New Jalpaiguri–Alipurduar–Samuktala Road line

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New Jalpaiguri–Alipurduar–Samuktala Road line
Overview
Status Operational
Locale North Bengal, Dooars
Termini New Jalpaiguri
Samuktala Road
Stations 24
Operation
Opening 1950
Owner Indian Railway
Operator(s) Northeast Frontier Railway
Technical
Line length 182 km (113 mi)
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge


The New Jalpaiguri–Alipurduar–Samuktala Road line is a railway line that connects New Jalpaiguri with Alipurduar and Samuktala Road in the Indian state of West Bengal.

History[edit]

Cooch Behar State Railway built the line between Geetaldaha, which connected to Lalmonirhat, and Jainti during 1893-1901.[1] The Eastern Bengal Railway constructed the Hasimara–Alipurduar section during the period 1900–1910. The Bengal Dooars Railway also constructed certain lines in the area. Their longest line was from Lalmonirhat to the western Dooars. Those were metre gauge railways. The Eastern Bengal Railway and the Assam Bengal Railway were merged during World War II and came to be known as the Bengal Assam Railway. With the partition of India in 1947, the Indian part of Bengal Assam Railway became Assam Railway, which subsequently became part of North Eastern Railway and Northeast Frontier Railway.[2][3][4] The metre gauge track was converted to broad gauge.[5][6] The 182 kilometres (113 mi) long New Jalpaiguri/ Siliguri-Samuktala Road Line was constructed as part of the Assam Rail Link project in 1948-50. After conversion to broad gauge, it was re-opened on 20 November 2003.[4][7]

Locale[edit]

The rail bridge across the Teesta, to the south of the Coronation Bridge

The Dooars or the Himalayan foothills cover a stretch of about 140 km in the northern part of Jalpaiguri district between the Teesta and Sankosh rivers with fields, forests and tea gardens in the backdrop of low hills. Numerous mountain streams criss-cross the region. The Dooars are particularly notable for its forests and wild life sanctuaries – Gorumara National Park, Jaldapara National Park, Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary, Chilapata Forests, and Buxa Tiger Reserve. The New Jalpaiguri-Alipurduar-Samuktala Road Line runs through the area.[8] It also runs through another sanctuary outside the Dooars – Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary.

Elephants[edit]

As the line runs through deep forests, it faces problems with elephant herds. A large number of elephants have been killed by speeding trains. There have been restrictions on the speed of trains, particularly at night, followed by protests by the local population.[5][9]

Sikkim connection[edit]

The construction of a new 44.4-kilometre (27.6 mi) long railway track from Sevoke on the New Jalpaiguri-Alipurduar-Samuktala Road Line in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim commenced on 20 February 2010 and is expected to be completed in five years.[10][11]

Branch lines[edit]

The metre gauge branch line from Malbazar in Jalpaiguri district to Changrabandha in Cooch Behar district was an isolated section for some time, with no service, as per the railway time table. The present metre gauge line on the Bangladesh side from Burimari to Lalmonirhat is still functional.[12][13] A new broad gauge line is being laid from New Mal Jn. to Changrabandha.[14]

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. Before the Dharla bridge was broken the rail link from Parbatipur to Fakiragram used to pass through Geetaldaha, now a border village in Cooch Behar district, and Bamanhat.[13][15] The Alipurduar-Bamanhat branch line was converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Broad gauge in 2007.[16] Dhubri-New Jalpaiguri Inter-city Express via Cooch Behar was introduced in February 2012.[17]

Rajabhatkawa-Jainti line is a new project sanctioned in 2012-13.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Cooch Behar State Railways (1903)". "The Cooch Behar state and its land revenue settlements" by H. N. Chaudhuri, Cooch Behar State Press, 1903 – Review by R Sivaramakrishnan. IRFCA. Retrieved 2013-02-19. 
  2. ^ "History". Northeast Frontier Railway. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  3. ^ "Bengal Dooars Railway". Fibis. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  4. ^ a b R.P. Saxena. "Indian Railway History timeline". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  5. ^ a b "Elephant blocks trains in Dooars". News from Darjeeling, Dooars and Sikkim. 18 August 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  6. ^ Alastair Boobyer. "India: the complex history of the junctions at Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  7. ^ "Focus on safety and security of trains". Chennai, India: The Hindu, 27 February 2003. 2003-02-27. Retrieved 2012-01-24. 
  8. ^ "Dooars". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Dooars protests train speed control". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 27 November 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  10. ^ "Work commences on new railway line connecting Sikkim". Business Standard. 24 February 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  11. ^ Jayanta Gupta (29 October 2009). "Finally, Sikkim railway project on track". Times of India. Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  12. ^ Mohan Bhuyan. "International Links from India". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  13. ^ a b "Geography – International". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  14. ^ "Rail Budget Speech – 25.02.11". New lines. surfindia.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10. 
  15. ^ "Official pledges rail project by March". The Telegraph (Calcutta, India). 12 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  16. ^ Srivastava, V.P. "Role of Engineering Deptt in Meeting Corporate Objectives of Indian Railways". Retrieved 2013-02-21. 
  17. ^ "Two new trains flagged off". The Telegraph, 12 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  18. ^ "What is new in Railway Budget 2012-13". The Times of India, 14 march 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 

External links[edit]

External video
Video shots of the Dooars from a train