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New Jalpaiguri–New Bongaigaon section

New Jalpaiguri–New Bongaigaon Section
Overview
StatusOperational
LocaleNorth Bengal, Assam
TerminiNew Jalpaiguri
New Bongaigaon
Stations31
Operation
Opened2003
OwnerIndian Railways
Operator(s)Northeast Frontier Railway
Technical
Line length248 km (154 mi)
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge
Electrificationin progress

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

History

During British rule, all links from the northern part of Bengal and Assam to the rest of India were through the eastern part of Bengal. The most important connection was the CalcuttaParbatipurHaldibariSiliguri link first established in 1878 and then developed in stages[1] (for details see Howrah-New Jalpaiguri Line). During the nineteenth century, Lalmonirhat was linked to the Dooars.[2] In pre-independence days, a metre gauge line running via Radhikapur, Biral, Parbatipur, Tista, Gitaldaha and Golokganj connected Fakiragram in Assam with Katihar in Bihar.[3]

With the partition of India in 1947, all these links were lost. 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.[4] The New Jalpaiguri–New Bongaigaon section was partly new construction, partly old line converted to broad gauge in 1966.[5][6] 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.[7]

Branch lines

The Haldibari–New Jalpaiguri line has gone through two successive gauge changes. As most other railway tracks in the area were metre gauge, the line was converted from broad gauge to metre gauge in 1949. Then in 1960s when broad gauge was introduced in the area, the line was converted back to broad gauge and connected to the new station at New Jalpaiguri.[1]

The metre gauge branch line from Malbazar in Jalpaiguri district to Changrabandha in Cooch Behar district is now an isolated section, with no service, as per the railway time table. In pre-independence days, the line was up to Mogalhat, now in Bangladesh. The present metre gauge line on the Bangladesh side from Burimari to Lalmonirhat is still functional.[8]

The Alipuduar–Bamanhat branch line ends near the India-Bangladesh border across the Dharla River. In pre-independence days, it used to connect to Mogalhat, now in Bangladesh, across the Dharla. The bridge is broken. The line from Golokganj meets the branch line. The New Cooch Behar–Golokganj section is nearing conversion to broad gauge. The line passed through Gitaldaha at some point of time.[3][9]

The 66 km Fakiragram-Dhubri branch line was inaugurated after gauge conversion in September 2010.[10]

Electrification

Electrification of the entire Katihar–Guwahati route is planned.[11]

References

  1. ^ a b "India: the complex history of the junctions at Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  2. ^ "Bengal Dooars Railway". Fibis. Retrieved 2011-11-20.
  3. ^ a b "Geography - International". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  4. ^ "Indian Railways History". Northeast Frontier Railway. IRSE. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  5. ^ "Some Milestones of NF Railway". Archived from the original on 24 November 2011. Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Gauge conversion project in Assam". The Hindu Business Line. 24 May 2000. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Mohan Bhuyan. "International Links from India". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  9. ^ "Official pledges rail project by March". The Telegraph. 12 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-10.
  10. ^ "Mamata flags off two trains- Dhubri-Kamakhya link after 22-year wait". The Telegraph. 14 September 2010. Archived from the original on 26 April 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Railway electrification project to touch North East soon". Business Standard. 23 August 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-10.