeed the world’s largest railway platform (1072 metres or 3538 feet), excluding subway platforms. The Chicago subway platform is the longest platform in the world.
A railway platform is the pathway that runs alongside the railways tracks at a train station. It is built for the passengers waiting to alight from or board trains, trams, metros or subways. Bigger stations, of course have multiple platforms. The Kharagpur platform was originally built at a length of 716 metres. Following this, it was extended twice, first to a length of 833 metres and then to its present length, 1072 metres. The Kharagpur railway station currently has four platforms for suburban trains and six platforms for long distance trains.
Apart from the longest railway platform, Kharagpur has one of the biggest railway workshops in India. It is also the busiest junction station in the South Eastern Railway Zone after Howrah. The station and its management falls under the aegis of South Eastern Railways, with the Kharagpur junction helping to connect Howrah with the southern states of the country and also falling along the Golden Quadrilateral routes of Kolkata-Mumbai and Kolkata Chennai.
However, statistically speaking, Kharagpur railway platform may have lost its position as the world’s longest platform to Gorakhpur railway station, which is part of the North Eastern Railways. Situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the Gorakhpur railway platform covers a massive 3.3 kilometres.