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Barauni–Guwahati line

Barauni–Guwahati line
Overview
StatusOperational
LocaleBihar, Assam
TerminiBarauni
Guwahati
Operation
Opened1950
OwnerIndian Railway
Operator(s)East Central Railway, Northeast Frontier Railway
Technical
Line length804 km (500 mi)
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Broad gauge
Barauni–Guwahati line
km
0 Barauni
15 Begusarai
to Hasanpur Road & Samastipur
61 Khagaria
69 Mansi
128 Naugachhia
185 Katihar
225 Barsoi
Bihar
West Bengal
border
West Bengal
Bihar
border
281 Kishanganj
Bihar
West Bengal
border
to Siliguri via Thakurganj
386 New Jalpaiguri
409 Jalpaiguri Junction
420 Jalpaiguri-Road
386 New Maynaguri
452 Dhupguri
519 New Cooch Behar
542 New Alipurduar
AssamWest Bengal border
596 Fakiragram Junction
Gourang River
606 Kokrajhar
634 New Bongaigaon
Beki River
676 Barpeta Road
724 Nalbari
Pagladiya River
740 Rangia
to Tezpur
798 Kamakhya
to Pandu
804 Guwahati

The Barauni–Guwahati Railway line connects Barauni Junction in the Indian state of Bihar and Guwahati in Assam. It is a linkage of prime importance for Northeastern India.

History

Pre-independence era

The earliest railway tracks in Assam were laid in the Dibrugarh area in 1882 for the transportation of tea and coal. The first passenger railway was also in that area.[1]

Linking Guwahati was the challenge. In response to the demands of tea planters in Assam for a rail link to Chittagong port, the Assam Bengal Railway started construction of a railway track on the eastern side of Bengal in 1891. A 150 km (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.[2][3][4] The Assam Bengal Railway constructed a branch line to Guwahati, connecting the city to the eastern line in 1900.[5]

During the period 1884–1889, Assam Behar State Railway linked Parbatipur, now in Bangladesh, with Katihar in Bihar. North Bengal State Railway had opened a metre gauge line from Parbatipur and the line subsequently got extended beyond the Teesta, and through Geetaldaha to Golokganj in Assam. During the 1900–1910 period, the Eastern Bengal Railway built the Golakganj–Amingaon branch line, thus connecting the western bank of the Brahmaputra to Bihar and the rest of India.[5] Katihar got linked to Barauni around the turn of the century.[5][6]

Assam Link project

With the partition of India railways in Assam got delinked from those in the rest of India. Indian Railway 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.[5][7] The New Jalpaiguri–New Bongaigaon section was partly new construction, partly old line converted to broad gauge in 1966. Broad gauge reached Guwahati in 1984.[8][9]

Bridges

The construction of the 2 km (1.2 mi) long Rajendra Setu in 1959 provided the first opportunity to link the railway tracks on the north and south banks of the Ganges.[10]

The 3.19 kilometres (1.98 mi) long rail-cum-road bridge located at Munger 55 km downstream of the Rajendra Setu, now under construction, will link Jamalpur station on the Sahibganj Loop line of Eastern Railway to the Barauni–Katihar section of East Central Railway.[11]

The 2,240 m (7,350 ft) long Farakka Barrage carries a rail-cum-road bridge across the Ganges. The rail bridge was thrown open to the public in 1971, thereby linking Kolkata with North Bengal and Assam.[5][12]

The construction of the 1.49 km (0.93 mi) 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.[5][13]

Electrification

Electrification of the 809 km (503 mi) long Barauni–Katihar–Guwahati section was sanctioned in 2008.[14] As of 2017, work on electrification of Katihar-New Jalpaiguri route was in progress.[15]

References

  1. ^ "Northeast Frontier Railway". Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 2012-01-21.
  2. ^ Fida, Quazi Abul (2012). "Railway". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  3. ^ "Report on the administration of North East India (1921-22)". p. 46. Google Books/ Mttal Publishers Distributors. Retrieved 2011-12-16.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c d e f R. P. Saxena. "Indian Railway History Time line". Irse.bravehost.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Indian Railways line history 2. North Eastern Railway" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  7. ^ "Indian Railways History". Northeast Frontier Railway. IRSE. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  8. ^ "Some Milestones of NF Railway". Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  9. ^ "Gauge conversion project in Assam". The Hindu Business Line. 24 May 2000. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  10. ^ "Indian railways history (after independence)". Indian Railways. Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  11. ^ "Trains in India". PPPNOW.com. Archived from the original on 28 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  12. ^ Salman, Salman M. A.; Uprety, Kishor (2002). Conflict and cooperation on South Asia's international rivers: a legal perspective. World Bank Publications. pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-0-8213-5352-3. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  13. ^ "Bridges: The Spectacular Feat of Indian Railways" (PDF). National Informatics Centre. Archived from the original (pdf) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  14. ^ "Electrification of 809 route Kilometers of Barauni–Katihar–Guwahati section of East Central and Northeast Frontier Railways". Press Information Bureau, 7 February 2008. Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  15. ^ "Railway electrification project to touch North East soon". Business Standard, 23 August 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-24.