A Yellow and Green EMU train is at Station
|Locale||Kolkata Metropolitan Area, West Bengal, India|
|Transit type||Suburban Rail|
|Number of lines||Eastern line: 12 |
South Eastern line: 3
Circular line: 1
South lines: 4
Chord link line: 1
|Number of stations|
|Daily ridership||3.5 million (2017–18)|
|Annual ridership||1.2 billion|
|Headquarters||Howrah Junction (SER) & (ER)|
|Website||South Eastern Railway|
|Began operation||15 August 1854|
|Train length||9 or 12 coaches|
|System length||1,322 kilometres (821 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||25,000 V AC overhead catenary|
|Average speed||45 km/h (28 mph)|
|Top speed||100 km/h (62 mph)|
The Kolkata Suburban Railway is a suburban rail system serving the suburbs surrounding the city of Kolkata. Railways such as this are important and heavily used infrastructure in India. It is the largest suburban railway network in India by track length and number of stations. It has 393 stations with track length of 1,332 km. The suburban railway operates 1497 EMU services carrying 3.5 million (35 lakhs) people daily. It runs from 3 a.m to 2 a.m in the night.
- 1 History
- 2 Network
- 3 Services and traffic
- 4 Fares and ticketing
- 5 Rolling stock
- 6 Achievements
- 7 Incidents
- 8 Expansion
- 9 Gallery
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The Kolkata Suburban Railway is an offshoot of the second passenger railway to be built by the British in India and is also the second oldest railway system in Asia. The first train ran between Howrah and Hooghly on 15 August 1854. The train left Howrah Station at 8:30 a.m. and reached Hooghly in 91 minutes.
Later, On 1 February 1957, The EMU services were introduced on Howrah – Bandel section of Howrah Division of Eastern Railway. The services were gradually extended to Barddhaman in the year 1963 and also on Sealdah Division of Eastern Railway introduced on Sealdah Division on Sealdah – Ranaghat route.
On South Eastern Railway side, EMU services were launched on 1 May 1968 on Howrah - Mecheda Section of Kharagpur Division and after that on 1 February 1969, EMU Services were extended up to Kharagpur and on 1 May 1976 EMU Services were also started on Panskura - Haldia section.
The Kolkata Suburban Railway system is operated by two zonal divisions (under Indian Railways) Eastern Railways (ER) and South Eastern Railways (SER). The fast commuter rail corridors on Eastern Railway as well as South Eastern Railway are shared with long distance and freight trains, while inner suburban services operate on exclusive parallel tracks. SER operates the South Eastern Line and ER operates the Eastern Line, Circular Line, Chord link Line as well as the South lines.
South Eastern line
The South Eastern line in Kolkata consists of 3 major corridors, which bifurcate as they run into the suburban satellite towns. Two corridors (one local and other through) follow the South Eastern Railway run from Howrah Junction to Midnapore (128 km). The mainline bifurcates into two branch lines – the Panskura-Haldia line at Panskura Junction (69 km) in the south-east and the Santragachi-Amta line at Santragachi Junction (45 km) in the north. These two corridors constitute the 'main' South Eastern line.
The South Eastern line has one interchange station with the Eastern Line at Howrah Junction. Rolling stock consists of a fleet of AC as well as dual-powered DC-AC EMUs. The major car sheds on this line are at Tikiapara and Panskura.
The Eastern line in Kolkata is the biggest network in Kolkata Suburban Railway consists of two divisions, Howrah division & Sealdah division (named after their respective terminals) which serves both sides of River Hooghly.
On Howrah division of Eastern line, there are 5 corridors, which also bifurcates and runs into north western suburbs. First two corridors are Howrah-Bardhaman main line with a length of 107 km and the chord line with the length of 94 km. On this two corridors, the Howrah-Tarakeswar branch line bifurcates at Seoraphuli Junction and terminating at Goghat with a length of 69 km elevating over the chord line at Kamarkundu. The Bandel-Katwa branch line bifurcates at Bandel Jn with a length of 105 km and Bardhaman-Katwa branch line bifurcates at Bardhaman Jn with a length of 53 km.
