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|Sealdah South lines|
Budge Budge, Diamond Harbour, Namkhana, Canning
|Line length||25 km (16 mi) (Sealdah-Budge Budge),
60 km (37 mi)(Sealdah-Diamond Harbour),
108 km (67 mi)(Sealdah-Namkhana),
45 km (28 mi)(Sealdah-Canning)
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Broad gauge|
|Operating speed||up to 100 km per hour|
|Sealdah South lines|
Source: Indian Railway Time Table
The Sealdah South lines are a set of four lines from Sealdah South station connecting Sealdah with Budge Budge, Diamond Harbour, Namkhana and Canning. It is part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway system and is under the jurisdiction of Eastern Railway.
The 45 km long line from Calcutta to Port Canning, constructed in 1862 by the Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway, was the first railway track on the east bank of the Hooghly. It ran from what was then Beliaghata station (presently Sealdah South station) to Canning on the Matla River. Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway was formed in 1859 as a private company but was taken over by the government in 1868 after it incurred extensive losses because of floods and other problems. It was the first case in India of the railway being taken over by the state.
The Diamond Harbour link was constructed by Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway in 1883.
The Budge Budge line was constructed in 1890.
The Ganga Sagar mela, which attracts thousands of pilgrims during Makar Sankranti in mid-January, is approached through this line. Kakdwip and Namkhana stations serve as handy rail heads for travel to the mela. Eastern Railway runs around 80 special trains for the mela. There also are special trains from Delhi to Namkhana via Lucknow and Allahabad.
There are plans for constructing a deep sea port at Sagar Island. This would also require the construction of a 4.5 km long rail-cum-road bridge to connect the island to the mainland and around 40 km long rail connection.
A project costing Rs. 1.24 billion has been sanctioned for extension of the Sealdah-Canning line to Bhangankhali, with a bridge across the Matla. There are plans to extend the line later to Gosaba.
|Train leaving Budge Budge|
|Ganga Sagar pilgrims boarding ferry at Namkhana|