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Martin's Light Railways

Martin's Light Railways
Overview
Locale West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh
Operation
Opened 1897-1927
Owner Martin's Light Railways
Operator(s) Martin's Light Railways
Technical
Line length 388 mi (624 km)
Track gauge 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) and 2 ft (610 mm)

Martin's Light Railways (MLR) consisted of the following seven 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) and 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge lines in the states of West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India. The railways were built and owned by Martin & Co., which was a British company.[1]

Arrah–Sasaram Light Railway

The Arrah–Sasaram Light Railway connecting Arrah and Sasaram in Bihar in India was opened in 1914. The railway was built in 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge and total length was 69 miles (111 km).[2][3]

Due to increasing losses, the railway was closed in 1978. In 2006-07, the railway was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) and train services were resumed.[4]

Barasat–Basirhat Light Railway

Barasat–Basirhat Railway
0 km Barasat
3 km Kazipara Barasat
6 km Karea Kadambagachhi
10 km Bahira Kalibari
12 km Sondalia
15 km Beliaghata Road
18 km Lebutala
20 km Bhasila
24 km Harua Road
27 km Kankra Mirzanagar
31 km Malatipur
33 km Ghorarash Ghona
36 km Champapukur
41 km Bhyabla Halt
42 km Basirhat
45 km Matania Anantpur
47 km Madhyampur
48 km Nimdanri
51 km Taki Road
53 km Hasnabad Junction

The Barasat–Basirhat Light Railway connecting Barasat and Basirhat in West Bengal in India was opened in 1914. The railway was built in 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge and total length was 69 miles (111 km).[2] The line was later extended to Hasnabad.

Due to increasing losses, the railway was closed in 1955.[5] In 1962, the railway was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) and train services were resumed.[6] The route is now part of Kolkata Suburban railway

Bakhtiarpur–Bihar Sharif Light Railway

The Bakhtiarpur–Bihar Light Railway connecting Bakhtiarpur in Bihar and Bihar Sharif in state of Bihar in India was opened in 1902. The line was later extended to Rajgir. The railway was built in 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge and total length was 33 miles (53 km).[7]

In 1962, the railway was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge and train services were resumed.[8]

Fatuha–Islampur Light Railway

The Fatuha–Islampur Light Railway connecting Fatuha and Islampur in Bihar was opened in 1922. The railway was built in 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge and total length was 40 miles (64 km).[9][10] The railway ran parallel to road for almost its entire route.

The line operated three 0-6-2T locomotives constructed by Manning Wardle of Leeds.[9][10]

Due to increasing losses, the railway was closed in 1987. Later, the railway was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge and train services were resumed. Futwah station is now called Fatuha.

Howrah–Amta Light Railway

The Waiting Room of Chamrail station, now used by the Chamrail Athletic Club near Howrah. Sep. 2013.

The Howrah–Amta Light Railway had its origin in an agreement, dated 12 June 1889 between the District Board of Howrah and Messrs. Walsh, Lovett & Co., which was subsequently renewed with Messrs. Martin & Co., and sanctioned by Government notification in the Calcutta Gazette of 27 March 1895.[11] This was one of the Martin lines which was on 2'0" gauge instead of the more common 2'6".

The railway connecting Howrah and Amta in West Bengal was opened up to Domjur in 1897, and to Amta in 1898. An extension from Bargachhia (Bargechhe) Junction to Autpur was opened in 1904, and a further extension to Champadanga in 1908. The total length of the railway was 42 miles (68 km). Both the Howrah- Amta and Howrah-Sheakhala lines used to start from Telkalghat on the Hooghly river, running to Kadamtala station. Here they separate, the Howrah-Sheakhala line running north-west along the Benares road to Sheakhala in Hooghly district. The Howrah-Amta line runs west, chiefly along the side of the Jagatballabhpur road, and then goes south-west to Amta. [11] At various times of the narrow gauge operations, the passenger trains started from different places. In the 1943 Indian Bradshaw they were shown as running from Kadamtala.

The management decided to close the line from January 1, 1973 and in view of the growing demand of local people for a railway service, the Indian Railways agreed to construct a broad-gauge-way from Amta to Champadanga.[12]

The railway was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge in phase starting from 1984 and completing in 2000. Only the Howrah-Amta section was rebuilt, while the line from Bargachia to Champadanga does not exist now.

