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Sahibganj loop

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The Sahibganj loop is a railway line connecting Khana Junction and Kiul Junction. Originally a part of the Howrah-Delhi main line, it was opened to traffic in 1866. With the construction of a shorter railway line for a part of the route, the 410 kilometres (250 mi) stretch was assigned a separate identity.

Sahibganj loop
LocaleWest Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar
TerminiKhana Junction
Kiul Junction
OwnerIndian Railway
Operator(s)Eastern Railway
Line length410 km (255 mi)
Number of tracks1/ 2
Track gauge1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge


Railway transportation was introduced in India within 30 years of its maiden run in England.

The East Indian Railway Company which was formed on 1 June 1845, completed its survey for a railway line from Kolkata, then called Calcutta, to Delhi via Mirzapur in 1846. The company initially became defunct on refusal of government guarantee, which was given in 1849. Thereafter, an agreement was signed between East Indian Railway Company and the East India Company, for the construction and operation of an "experimental" line between Kolkata and Rajmahal, which would later be extended to Delhi via Mirzapur. Construction began in 1851.

On 15 August 1854, the first passenger train in the eastern section was operated up to Hooghly, 39 kilometres (24 mi) away. On 1 February 1855 the first train ran from Hooghly to Raniganj, 195 kilometres (121 mi) from Howrah. The priority accorded to the Raniganj section was because of the assurance of coal transportation.

The Khana Junction-Rajmahal section was complete in October 1859, crossing Ajay River on the way. The first train ran from Howrah to Rajmahal via Khana on 4 July 1860.[1][2] The Loop from Khana Junction to Kiul via Jamalpur, including the Monghyr branch, was ready in February 1862.[2]

From Rajmahal, construction progressed rapidly, moving westward along the banks of the Ganges, reaching Bhagalpur in 1861, Munger in February 1862, and opposite Varanasi (across the Ganges) in December 1862 and then on to Naini on the bank of the Yamuna. The work included EIR's first tunnel at Jamalpur and first major bridge across the Son River at Arrah.

During 1863-64, work progressed rapidly on the Allahabad-Kanpur-Tundla and Aligarh-Ghaziabad sections. The Yamuna bridge near Delhi was completed in 1864 and EIR established the Delhi terminus. The Yamuna bridge at Allahabad opened on 15 August 1865 and in 1866 Kolkata and Delhi were directly linked. The 1 Dn/ 2 Up Mail started running.

With the completion of the 406-kilometre (252 mi) long line connecting Raniganj with Kiul in 1871, a "shorter main line" was in position. Initially, it was called the chord line. However, as it attracted more traffic it was designated the main line and the original line became the Sahibganj loop.

After approx 150 years of operation, Sahibganj loop is converted in double line on 14-05-2019 except Ratanpur - Jamalpur section as construction of Tunnel near Jamalpur is in progress .CRS of Electrification of Kiul-Bhagalpur section is completed and Train operation with Electric Loco is Started on 03-06-2019.

In the Rail Budget 2008, Bhagalpur was announced to be converted to as Railway Division and yet to be completed by ER. The new rail lines from Sultanganj to Deoghar announced and the construction yet to start . Bhagalpur to Dumka section is operational . Bhagalpur to Deoghar via Banka section is operational.

Bhagalpur Godda via Hanshdiya is under construction.

Branch linesEdit

In 1863, the Indian Branch Railway Company, a private company opened the Nalhati–Azimganj branch line. The 27 kilometres (17 mi) track was initially a 4' gauge line. The track was subsequently converted to 5' 6" broad gauge. The Indian Branch Railway Company was purchased by the Government of India in 1872 and the line was renamed Nalhati State Railway. It became a part of the East Indian Railway Company in 1892.[3]

In 1913, the Hooghly–Katwa Railway constructed a line from Bandel to Katwa, and the Barharwa–Azimganj–Katwa railway constructed the Barharwa–Azimganj–Katwa loop line.

The Andal-Sainthia Branch Line was built in 1913.

