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Kolkata Circular Railway is a railway loop line operated by the Eastern Railway zone of Indian Railways, encircling the entire city of Kolkata.

Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Kolkata Circular Railway
Circular Train Crossing Mayer Ghat - Baghbazar Railway Station - Kolkata 2017-04-29 1929.JPG
A local train at the Bagbazar railway station
Overview
TypeCommuter rail
SystemKolkata Suburban Railway
LocaleKolkata
TerminiDum Dum Junction
Majerhat
Stations20
ServicesDum Dum-Majerhat and Majerhat-Bidhannagar Road
WebsiteEastern Railway
Operation
Opened1984; 35 years ago (1984)
OwnerIndian Railway
Operator(s)Eastern Railway
CharacterAt grade and elevated
Depot(s)Kolkata
Majerhat
Rolling stockEMUs
Technical
Line length38.8 km (24 mi)
Number of tracks2
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Broad gauge
Electrification25 kV overhead line
Operating speedup to 100 km per hour
Route map
Kolkata Circular Railway
to Ranaghat Jn
to Dankuni Jn
Noapara
Dum Dum Cantt. Kolkata Metro Logo.svg
to Bangaon Jn
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Dum Dum
Dum Dum Jn
Kolkata Metro Logo.svg
Belgachia
Patipukur
Tala
Kolkata
BSicon FERRY.svg Bagbazar
BSicon FERRY.svg
Shovabazar
Ahiritola
Bidhannagar Road
BSicon FERRY.svg Burrabazar
BSicon FERRY.svg B.B.D. Bagh
BSicon FERRY.svg Eden Gardens
Sir Gurudas
Banerjee Halt
Sealdah Main
KMRC Logo.jpg Calcutta Tramways Company (logo).gif
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Sealdah
Sealdah South
KMRC Logo.jpg Calcutta Tramways Company (logo).gif
BSicon FERRY.svg Prinsep Ghat
Kidderpore
Park Circus
Remount Road
to Budge Budge
Kolkata Metro Logo.svg Majerhat
New Alipore
Ballygunge Jn
Kolkata Metro Logo.svg Tollygunge
Lake Gardens
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Rabindra Sarobar
to Namkhana

Contents

ServiceEdit

The line begins and terminates at Dum Dum Junction station, with a total of 19 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 Dum Dum Junction to Majerhat (via Burrabazar), and Majerhat to Dum Dum Junction (via Ballygunge Junction). The line operates a part of longer suburban services from Budge Budge, Canning, Barrackpore, Hasnabad, Kalyani, Naihati, etc. .

The Circular Railway offers direct interchange points with the Kolkata Metro at Dum Dum Junction. 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 (2.3 mi)-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.

HistoryEdit

 
A photo of the Circular Railway track taken in Kolkata

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.

StationsEdit

# Station Name Connections Picture Notes
English Bengali Code
(a) Dum Dum Cantonment দম দম ক্যানটনমেন্ট DDC Dum Dum Cantt.    Line 4  Under construction
1 Dum Dum দম দম জংশন DDJ Dum Dum  

 Line 1 

 
2 Patipukur পাতিপুকুর PTKR None
3 Kolkata কোলকাতা রেলওয়ে স্টেশন KOAA Belgachia  

 Line 1 

  Major Railway Station of Eastern Railway
4 Tala টালা TALA None
5 Bagbazar বাগবাজার BBR Bagbazar Launch Ghat    
6 Sovabazar Ahiritola শোভাবাজার আহিরীটোলা SOLA
  • Sovabazar Launch Ghat 
  • Ahiritola Launch Ghat 
7 Burrabazar বড়বাজার BZB Jagannath Ghat  
8 B.B.D Bag বি.বা.দি. বাগ BBDB Fairlie Place Ghat    
9 Eden Gardens ইডেন গার্ডেন্স EDG Outram Ghat   
10 Prinsep Ghat প্রিন্সেপ ঘাট PPGT Prinsep Ghat    
11 Khiddirpur খিদিরপুর KIRP Khidirpur  

 Line 3 

Under construction
12 Remount Road রিমাউন্ট রোড RMTR None
13 Majerhat মাঝেরহাট MJT   Under construction
14 New Alipore নিউ আলিপুর NACC none
15 Tollygunge টালিগঞ্জ TLG Rabindra Sarobar  

 Line 1 

16 Lake Gardens লেক গার্ডেন্স LKF none
17 Ballygunge বালিগঞ্জ BLN Toward Namkhana    
18 Park Circus পার্ক সার্কাস PQS One line to Sealdah South  
19 Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt স্যার গুরুদাস ব্যানার্জি হল্ট SGBA Phoolbagan 

 Line 2 

20 Bidhannagar Road বিধাননগর রোড BNXR None  

Trains with Extended RouteEdit

Train Name From To Daily Frequency
Bangaon-Majerhat Local Bangaon Majerhat 3
Bangaon - Canning Local Bangaon Majerhat 1
Habra - Majerhat Local (Via Tala) Habra Majerhat 1
Duttapukur - Majerhat Local Duttapukur Majerhat 1
Barasat - Majerhat Local (via - B.B.D. Bagh) Barasat Majerhat 1
Madhyamgram - Majerhat Local Madhyamgram Majerhat 1
Gede-Majerhat Local (Via Tala) Gede Majerhat 1

Airport extensionEdit

Kolkata's Circular Railway is extended from Dum Dum Cantonment to Biman Bandar/Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. A 3.8 km (2.4 mi) 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 7 January 2015. The Biman Bandar station has been closed since 30 September 2016. Currently this section is being converted into metro under Kolkata Metro Line 4.

Proposed StationsEdit

There is also a plan to build two more stations between Park Circus and Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt named Tangra and Beliaghata Main Road respectively.

ReferencesEdit