There was some construction of a new alignment from Howrah station which utilized the existing route up to Santragachhi Junction and skipped some of the older stations up to Makardaha, while new stations came up on this alignment at Bankaranayabaz, Baltikuri, Kona, Dansi and Jhaluarber. While some stations from the old line have been retained, some stations on the rebuilt line are at new locations. The route is now part of Kolkata Suburban Railway. It has been electrified and EMU local trains run between Howrah and Amta. This route now comes under the jurisdiction of the South Eastern Railway.[13][14][15]

Howrah–Sheakhala Light Railway

The Howrah–Sheakhala Light Railway had its origin in an agreement, dated 12 June 1889 between the District Board of Howrah and Messrs. Walsh, Lovett & Co., which was subsequently renewed with Messrs. Martin & Co., and sanctioned by Government notification in the Calcutta Gazette of 27 March 1895.[11]

Like the Howrah-Amta Light Railway, this was of 2'0" gauge. The railway connecting Howrah and Sheakhala in West Bengal was opened in November 1897 and the Chanditala-Janai Branch Line was opened in 1898. The total length of the railway was 42 miles (68 km). Both the Howrah- Amta and Howrah-Sheakhala lines started from Telkalghat on the Hooghly river, running to Kadamtala station. Here they separate, the Howrah-Sheakhala line running north-west along the Benares road to Sheakhala in Hooghly district. The Howrah-Amta line runs west, chiefly along the side of the Jagatballabhpur road, and then goes south-west to Amta.[11]

While the Howrah-Amta section was reopened as broad gauge in 2000, there has been no sign of reopening any part of the Howrah-Sheakhala Light Railway.

Shahdara–Saharanpur Light Railway

The Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway connecting Shahdara in Delhi and Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh was opened to traffic in 1907. The railway was built in 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge and total length was 93 miles (150 km).[16][16][17][18]

Due to increasing losses, the railway was closed in 1970. It was later converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge and repopened in the late 1970s.[19][20][17] Although the broad gauge largely follows the same trackbed and alignment as the erstwhile narrow gauge, there is a minor deviation near Saharanpur. The broad gauge line takes off south towards Delhi from Tapri on the main line, while the narrow gauge line did not touch Tapri at all. Other than that, the stations are the same as before.[17]

References

  1. ^ "[IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Non-IR Railways". IRFCA. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  2. ^ a b R.P.Saxena. "Indian Railway History timeline". Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 20 November 2011.
  3. ^ "Non-IR Railways in India". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
  4. ^ "Speech of Shri Lalu Prasad Introducing the Railway Budget 2006-07 On 24th February 2006". New lines. Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 2011-12-01.
  5. ^ "The Chronology of Railway development in Eastern Indian". railindia. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  6. ^ "Non-IR Railways in India". IRFCA. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  7. ^ [IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Non-IR Railways
  8. ^ consultant
  9. ^ a b Whetham, Bob 1996 In Search of the Narrow Gauge. Sono Nis Press, Victoria BC.
  10. ^ a b Hughes, Hugh 1994 Indian Locomotives Pt. 3, Narrow Gauge 1863-1940. Continental Railway Circle.
  11. ^ a b c d "Howrah District (1909)". IRFCA. Retrieved 2009-01-19.
  12. ^ Indian Railways. 1974. p. 37.
  13. ^ "Howrah-Amta BG line section inaugurated". The Hindu Business Line, 24 July 2000. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  14. ^ "Lalu remote-launches 2 S-E Rly projects". The Hindu Business Line, 1 January 2005. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  15. ^ "RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 2689 TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.12.2006". Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  16. ^ a b "Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway". fibis. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  17. ^ a b c R. Sivaramakrishnan. "Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway". IRFCA. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  18. ^ "IR History Part V (1970-1995)". IRFCA. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  19. ^ "IR History Part V (1970-1995)". IRFCA. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  20. ^ "Speech of Shri Lalit Narayan Mishra introducing the Railway Budget for 1973-74, on 20th February 1973" (PDF). Light Railways. Indian Railways. Retrieved 8 March 2014.

External links