The 53 kilometres (33 mi) long Ahmedpur Katwa Light Railway connecting Ahmadpur Junction railway station and Katwa Junction railway station, built on 760 millimetres (30 in), was opened to traffic on 29 September 1917.[4]

Bhagalpur to Dumka section is operational. Bhagalpur to Deoghar section via Banka is operational.

Mirjachauki-Godda and Godda-Hanshdiya is under construction.Bhagalpur will directly connected with Godda via Hanshdiya.


Only Ratanpur to Jamalpur of the Sahibganj Loop is still operating on single track .Work of construction of Second Tunnel Near Janalpur is in Progress . Second Tunnel work near Jamalpur is likely to be completed by 2021.Twenty-one pairs of trains ply between Bhagalpur and Sahibganj. lines| New Rail Line From Pakur-Godda and Bashukinath Dham - Chatra is proposed. Work for doubling the 111-kilometre long (69 mi) stretch started in 2010 (Announced in 1996).[5]

Work on the new 130-kilometre (81 mi) long Rampurhat-Dumka-Mander Hill broad gauge line completed and Kavi Guru Express BhagalpurJn to howrah is running on this route.[6]

Jamalpur WorkshopEdit

Jamalpur Workshop, the first full-fledged railway workshop facility in India, was opened on 8 February 1862, at a time when the Howrah-Delhi main line, passing through Jamalpur was under construction. It was felt that communities of gun smiths and other craftsmen in the area handling mechanical engineering jobs could pick up the skills required in a railway workshop. It undertook repairs of wagons, coaches, cranes and tower cars, and locomotives, as well as manufacture of some tower cars, break-down cranes and various kinds of heavy-duty lifting jacks. They also produced their own locomotives, starting with the CA 764 Lady Curzon in 1899. It has also produced ticket printers and other ticket machines (slitting, counting, and chopping). With fairly extensive workshop facilities, it was a fairly self-contained.[7]


Electrification of the Khana-Sainthia-Pakur section was announced in the rail budget for 2010-11.[8] The electrification of Ahmedpur-Sainthia-Murarai section was completed in 2016. The first electric train service started from 29 September 2016 through HWH-RPH express.

The electrification of Bonidanga Link Cabin-Barharwa-Sahibganj-Kiul section Including the Tinpahar-Rajmahal section (Announced by Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Package in Bihar ) has been started from September 2017 and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2020. The work of electrification and CRS Inspection between Kiul - Jamalpur Section, Jamalpur - Bhagalpur Section & Bonidanga - Tinpahar section was completed in March 2019.

After approximately 150 years of operation of Kiul - Bhagalpur Section of Sahibganj Loop Rail Line, Vikramshila Express became the first train to be hauled by an electric locomotive on 02-06-2019.

Train With Electric-Loco started on 02-06-2019 as 12368 Down ANVT to BGP Vikramshila Exp. arrived at BGP hauled by Electric Locomotive. On 03-06-2019, 12367 UP BGP to ANVT Vikramshila Exp. departed from BGP hauled by an electric locomotive. CRS Inspection of Tinpahar to Sahibganj section is done on 04-Sep-2019.

Train With Electric-Loco Between Barharwa-Sahibganj Section started on 30-09-2019.


  1. ^ George Huddleston (1906). History of the East Indian Railway. p. 28.
  2. ^ a b Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways. New Delhi: National Book Trust. p. 19.
  3. ^ "The Oudh & Rohilkhand Railway" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 June 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Ahmadpur-Katwa Railway". Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  5. ^ Sarkar, Gautam (21 September 2010). "Green light to double rail on oldest route - 135-year-old Kiul-Sahebganj loop section will finally get twin railway". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  6. ^ "ER revenue up 25% at Rs 1144 crore". Business Standard. 22 August 2007. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Production Units & Workshops". Jamalpur Workshop. IRFCA. Retrieved 15 November 2011.
  8. ^ "Electrification of new rail sections". Press information Bureau. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 28 November 2011.