Nepal Railways

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Khajuri station
Khajuri station
Map of Nepal, with the railway line
Map of Nepal, with the railway line
Line length: 50
Track gauge: 2 ft 6 in (762 mm);
1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Indian Railways
0,0 Jaynagar - Freight terminal
0,6 Jaynagar
3,0 Border India / Nepal
8,31 Khajuri
13,0 Mahinathpur (Thadi Jhijha)
15,0 Shaheed Sarajnagar (Duhabi)
17,0 Baidehee (Itaharwa)
22,2 Perbaha
28,9 Janakpur
50,0 Bijalpura

The Nepal Railways Corporation Ltd. (NRC) (reporting mark NR / ने. रे) is owned by the government of Nepal. It maintains and operates two railway lines: a 6 km, 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) line from Raxaul in India to Sirsiya Inland Container Depot or Dry Port near Birganj in Nepal and a 53 km 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge line from Jaynagar in India to Bijalpura in Nepal. The latter line is composed of two sections: 32 km between Jaynagar and Janakpur and 21 km from Janakpur to Bijalpura. The Janakpur line is used largely for passengers and the Sirsiya (Birganj) line only for cargo freight.


Raxaul-Amlekhagunj (Nepal Government Railway (NGR)) and Jayanagar-Janakpur-Bijalpura (NJJR), two short distance 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railways were introduced in Nepal during the Rana period. The 39 km long NGR built in 1927 by the British was more important as it allowed people from different parts of the country to reach Amlekhganj to get lorries for Bhimphedi. One could then reach Kathmandu from Bhimphedi on foot. Its use was discontinued.

Sirsiya (Birganj) Inland Container Depot[edit]

The 6 km long 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 38 in) metre gauge railway track from Raxaul was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) by the Indian railways to connect Sirsiya (Birganj) Inland Container Depot (ICD) that became fully operational in 2005. It facilitates direct movement of containers and other cargo from and to Calcutta port and other places in India. It is the most important entry point for imports into Nepal and is the life line of Nepal commerce and trade. Birganj is 700 km (430 mi) from Calcutta port by railway.

Future expansion[edit]

Talks have been held to reopen the 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway route to Amlekhganj by converting it to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) under Project Unigauge because of its socio-economic importance [1] and also convert the Jayanagar-Janakpuur railway line to broad gauge with extension to Bardibas.

Nepal has an ambitious expectation for running East-West Railway linking to Kathmandu. Nepal also hopes to have a North-South Railway line to link the railway systems of India and China. Nepal might be integrated with the Asian and SAARC railway systems too. But it might take a longer time and it depends much on the political situation in the region.

A better and direct railway link with the Calcutta and Bombay ports in India is most important for Nepal. Janakpur, Birganj and Bhairahawa are the three suitable points for this purpose. After the extension of board gauge link to Janakpur and Bhairahawa, Birganj will not be able to maintain its present position as the biggest entry point of Nepal. Lumbini-Hetauda-Janakpur section might be the first East-West Railway line in Nepal. These two entry points are not only of tourist value, they might also be the most economical routes for trade with India and overseas.

The Birganj Dry Port was the first in Nepal to be connected by broad gauge link. Biratnagar may be the second such point. Mahendranagar may also get a similar link.

Construction of an electrical railway in Tarai from Mechi to Mahakali has been considered.

Survey and plans[edit]

RITES of Indian Railways has conducted preliminary surveys for the following broad gauge lines:

  • New Jalpaiguri (India) to Kakadvitta (Nepal)
  • Jogabani (India) to Biratnagar (Nepal)
  • Nautanwa (India) to Bhairahawa (Nepal)
  • Nepalganj Road (India) to Nepalganj (Nepal)
  • Jayanagar and Janakpur with extension to Bardibas

These lines can be constructed in near future.


Rolling stock[edit]


  • ZDM5 diesel - unserviceable [3]


The Nepal Railways Corporation has a good safety record. In August 2012 a serious incident occurred when a locomotive ran away, after the driver alighted for refreshment. The unmanned locomotive ran from Jaynagar to Janakpur, at speeds far exceeding the restrictions on the line. At Janakpur staff diverted the light engine onto a disused siding, on which they had placed heavy obstructions. The engine was halted and nobody was injured.[4]

See also[edit]