|Sheoraphuli–Bishnupur branch line|
|Line length||121 km (75 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge|
|Operating speed||up to 100 km/h (62 mph)|
Sheoraphuli–Bishnupur branch line
The Sheoraphuli–Bishnupur branch line (previously Sheoraphuli–Tarakeswar branch line) is a railway line connecting Sheoraphuli on the Howrah–Bardhaman main line and Bishnupur. The 121-kilometre long (75 mi) railway line traverses Hooghly and Bankura districts in the Indian state of West Bengal. Sheoraphuli is 23 kilometres (14 mi) from Howrah. It is part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway system. Part of the line is under construction and the stations on the extended line are being opened in phases.
The broad gauge Sheoraphuli–Tarakeswar branch line was opened by the Tarkessur Railway Company on 1 January 1885 and was worked by East Indian Railway Company. The Tarkessur company was taken over by the East Indian Railway in 1915.
The Bengal Provincial Railway also opened in 1885 the Tarakeshwar–Magra narrow gauge railway, which was closed down in 1956. The restoration of the Tarakeswar–Magra line was proposed in the railway budget for 2009–10.
The Sheoraphuli–Tarakeswar branch line was first electrified with 3,000 V DC system in 1957. Subsequently, when the Railways decided to adopt the AC system, the branch line was converted to 25 kV AC system in 1967. EMU coaches were introduced on electrification.
The Tarakeswar-Bishnupur project was sanctioned in 1999-2000, but not much work was done for the next decade. After Mamata Banerjee again became railway minister in 2009, work was speeded up. Eastern Railway gave out details of the project in 2003. The proposed fully electrified line was divided into three parts: Tarakeswar-Arambagh (26 km), Arambagh-Kodabari (16 km), and Kodabari-Bishnupur (44 km).
At the time of inaugurating the line, the Chief Minister had said that the Arambag railway station was to be named after former West Bengal chief minister Prafulla Chandra Sen and the Mayapur railway station was to be named after Raja Rammohan Ray.
Without the overhead electrification the railways had no option but to run diesel-electric multiple unit (DEMU) trains initially. Mukul Roy, railway minister, inaugurated the electrified line to Tarakeswar on 16 September 2012. EMU services have since been introduced.
The completion of the Bishnupur-Gokulnagar sector was announced in the railway budget for 2009-10.
In June 2016, Tarakeshwar-Goghat section was commissioned for EMU trains with the introduction of three pairs of Howrah - Goghat locals.