Shalimar railway station is one of four railway stations serving Howrah and Kolkata, India; the others are Sealdah Station, in Kolkata, Kolkata Station in Kolkata and Howrah Station in Howrah. Shalimar station is situated in the Shalimar area of Howrah. It is located near Shibpur area of Howrah. It is one of the cleanest, most well-maintained and non-congested railway terminals in the Kolkata area.
The place where now the station is situated was formerly a very small rail station, and served by some diesel loco hauled trains. The present platforms were occupied by some goods lines. Those lines were a part of large Shalimar rail yard.
In 2000, the first plan was conceived to utilise this area as a bigger rail station. The rapidly growing long distance passengers were gradually overcrowding the Howrah station.
Due to the limitation of space, new platform construction is restricted at Howrah. Although 3 new platforms (17, 22 & 23) were constructed at Howrah during 2006 – 2008, those were not sufficient. Side by side, due to its almost central position in Howrah, Howrah station is too busy for both suburban and long distance rail traffic. Unlike Sealdah Station, Howrah Station has less suburban trains than long-distance trains. Due to increasing of Eastern Railway trains, many platforms, which were previously built for South Eastern Railway trains, now often occupied by Eastern Railway trains.
But many people of Howrah feel that it is much easy to catch a long distance train from Howrah than Sealdah, particularly in early morning and late night. But due to platform limitation, increasing the number of long distance trains was not possible from Howrah for South Eastern Railway. To overcome this problem, South Eastern Railway suggested to Indian Railway officers to construct another bigger rail station at Howrah, mostly for long distance trains. The many unutilised and not so utilised tracks of Shalimar yard was the first choice of the authority.