Nepal Railways

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Department of Railways
Nepal Railways
Native name
नेपाल रेल्वे
Government sector
IndustryRail transport
PredecessorNepal Government Railway and Nepal Janakpur–Jaynagar Railway
FounderJang Bahadur Rana with association of British Indian Government
Bishalnagar, Kathmandu
Area served
Key people
Anant Acharya (Director General)
OwnerGovernment of Nepal
Jainagar–Janakpur line
Indian Railways
Jainagar - Freight terminal
International border
Mahinathpur (Thadi Jhijha)
Sahib Saroj Nagar (Duhabi)
Baidehi (Itaharwa)

The Nepal Railways Corporation Ltd. (NRC, reporting mark: NR / ने. रे) is a state-owned company which operates railways in Nepal.

It maintains and operates two railway lines in the country: the RaxaulSirsiya and the JainagarJanakpur. The former is a 6 km (3.7 mi) line from Raxaul, India to Sirsiya Inland Container Depot (or dry port) near Birganj, Nepal, and is primarily used for freight transport.[1] It allows container traffic to be imported to Nepal through the Sirsiya dry port container depot.[2] The latter is a 28 km (17 mi) line from Jaynagar, India to Janakpur, Nepal, and is used primarily for passenger transport.[3]

The capital, Kathmandu, has no railway link.


Nepal Railways 1927 during the reign of Rana PM Chandra SJBR
A Nepal Railway locomotive in 1927 during the reign of Rana PM Chandra SJBR

The first railway in Nepal was the Nepal Government Railway (NGR), a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway, built by the British in 1927, during the Rana period.[4] The railway connected Raxaul in British India with Amlekhganj in Kingdom of Nepal.[5] This 39-kilometre-long (24 mi) line allowed people from different areas of the country to reach Amlekhganj, and helped move heavy vehicles to Bhimphedi. It was then possible to reach Kathmandu from Bhimphedi on foot. The railway possessed seven steam locomotives, 12 coaches and 82 wagons.[6] It operated steam-powered Garratt locomotives manufactured by Beyer, Peacock and Company of the United Kingdom.[7]

The second railway in the country was the Nepal Janakpur–Jaynagar Railway (NJJR), a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway, built by the British in 1937, during the Rana period. This 28-mile-long (45 km) track was built to carry timber from the then heavily forested areas of Janakpur in Kingdom of Nepal to Jaynagar in British India.[8] The railway was later extended to Bijalpura.

The Raxaul–Amlekhganj railway track was operational until 1965. It was closed down after opening of the Tribhuvan Highway.[9] The railway track from Raxaul was converted to 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge by the Indian railways to connect Sirsiya (Birganj) Inland Container Depot (ICD). The railway became fully operational in 2005, though certain segments were used as early as 2002. It helps move containers and other cargo to and from the Kolkata port and other places in India. It is the most important entry point for imports into China, and is essential for Nepal's commerce and trade. Birganj is located 700 km (430 mi) from the Kolkata port by railway.

After a washout of the railway embankment and two bridges the track between Janakpur and Bijalpura (22 km railway line) was closed in 2001. The remaining Janakpur–Jaynagar railway track was converted to 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge in 2018 and the extension to Bardibas is under construction since.[10][11]


  • 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 no-one was injured.[12]


The below railway lines are either under construction or have been planned.

  • JanakpurBardibas: The Jaynagar–Janakpur line is being extended further to Bardibas from Janakpur.[13]
  • RaxaulKathmandu: Nepal and India agreed to construct a railway line linking Raxaul with Kathmandu during Prime Minister KP Oli Sharma's visit to India.[14] A team of technical officers visited Kathmandu to study the proposed railway and they have stated that a feasibility study of the project would begin. They have already identified Chobhar as the terminus of the 113 km long railway line. [15]
  • LumbiniHetauda–Janakpur: The Lumbini–Hetauda–Janakpur section is planned to be the first East-West railway in Nepal.
  • New Jalpaiguri (India) – Kakarbhitta (Nepal)
  • Jogbani (India) – Biratnagar (Nepal)[16]
  • Nautanwa (India) – Bhairahawa (Nepal)
  • Nepalganj Road (India) – Nepalganj (Nepal)
  • China–Nepal Railway: A line linking India with Lhasa in Tibet through Kathmandu has been proposed by the K.P. Oli government. In November 2017, Chinese media reported the arrival of a delegation of Chinese railway experts to Nepal. The Chinese experts discussed the possibility of a railway connection between China and Nepal.[17] The two sides reached an agreement on construction details of the railway in August 2018[18].

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nepal Railway Assessment". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Introduction". Department of Customs dryport office, Government of Nepal. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Aitchison, Sir Charles Umpherston (1929). A Collection of Treaties, Engagements and Sanads Relating to India and Neighbouring Countries, Volume 14. Government of India Central Publication Branch. p. 47. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Railway in Nepal and it's scope". 20 February 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Railroads". A Country Study: Nepal. The Library of Congress. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  7. ^ "Garratt Locomotives produced by Beyer Peacock". Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  8. ^ "The Janakpur Railway - The longest railway line of Nepal". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  9. ^ A National Transport System for Nepal (PDF). Washington, D.C.: World Bank. June 1965. p. 22. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  10. ^ "The Janakpur Railway - The longest railway line of Nepal". Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Story reported here.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "India And Nepal To Speed Up Raxaul-Kathmandu Rail Project". 11 July 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  15. ^ "DoR says land acquisition a major hurdle". Kantipur Publications. 24 July 2018. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  16. ^ "पहिलो पटक विराटनगर आइपुग्यो रेल" [First time train arrives at Biratnagar] (in Nepali). Purbeli News. 4 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  17. ^ 中方铁路代表团赴尼泊尔开展铁路调研 (A team of Chinese railway representatives visit Nepal to initiate a railway study), 2017-11-14
  18. ^ Giri, A; Giri, S (24 August 2018). "Nepal, China agree on rail study". The Kathmandu Post. Retrieved 22 September 2018.

External links[edit]