New Bongaigaon–Guwahati section

New Bongaigaon–Guwahati section
Overview
Status Operational
Locale Assam
Termini New Bongaigaon
Guwahati
Stations 24
Operation
Opening 1962
Owner Indian Railway
Operator(s) Northeast Frontier Railway
Technical
Line length 170 km (106 mi)
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge


The New Bongaigaon–Guwahati section of the Barauni–Guwahati line connects New Bongagaon and Guwahati in the Indian state of Assam.

History

Early developments within Assam

The Assam Railway and Trading Company played a pioneering role in laying railway tracks in Assam. The first railway line in Assam, 15 miles long, was laid in 1882 between Amolapatty, Dibrugarh and Dinjam Stream for transportation of tea. It was extended up to Makum collieries at Margherita in 1884. The company also established the first passenger railway – Dibru Sadiya Railway.[1]

Assam links pre-independence

During British rule, rail links from Assam to the rest of India were through the eastern part of Bengal. In pre-independence days, there were basically two linkages. On the western side, a metre gauge line running via Radhikapur, Biral, Parbatipur, Tista, Gitaldaha and Golokganj connected Fakiragram in Assam with Katihar in Bihar.[2] On the eastern side, Assam was linked to Chittagong through the Akhaura–Kulaura–Chhatak line and Akhaura–Laksam–Chittagong line. Assam was linked to numerous other towns in the eastern part of Bengal through what is now the Mahisasan-Shahbajpur defunct transit point. The eastern line had been constructed in response to the demand of the Assam tea planters for a railway link to Chittagong port. Assam Bengal Railway started construction of a railway track on the eastern side of Bengal in 1891. A 150 kilometres (93 mi) track between Chittagong and Comilla was opened to traffic in 1895. The Comilla-Akhaura-Kalaura-Badarpur section was opened in 1896-1898 and finally extended to Lumding in 1903.[3][4][5] The Assam Bengal Railway constructed a branch line to Guwahati, connecting the city to the eastern line in 1900.[6] During the 1900-1910 period, the Eastern Bengal Railway built the Golakganj-Amingaon branch line, thus connecting the western bank of the Brahmaputra to the western line.[6]

Apart from the eastern and western lines, there was another link. In 1908, Eastern Bengal Railway extended the Kaunia–Dharlla line to Amingaon.[6]

Assam Link Project

With the partition of India in 1947, all the three links were lost and for a short period the railway system in Assam was delinked from the rest of India. Indian Railways took up the Assam Link Project in 1948 to build a rail link between Fakiragram and Kishanganj. Fakiragram was connected to the Indian railway system in 1950 through the Indian portion of North Bengal with a metre-gauge track.[6][7] Keeping in mind the Project Unigauge, the New Bongaigaon–Guwahati section was converted to broad gauge. Broad gauge reached Guwahati in 1984.[8][9]

Saraighat Bridge

The construction of the 1.49 km long Saraighat Bridge, the first rail-cum-road bridge across the Brahmaputra, was an event of great excitement. Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister formally laid the foundation stone on 10 January 1960 and it was completed in 1962, connecting the two parts of the metre gauge railways in Assam.[6][10]

Siliguri-Jogihopa-Kamakhya line

The 265 km (165 mi) long 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) wide broad gauge Siliguri-Jogihopa line was constructed between 1963 and 1965.[11] The Naranarayan Setu was constructed in 1998, thereby paving the way for linking Jogihopa with Kamakhya.[12]

Electrification

Electrification of the entire Katihar–Guwahati route is planned to be executed by 2014.[13]

External links

View of the Brahmaputra valley from the Sarania Hills. The Saraighat Bridge can be seen near the horizon, the peaked Kamakhya Hills are to the left, and while Guwahati is on the left bank, on the right bank is North Guwahati. The Nehru stadium and the railway station are faintly visible, right bottom.

References

  1. ^ "Northeast Frontier Railway". Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  2. ^ "Geography - International". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  3. ^ "Railway". Banglapaedia. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  4. ^ "Report on the administration of North East India (1921-22)". p. 46. Google Books/ Mttal Publishers Distributors. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  5. ^ S.N.Singh, Amarendra Narain, Purnendu Kumar. "Socio Economic and Political Problems of Tea Garden Workers: A Study of Assam, Published 2006, ISBN 81-8324-098-4". p. 105. Mittal Publications, New Delhi. Retrieved 2011-12-16. 
  6. ^ a b c d e R. P. Saxena. "Indian Railway History Time line". Irse.bravehost.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Indian Railways History". Northeast Frontier Railway. IRSE. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  8. ^ "Gauge conversion project in Assam". The Hindu Business Line. 24 May 2000. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  9. ^ "Some Milestones of NF Railway". Retrieved 2012-01-28. 
  10. ^ "Bridges: The Spectacular Feat of Indian Railways" (pdf). National Informatics Centre. Retrieved 2012-01-21. 
  11. ^ Moonis Raza & Yash Aggarwal. "Transport Geography of India: Commodity Flow and the Regional Structure of Indian Economy". page 60. Concept Publishing Company, A-15/16 Commercial Block, Mohan Garden, New Delhi - 110059. ISBN 81-7022-089-0. Retrieved 2 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Model project on Construction of Naranarayana Setu over river Brahmaputra at Jogihopa". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 
  13. ^ "Railway electrification project to touch North East soon". Business Standard. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-21.