On the other side (Sealdah division of Eastern line), there are 7 corridors, bifurcating into branch lines to serve northeastern suburbs. Sealdah-Gede line is considered to be a mainline, terminating in Gede, a small town on the India-Bangladesh Border with the length of 116 km. On this corridor, the first branch line birfurcates from Dum Dum Junction terminating at Bangaon Junction with a length of 70 km. The second branch line birfurcates at Ranaghat Junction terminating at Bangaon Junction with the length of 33 km. The third branch line birfurcates at Ranaghat Junction terminating at Krishnanagar City Junction passing through Kalinarayanpur Jn and Shantipur with a length of 35 km or by bypassing Shantipur, passing only through Kalinarayanpur with a length of 26 km. Fourth branch line birfurcates at Kalyani Jn terminating at Kalyani Simanta with a line length of 5 km. Fifth branch line bifurcates at Barasat Junction terminating at Hasnabad with a line length of 53 km.
The Eastern line also includes a connection from Bandel Junction to Naihati Junction with a length of 8 km which is an important link between Howrah and Sealdah division.
This corridor encircles the inner city neighborhoods of Kolkata with a length of 36 km with 19 stations, this line runs under the Jursidiction of Eastern Railway Sealdah Division. From Dum Dum Junction to Tala, the line is double-track, while from Tala to Majerhat, the line is single-tracked. Circular Railway starts in a tunnel under the Sealdah division mainline before Tala. Running by the side of River Hooghly from Tala to Majerhat, it joins and runs parallel to the Sealdah South tracks after Majerhat and elevates at Park Circus in order to bypass Sealdah (which is a terminal station). After bypassing Sealdah, it rejoins the mainline at Bidhannagar Road, terminating at Dum Dum Jn.
Sealdah South lines
This line is an Important link to Sundarbans of West Bengal from Kolkata. It is also a part of the Eastern Railway. This line has four corridors and it bifurcates as branch lines linking southern suburbs to Kolkata. The mainline starts from Sealdah terminating at Namkhana with the length of 108 km. Mainline is double-tracked till Lakshmikantapur and single-tracked from Lakshmikantapur to Namkhana. The first branch line at this corridor starts from Ballygunge Junction terminating at Budge Budge with a length of 19 km, second branch line starts from Sonarpur Junction terminating at Canning with a length of 28 km and third branch line starts from Baruipur Junction terminating at Diamond Harbour with the length of 35 km.
This line has a sole depot at Sonarpur Jn.
This line has three interchange stations. Interchange is possible at Majerhat & Park Circus for Circular Railway, and at Sealdah for Eastern line.
Chord link line connects Sealdah to Dankuni Junction on Howrah-Barddhaman Chord. This line plays an important role in connecting the Sealdah DIvision's mainline with the Howrah-Bardhaman chord, which is primarily used by freight and passenger trains heading towards North India (Howrah-Bardhaman chord is part of the Howrah-Delhi mainline and the Grand Chord). Chord link crosses the River Hooghly on the Vivekananda Setu road-rail bridge.
In this corridor, there are some tourist hotspots such as Dakshineswar known for the famous Kali Temple where Ramakrishna Paramhansa served as a priest & Vivekananda Setu locally known as Bally Bridge.
It has three Interchange stations. Interchange is possible at Dum Dum Junction for Eastern line (Sealdah-Gede mainline), Dankuni Junction for Eastern line (Howrah-Barddhaman Chord) & Bally Halt (lying above Bally station) for Eastern Line (Howrah - Barddhaman mainline).
Services and traffic
As per the report on Kolkata Suburban Railway, Eastern Railways and South Eastern Railways have published statistics on passenger services.
In the period of 2010–11, the average train services per day were 1275 and average passengers capacity per rake were 6207 and In 2014–15, the average train services were 1511 and average passenger capacity per rake was 4141. which it concludes from last five years, there was an increase of 3% in average services per day and deduction of 8% in average passenger capacity per rake.
And the no. of passengers moved in period 2013–14 was 115 crores and in the period of 2014–15 was 112 crores which means a reduction of 3 per cent in total trips.
EMU passenger service
Some of the routes do not have any regular EMU services and therefore bypass the Kolkata Suburban Railway Network. To connect people on these routes, passenger trains run on these routes helping in transportation of people in small towns and villages to Kolkata Metropolitan Area and vice versa. There are two routes which bypass the Kolkata Suburban Railway and are not connected to any other network. First route is from Tamluk to Digha which comes under the jurisdiction of South Eastern Railway with a length of 94 km and second route is from Krishnanagar City Junction to Lalgola which comes under the jurisdiction of Eastern Railway with the length of 128 km.
