Kolkata Circular Railway

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 Bagbazar railway station
Overview
OwnerIndian Railway
LocaleKolkata
TerminiDum Dum Junction
Majerhat
Stations
  • Total stations: 20
  • Interchange stations: 8
WebsiteEastern Railway
Service
TypeCommuter rail
SystemKolkata Suburban Railway
ServicesDum Dum-Majerhat and Majerhat-Bidhannagar Road
Operator(s)Eastern Railway
Depot(s)Kolkata
Majerhat
Rolling stockEMUs
History
Opened16 August 1984; 36 years ago (1984-08-16)
Technical
Line length42 km (26 mi)
Number of tracks2
CharacterAt grade and elevated
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) Broad gauge
Electrification25 kV overhead line
Operating speedup to 100 km per hour
Route map

km
Sealdah–Ranaghat line
Chord link line
Noapara
Dum Dum Cantt. Kolkata Metro Logo.svg
to Sealdah–Bangaon line
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Dum Dum Junction Kolkata Metro Logo.svg
Belgachia
Patipukur
Tala
Kolkata
BSicon FERRY.svg Bagbazar
BSicon FERRY.svg Sovabazar Ahiritola
Bidhannagar Road
BSicon FERRY.svg Burra Bazar
BSicon FERRY.svg B.B.D Bag
BSicon FERRY.svg Eden Gardens
Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt
Sealdah Main Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Logo.svg Calcutta Tramways Company (logo).gif
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Sealdah
Sealdah South Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Logo.svg 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 Junction
Kolkata Metro Logo.svg Tollygunge
Lake Gardens
Indian Railways Suburban Railway Logo.svg Rabindra Sarobar
Sealdah South lines
to Namkhana

ServiceEdit

 
Shobhabazar - Ahiritola station of circular railway

The line begins and terminates at Dum Dum Junction, with a total of 19 stations spread over the route's 42 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 between Dum Dum Cantonment railway station and Biman Bandar railway station is replaced by Line 4 (under construction) of the Kolkata Metro, which follows the same route.[1]

HistoryEdit

 
Circular Railway track

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 buses, 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.

 
Bagbazar station of circular railway

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.

 
Eden Gardens station of Circular Railway

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

List of Kolkata Circular Railway stations in anti-circular way:

# Station Name Connections Picture Notes
English Bengali Code
1 Dum Dum Junction দম দম জংশন DDJ   Eastern line  
  Chord link line
  Dum Dum
2 Patipukur পাতিপুকুর PTKR  –
3 Kolkata কলকাতা KOAA  –   Major railway station of Eastern Railway
4 Tala টালা TALA  –
5 Bagbazar বাগবাজার BBR   Bagbazar Launch Ghat  
6 Sovabazar Ahiritola শোভাবাজার আহিরীটোলা SOLA   Sovabazar Launch Ghat  
  Ahiritola 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   Kidderpore
12 Remount Road রিমাউন্ট রোড RMTR  –
13 Majerhat মাঝেরহাট MJT   Sealdah South line  
  Majerhat
14 New Alipore নিউ আলিপুর NACC   Sealdah South line  
15 Tollygunge টালিগঞ্জ TLG   Sealdah South line  
  Rabindra Sarobar
16 Lake Gardens লেক গার্ডেন্স LKF   Sealdah South line
17 Ballygunge বালিগঞ্জ BLN   Sealdah South line  
18 Park Circus পার্ক সার্কাস PQS   Sealdah South line  
19 Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt স্যার গুরুদাস ব্যানার্জি হল্ট SGBA   Phoolbagan  
20 Bidhannagar Road বিধাননগর রোড BNXR   Bidhannagar  

Trains with Extended RouteEdit

Train Name From To Daily Frequency
Canning-Barasat Local Canning Barasat 3
Bangaon - Canning Local Bangaon Canning 1
Champahati - Majerhat - Hasanabad Local (Via Tala) Champahati Hasnabad 1
Duttapukur - Ghutiary Sharif (Via Dum Dum, Kolkata,Bagbazar,Khidirpur,Majerhat, Ballygunge And Gourdaha) Local Duttapukur Ghutiari Sharrif 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

Closure of airport extensionEdit

Kolkata's Circular Railway was extended from Dum Dum Cantonment to Biman Bandar/Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport. The 3.8 km (2.4 mi) extension from Dum Dum Cantonment station included two elevated stations Jessore Road and Biman Bandar. It ran 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.[1]

Proposed stationsEdit

There was also a plan to build two more stations between Park Circus and Sir Gurudas Banerjee Halt named Tangra and Beliaghata Main Road respectively, but it was ultimately cancelled. Although Tangra station construction was started, it became unfinished, and now demolished.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Services End on Kolkata's Circular Railway".