Kolkata Circular Railway

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Kolkata Circular Railway, locally known as "Chakra Rail", is a railway loop line operated by the Eastern Railway zone of Indian Railways, encircling the entire city of Kolkata. The line begins and terminates at Dum Dum Junction, with a total of 21 stations spread over a route length of 35 km. Services on the line are operated as an extended part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway, partially sharing tracks with the Sealdah South lines terminating at Sealdah railway station (which is bypassed by the Circular Railway). There are no services which operate throughout the loop as a whole; instead, services are operated from Dum Dum Junction and Marjerhat (via Burrabazar), and Majerhat to Dum Dum Junction (via Ballygunge) as a part of longer suburban services from Budge Budge, Canning, Barrackpore and Hasnabad.

The Circular Railway offers no direct interchange points with the Kolkata Metro as of 2015, though that will change once Line 3 is constructed via Majerhat. The loop line serves Kolkata railway station, one of the major intercity stations in Kolkata, as well as a number of prominent city landmarks including Prinsep Ghat and Eden Gardens. In addition, a 3.7 km-long line connecting Dum Dum Cantonment to the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport became the first such suburban railway line in India which served an airport, and allowed extended Circular Railway operations from Dum Dum Junction and beyond. However, the poorly-patronized branch line is likely to be replaced by Line 4 of the Metro, which follows roughly the same route.


B. B. D. Bagh station

With the increasing population of Calcutta metropolis, and road transport being unable to cope with the demand due to bottlenecks in roads, it was felt necessary to introduce some other source of transport which will ease off the problem particularly at peak hours. Out of various modes including Tramcars and trolleybus, the railway was found to be most suitable. Unlike other metropolitan cities Calcutta does not have any rail route running through the heart of the city or piercing through the central district area, where more commuters will be seeking their transport.

Previously a railway line existed between Dum Dum to Ultadanga for transport of wagons to Chitpur goods yard and some part between BBD bag to Majherhat existed for a long time for transport of goods from port area to the godowns of Calcutta port along the Ganges. These were built during the early EIR period when the river Hooghly was navigable to this area. Gradually with the silting of Hooghly and inaccessibility of bigger ships, these lines were out of use. With these existing lines being rehabilitated and small patches created at a few places it could establish a through connection between Dum Dum Junction and Prinsep Ghat along the bank of Hooghly.

The original line was a single line track with loading and unloading sidings and wharfs. A few platforms were built and simultaneous reception facilities were constructed at some stations. The line was commissioned from Dum Dum Junction to Prinsep Ghat on 16 August 1984. In fact the lines from Calcutta port were already existing for an interchange yard for E.Rly. and these lines are being modified/extended/ realigned for Circular Railway. Previously the trains were hauled by Diesel Shunters. The electrification works have been completed and four Electrical Multiple Unit (EMU) trains originally destined for Sealdah during office hours have been diverted to central business district of Calcutta directly avoiding Sealdah station. It has been received with overwhelming support from commuters and the earning has quadrupled with the introduction of EMUs. Once connected to Majerhat it can easily ply up to Dum Dum to complete the circle. This has been a boon to the office goers. Eastern Railway runs Electrical Multiple Unit on Circular Railway. The Circular Railway is directly managed by The Eastern Railway. The Circular Railway as part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway along with the Kolkata Metro provide connectivity through the city. The line was a single line track from Tala station to Princep ghat station. But in platform area it becomes double line for crossing. From Princep Ghat the line becomes fully single until it reaches to Majerhat.


# Station Name Connections
English Bengali
1 Dum Dum Junction দম দম জংশন Line 1, Kolkata Metro (Dum Dum metro station)
2 Patipukur পাতিপুকুর None
3 Kolkata railway station কোলকাতা রেলওয়ে স্টেশন Major Railway Station of Eastern Railway
4 Tala টালা None
5 Bagbazar বাগবাজার None
6 Shovabazar Ahiritola শোভাবাজার অহিড়ীতলা None
7 Burrabazar বড়বাজার None
8 B.B.D. Bagh বি.বা.দি. বাগ None
9 Eden Gardens ইডেন গার্ডেন্স None
10 Prinsep Ghat প্রিন্সেপ ঘাট None
11 Kidderpore খিদিরপুর None
12 Remount Road রিমাউন্ট রোড None
13 Majerhat মাঝেরহাট Line 3, Kolkata Metro (under construction)
14 New Alipore নিউ আলিপুর None
15 Tollygunge টালিগঞ্জ Line 1, Kolkata Metro (Rabindra Sarobar metro station)
16 Lake Gardens লেক গার্ডেন্স None
17 Ballygunge বালিগঞ্জ None
18 Park Circus পার্ক সার্কাস None
19 Sir Gurudas Bannerjee Halt স্যার গুরুদাস ব্যানার্জি হল্ট None
20 Bidhannagar Road বিধাননগর রোড None
21 Dum Dum Junction দম দম জংশন Line 1, Kolkata Metro (Dum Dum metro station)
Kolkata Circular Railway
Branch line to Barasat
Biman Bandar / NSC Bose Airport
Dum Dum Cantonment
Branch line to Naihati/Dankuni
Dum Dum
Mail line to Sealdah North
Chitpur / Kolkata Station
B.B.D. Bagh
Eden Gardens
Prinsep Ghat
Remount Road
Budgebudge line
New Alipore
Lake Gardens
Canning line
Park Circus
Main line Sealdah South
Sir Gurudas Bannerjee Halt
Bidhannagar Road

Airport extension[edit]

Kolkata's Circular Railway has been extended from Dum Dum Cantonment to Biman bandarNetaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. A 3.8 km extension from DumDum Cantonment station and includes two elevated stations Jessore Road and Biman Bandar. It runs at grade to UK Dutta Road and then on an elevated structure to the airport passing through Jessop, Jessore Road, VIP Road, and the domestic terminal road. This project was undertaking by the Kolkata Metro.