Kolkata Circular Railway
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|Kolkata Circular Railway|
A photo of the Circular Railway track taken in Kolkata
|Other name(s)||চক্র রেল|
|System||Kolkata Suburban Railway|
|Line length||35 km (22 mi)|
The Kolkata Circular Railway, locally known as the "চক্র রেল", 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 Biman Bandar station, with a total of 21 stations spread over the route's 35 kilometers length. Services on the line are operated as an extension 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 Biman Bandar to Majerhat (via Burrabazar), and Majerhat to Biman Bandar (via Ballygunge), sharing the stations Dum Dum Junction and Dum Dum Cantonment both ways. The line operates 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 to serve 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.
With the population of the Kolkata metropolis continuing to grow, and road transport being unable to cope with demand due to bottlenecks on the roads, it was felt necessary to introduce an additional method of transportation which would ease the congestion problem particularly at peak hours. Of the various modes considered, including tramcars and trolleybuses, the railway was found to be most suitable. Unlike other metropolitan cities, Kolkata does not have a rail route running through the heart of the city, nor through the central district area where more commuters will be seeking their transport.
Previously a railway line existed between Dum Dum railway station to Ultadanga for the transport of wagons to Chitpur Goods Yard. For a considerable time, lines ran between B.B.D. Bagh and Majerhat for the transport of goods from the port area to the godowns (warehouses) of the Calcutta port along the Hooghly River. These were built during the early East Indian Railway Company (EIR) period when the river Hooghly was navigable to this area. Gradually with the silting of Hooghly, and its inaccessibility to bigger ships, these lines ceased to be used. With these existing lines being rehabilitated and small stretches of new track being laid in a few locations, a connection could be established between Dum Dum Junction and Prinsep Ghat along the bank of the 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 railway station to Prinsep Ghat on 16 August 1984. In fact the lines from the port of Calcutta already existed for an interchange yard for Eastern Railways, and these lines were modified/extended/realigned for the 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 the central business district of Kolkata directly, avoiding Sealdah station. The line has been an overwhelming success with commuters and the earnings have quadrupled with the introduction of EMUs. Once connected to Majerhat a train can easily ply up to Dum Dum to complete the circle. This has been a boon to office-goers. The Circular Railway is directly managed by the Eastern Railway. The Circular Railway is a part of the Kolkata Suburban Railway along with the Kolkata Metro to provide connectivity throughout the city. The line is a single-lined track from Tala station to Princep Ghat station, but in the platform area it becomes double-lined for crossing. From Princep Ghat the line becomes single-tracked until it reaches Majerhat.
|1||Dum Dum Junction||দম দম জংশন||दमदम जंक्शन||Line 1, Kolkata Metro (Dum Dum metro station)|
|3||Kolkata railway station||কোলকাতা রেলওয়ে স্টেশন||कोलकाता रेलवे स्टेशन||Major Railway Station of Eastern Railway|
|6||Shovabazar Ahiritola||শোভাবাজার অহিড়ীতলা||शोभाबाजार आहिरीटोला||None|
|8||B.B.D. Bagh||বি.বা.দি. বাগ||बि.बा.दि बाग||None|
|9||Eden Gardens||ইডেন গার্ডেন্স||ईडेन गार्डेन||None|
|10||Prinsep Ghat||প্রিন্সেপ ঘাট||प्रिन्सेप घाट||None|
|12||Remount Road||রিমাউন্ট রোড||रिमाउन्ट रोड||None|
|13||Majerhat||মাঝেরহাট||माझेरहाट||Line 3, Kolkata Metro (under construction)|
|14||New Alipore||নিউ আলিপুর||न्यू अलीपुर||None|
|15||Tollygunge||টালিগঞ্জ||टालिगंज||Line 1, Kolkata Metro (Rabindra Sarobar metro station)|
|16||Lake Gardens||লেক গার্ডেন্স||लेक गार्डन्स||None|
|18||Park Circus||পার্ক সার্কাস||पार्क सर्कस||None|
|19||Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt||স্যার গুরুদাস ব্যানার্জি হল্ট||सर गुरुदास बैनर्जी हाल्ट||None|
|20||Bidhannagar Road||বিধাননগর রোড||बिधाननगर रोड||None|
Kolkata's Circular Railway has been extended from Dum Dum Cantonment to Biman Bandar/Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. A 3.8 km extension from Dum Dum 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 undertaken by the Kolkata Metro.
The Jessore Road station has been closed since January 7, 2015.
- "Schedule of train 30012 (BNBA - BNBA LOCAL VIA MJT)". National Train Enquiry System. Centre For Railway Information Systems. 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Schedule of train 30051 (MJT - BNBA LOCAL)". National Train Enquiry System. Centre For Railway Information Systems. 2013. Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2016.