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Dethroning the 1,336-m Gorakhpur railway station as the world’s longest railway platform – and making it to Guinness World Records– is the Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji (Hubballi) station, at 1,507.46 m. The station is located inthe heart of the city and is a key region for Northern Karnataka. ...

Dethroning the 1,336-m Gorakhpur railway station as the world’s longest railway platform – and making it to Guinness World Records– is the Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji (Hubballi) station, at 1,507.46 m. The station is located inthe heart of the city and is a key region for Northern Karnataka. The expansion Initially, Platform 1 of the Hubballi railway station was 650 m long and the junction only had five platforms. “On one side, we have the city itself and on the other, we have the railway museum, workshops, EMD sheds and more,” shares Harsh Khare, Divisional Railway Manager, Hubballi division, South Western Railway. “Because of these, we were not able to expand. But the city is a bustling hub of industries and we had to cater to the growing demand.” Being landlocked presented the age-old challenge of expanding the railway station to add more platforms. “That's when we had the idea to expand laterally,” reveals Khare. This tackled two birds with one stone. The division did not have to acquire new land and thus subverted any land acquisition-related issues. “A natural benefit of the lateral expansion was that the construction of the new platform didn't affect the functions and services of the other platforms at all.” Costing a total of Rs 200 million, the project comprised platform construction, a third entryway and yard remodelling. As Khare tells us, “A third entryway was constructed for the Hubballi station and three more platforms were added, bringing the total number of platforms to eight. ”The eighth platform connects to the first platform and that's how these two make the world’s longest railway platform, with a total length of 1,507.46 m. Notably, platforms one and eight can accommodate two trains at a time. Along with the platform, the project also included the upgradation of the train yard. From Ballari Junction to Tinaighat, the southwestern railway also undertook electrification work. The amenities “We have escalators on platforms two to five,” says Khare. “Shortly, we will be making escalators available on platform 1 as well. For the convenience of passengers and to make the platform Divyang-friendly, we have two battery-operated cars. We have a food court and an AC waiting area. The aim is to provide airport-like facilities to passengers.” The freshlymade third entryway also houses these facilities. Further, Hubballi railway station has a full-fledged parcel office that facilitates the movement of goods like fish. Freight movement is carried out through the neighbouring station, Navalur, which handles automobiles from companies like Tata Motors, Tata Hitachi and Kia. “The Hubballi-Dharwad railway, being twin cities, was also recently upgraded with modern facilities,”adds Khare. And aesthetics have not been forgotten – the platform in Hubballi features murals depicting the rich culture of northern Karnataka! - Sneha Iyer The top 4 of the world’s longest railway stations are Indian! Hubballi Junction, Karnataka: 1,507.46 m Gorakhpur Junction, Uttar Pradesh: 1,366.33 m Kollam Junction, Kerala: 1,180.5 m Kharagpur Junction, West Bengal: 1,072.5 m

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