Lalgola and Gede branch lines

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Lalgola and Gede branch Lines
Bagula Rilway Station.jpg
Bagula railway station on the Ranaghat-Gede line
Overview
System Electrified
Status Operational
Locale West Bengal
Termini Ranaghat
Lalgola and Gede
Stations 15 (Lalgola) & 12 (Gede)
Operation
Owner Indian Railway
Operator(s) Eastern Railway
Technical
Line length 153 km (95 mi) (lalgola) & 43 km (27 mi) (Gede)
No. of tracks Mostly single, now being doubled in parts
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Broad gauge
Operating speed up to 100 km per hour


The Lalgola and Gede branch lines connect Ranaghat with Lalgola and Gede in the Indian state of West Bengal . Both the branch lines run up to the India-Bangladesh border. While Lalgola is on the southern bank of the Padma, Gede has a through connection via Darshana.

History[edit]

The main line of the Eastern Bengal Railway from Sealdah to Ranaghat, was opened in 1862 and extended to Kushtia, now in Bangladesh, the same year. The Calcutta terminus of the Railway was opened the same year in a tin-roofed shed at Sealdah. The Sealdah-Ranaghat-Gede Line was part of the Calcutta-Siliguri Main Line. After partition of India in 1947, the main line got truncated and what remained in West Bengal formed the Gede Branch Line.[1][2]

The Ranaghat-Lalgola Branch Line (now sometimes referred as the Main Line) was opened in 1905.[3]

Track[edit]

The Ranaghat-Lalgola Branch Line is mostly single line. The Kalinarayanpur – krishnanagar City section is being doubled. The entire Krishnanagar City-Lalgola section is to be taken up soon for doubling. Surveys have been completed for third line from Ranaghat to Naihati and work is expected soon.[4]

The Sealdah - Dumdum - Naihati - Kalyani - Ranaghat – Krishnanagar track is classified as a C-class track, which is not a speed classification but one used for suburban sections of metropolitan areas.[5]

Bridge[edit]

A new railway bridge connecting Azimganj with Nasipur across the Bhagirathi is almost ready but the owners of land lying between the bridge and the station are unwilling to hand over their land for the construction of the connecting railway line. The bridge will connect this line to the Barharwa–Azimganj–Katwa loop.[6]

Electrification[edit]

The Ranaghat-Shantipur section was electrified in 1963-64.[7] The 32.5 km long Ranaghat-Gede line was electrified in 1997-98.[8] The128 km long Krishnanagar-Lalgola stretch was electrified in 2004 for EMU services.[9][10]

Narrow gauge: Shantipur, Nabadwip Ghat[edit]

The Nadia area had some narrow gauge lines.

The earliest of these was opened in 1898. It ran from Aistola Ghat on the bank of the Churni, some two miles from Ranaghat, to Krishnanagar via Shantipur. The line was constructed by Martin and Company and it was taken over by Eastern Bengal Railway in 1904.[11]

The second narrow gauge line was from Krishnanagar to Nabadwip Ghat. It was originally owned by McLeod and Company and transferred to Eastern Railway in 1966. It was a 28 km line with 762 mm gauge lines.[12]

The Ranaghat-Shantipur section was converted to broad gauge earlier to allow EMU coaches from Sealdah to run up to Shantipur. The narrow gauge, therefore, became Shantipur-Krishnanagar-Nabadwip Ghat line. That too has been closed in 2010 for conversion to broad gauge. The electrified broad-gauge service between Krishnanagar and Santipur was opened in 2012.[13][14]

Here is a description of the narrow gauge ride: “Both the station electric bell and the platform three handbell were rung in our honour. The tiny engine gave a peanut whistle – for once whistle and engine were well matched – and then surreptitiously changed from blowing off to blowing steam through its cylinders. The loose couplings of the unbraked coaches took up their slack and the engine’s hissings turned to the puffing of a small locomotive with small wheels accelerating a light train to cruise at 15 mph.

“India is not, by and large, a green country, but Bengal is: a luxuriant place where each little group of trees attracts bamboos and creepers and builds up into a thicket of dark green made darker by the black stems of the palms. And the fields are brilliantly yellow-green with paddy. So this line – short distance, private right of way, scenery so green as to drip moisture and air so humid as to give the engine white steam – this was as near as India got to the Welsh narrow gauge. Despite five return trips being run daily, the trains were too light to keep the rails burnished. Though straight in general intent, these rails were kinked at the joints, and so induced a good deal of sideways lurch as well bounce and jar – though these latter were restricted by lack of springs. What with this, and the carriages being so close to ground level and occasionally also to branches meeting overhead, the train achieved an intimacy with both track and country such that one heard its progress as much by vibrations coming upwards through one’s seat as by ear.” [15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ R. P. Saxena. "Indian Railway History Time line". Irse.bravehost.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "The Chronology of Railway development in Eastern Indian". railindia. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  3. ^ L.S.S.O’Malley. "Murshidabad District (1914)". IRFCA. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  4. ^ "Rail Budget Speech - 25.02.11". surfindia.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  5. ^ "Permanent Way – Track Classification". IRFCA. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  6. ^ "Left landowners play spoilsport in railway project". The Statesman, 19 February 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  7. ^ "History of Electrification". IRFCA. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  8. ^ "Railway Electrification". ireeindia. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  9. ^ "Railway Electrification". Parinda.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  10. ^ "Railway Electrification". Press Information Bureau, Government of India, 1 November 2004. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  11. ^ J. H. E. Garrett. "Nadia, Bengal District Gazetteers (1910)". IRFCA. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  12. ^ "Indian Narrow Gauge Lines, 2002-2003". IRFCA. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  13. ^ "Mamata flags off railway project at Ranaghat". The Statesman, 8 January 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  14. ^ "Mamata rolls out rly sops for Nadia". The Times of India, 8 January 2010. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  15. ^ "Shantipur". IRFCA. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 

External links[edit]

External video
Shantipur-Krishnanagar-Nabadwip Ghat Toy Train – Now closed