Northeast Frontier Railway zone

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Northeast Frontier Railway
Indianrailwayzones-numbered.png
3-Northeast Frontier Railway
Locale Assam, Nagaland, West Bengal, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh Meghalaya, Mizoram and Bihar
Dates of operation 1958–present
Predecessor North Eastern Railway
Headquarters Kamakhya railway station, Maligaon, Guwahati
Website NFR official website

The Northeast Frontier Railway abbreviated as N F Railway is one of the 17 railway zones in India. Headquartered in Maligaon, Guwahati in the state of Assam it is responsible for rail operations in the entire Northeast and parts of West Bengal and Bihar. It is divided into 5 divisions:

  • Alipurdaur Railway Division
  • Katihar Railway Division
  • Lumding Railway Division
  • Rangia Railway Division
  • Tinsukia Railway Division

Each of these divisions is headed by a Divisional Railway Manager, a Senior Administrative Grade officer of the rank of Joint Secretary to Government of India.

The departmental setup at headquarters level and divisional setup in the field assists the General Manager in running the railways. Various departments namely engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal & telecom, operations, commercial, safety, accounts, security, personal and medical are headed by a Senior Administrative Grade / Higher Administrative Grade officer, provide technical and operational support to the divisions in train operations.

History[edit]

Alipurduar Railway Junction Station

In 1881, Railway first entered in Assam when Assam Railway and Trading Company set up metre gauge track. The 65 km long metre gauge line from Dibrugarh to Margherita was constructed mainly for transportation of tea and coal. This company later started first passenger train in Assam by the name Dibru Sadiya Railway. The North Eastern Railway was formed on 14 April 1952 by amalgamating two Railway systems: the Assam Railway and Oudh and Tirhut Railway. Later, it was bifurcated into two railway zones on 15 January 1958, the North Eastern Railway (India) and the Northeast Frontier Railway.[1] to better serve the needs of the northeastern states. Railway service was established in Tripura in 1964,[2] but it was limited to Dharmanagar and Kailasahar. The northeastern state capital came on India's railmap with the advent of the railways in the subcontinent in 1853 and the foundation stone of the 119 km Kumarghat-Agartala railway project was laid in 1996 by the former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda. Following which finally made railways to entered in Agartala the capital city of Tripura after a slightly more than a decade,[3] with as passengers became more predominant in the region and railways was a mark of success in the state. Agartala expects a better and faster trains in the upcoming coming decade.

Operational area[edit]

Map of Northeast Frontier Railway zone railway lines

The area of Northeast Frontier Railway operations is characterized by exceptional beauty and at the same time by some of the most arduous terrain. This difficult terrain limits the rail network expansion, and the only state with a decent rail network is Assam. The network is not broad gauge in many parts and the rail lines are antiquated with speeds at some sections being limited to a maximum of 30 km/h (19 mph). Before the Saraighat bridge was constructed, passengers had to get down on the Amingaon side of the Brahmaputra and take a ferry across to Pandu Junction from where they could resume their journey. Majority of the tracks has been converted to BG and electrification is in process starting from Katihar till Guwahati.

Major sections[edit]

Few major sections under Northeast Frontier Railway zone are:

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway[edit]

Darjeeling to Ghoom Heritage Narrow Gauge Train

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) ascends 6,850 feet (2,090 m) from New Jalpaiguri (Siliguri); the climb begins at Sukna, continues uninterruptedly to Ghum (7,407 ft or 2,258 m) and descends the final 5 miles (8.0 km) to Darjeeling. After independence, India's partition resulted in the isolation of the Northeast region. Consequently, the DHR was merged into Assam Railways, it was closed for the construction of the Assam-Bengal link line and one of its extension lines to Kishanganj was converted to metre gauge. DHR's other extension line to Kalimpong got washed away due to floods. On re-opening, the DHR was merged with North Eastern Railway in 1952 and later into Northeast Frontier Railway in 1958.

The DHR achieved worldwide fame for many reasons such as:

  • A gateway to the Himalayas
  • The tiny four-wheeled steam locomotives of the 19th century
  • The curves, loops, "Z"s and steep grades crisscrossing the road

An interest in DHR all along has ensured that it continues to operate notwithstanding very heavy losses. The steam locomotive is an icon of this Railway. Tindharia workshop has kept 13 locomotives surviving, some of which are over 100 years old and the youngest is about 70 years old.

Timeline of DHR:

  • January 20, 1948: Purchased by the Government of India
  • January 26, 1948: Transferred to Assam Rail Link
  • January 26, 1950: Transferred to Assam Railway
  • January 14, 1952: Transferred to North Eastern Railway
  • January 15, 1958: Transferred to Northeast Frontier Railway

Notable trains[edit]

Jan Shatabdi Express
Kaziranga Express
Mahananda Express

The following is a list of the notable trains operated by the Northeast Frontier Railway Zone:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways, New Delhi: National Book Trust, pp.42-4
  2. ^ "Agartala now on India's rail map". iGovernment › Infrastructure. igovernment.in. Retrieved 12 April 2013. 
  3. ^ railways came to Agartala after a decade
  • Dutta, Arup Kumar (2002). Indian Railways, the final frontier: genesis and growth of the North-East Frontier Railway. Guwahati: Northeast Frontier Railway. LCCN 2003308231. 


External links[edit]