Fares and ticketing
Per the 2013 Railway Budget, the Railway Board increased the Kolkata suburban ticket fare by eight paise per kilometre, although the railway ministry has hiked it by two paise per kilometre. The number of slabs has also been reduced to four—₹5 (7.0¢ US), ₹10 (14¢ US), ₹15 (21¢ US) and ₹20 (28¢ US)—from the eight slabs earlier. Also, ticket denominations have been rounded off to multiples of ₹5 (7.0¢ US). As per the revised slab, a person traveling up to 20 km will have to pay ₹5 (7.0¢ US), between 21 and 45 km ₹10 (14¢ US), between 46 and 70 km ₹15 (21¢ US) and between 71 and 100 km ₹20 (28¢ US).
As per the Indian Railway Report, On 2016-17, The Eastern Railway & South Eastern Railway Generated ₹539.8 million (US$7.6 million) through penalties imposed on ticketless and irregular travellers, which is a slight increase from the year of 2013-14 with ₹112 million (US$1.6 million).
The Howrah division of Eastern Railways has a rolling stock of 12 coach EMU made by Jessop and ICF. BEML EMU's have also been bought and they are in use. A small fleet of Siemens EMU rakes are also in service. MEMU Rakes of ICF and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala are in service.
The Sealdah division has a rolling stock of 9,12 car EMU, also made by Jessop and ICF.A small fleet of 12 coaches Siemens EMU is also in service .2 BEML EMU trains of 9 coaches are also operational. MEMU trains made by ICF and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala are in service.
The South Eastern Railways (SER) uses 12 coaches EMUs, also made by Jessop,Siemens and ICF.1BEML EMU is in service. It was the first Division in West Bengal to use the ICF medha 3-phase rakes.MEMU rakes of ICF and Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala are in service.
All the divisions of Kolkata suburban Railway are rapidly changing it's old Jessop and ICF EMU with the latest Medha 3-phase EMU rakes made by ICF with Bombardier Transportation. Almost all the EMU Units in Kolkata Suburban Railway is equipped with "GPS based passenger information system".
In 1968, The Howrah-Barddhaman main and chord line was totally converted into 25 kV 50 Hz AC AC power supply from 3000 V DC power supply from that time the conversion of DC to AC was gone ahead and currently the two divisions of Eastern Railway and Kharagpur division of South Eastern Railway is totally electrified.
On 6 September 2009, the union minister for railways, Ms Mamata Banerjee announced the introduction of Ladies Special local trains namely Matribhumi (i.e. motherland) in the Kolkata suburban section. First Matribhumi Special local started from Howrah to Kharagpur Jn.
On 5 January 2015, The Kalinarayanpur - Krishnagar City Junction route via Shantipur was totally converted into Electrified Broad Gauge from Meter Gauge with three phases, Phase-I is from Krishnanagar City Junction - Shantipur Junction which was commissioned on 7 February 2012, Phase II is from Shantipur Junction - Phulia which was commissioned on 30 January 2014, and the last Phase III Phulia - Kalinarayanpur was commissioned and later EMU services started.
On 12 January 2018, Barddhaman - Katwa line was totally converted to Electrified Broad Gauge from Narrow Gauge with two phases, Phase-I Barddhaman to Balgona and Phase-II Balgona To Katwa was started Conversion from 30 May 2012.
On 7 January 2012, two UP Sealdah-Shantipur local and DN Shantipur-Sealdah Electric multiple unit trains came on the same track at Phulia railway station causing an accident by which one was killed and several were injured. Three coaches of both trains were derailed from the railway tracks. 
On 12 December 2013, Accident was averted as two trains came on the same line in Sealdah Station, the driver of Sealdah-Lalgola passenger which left from platform 7 had overshot the starter signal and entered the down main line but stopped because of a Bangaon-Sealdah Local, which was coming from the opposite direction, which was reported to the control room and the passenger train was hauled back to platform 7 of Sealdah Station.
On 1 February 2014, Six coaches of Naihati-Sealdah local was derailed near Dum Dum Junction, this incident happened on the morning after the local left the station.
On 12 May 2015, 14 passengers were injured when an explosion took place inside a compartment of Sealdah - Krishnanagar local train early on the morning, The blast took place just after a person boarded the train at Titagarh station which is just 21 km away from Sealdah. Train services along the Sealdah Section were normal. However, two trains were cancelled as train movement was hit following the incident.
On 24 August 2015, Train Services was hit between Barasat and Bangaon line after a protest of a group of passengers obstructed movement of trains demanding that male passengers be allowed to travel in Matribhumi ladies special trains. this occurred when Eastern Railway has withdrawn the decision to allow male passengers to travel in Matribhumi Special local.
On 17 November 2015, A 40-year-old man, who boarded the Howrah-Bandel Matribhumi special local, fell off the train and died between the Uttarpara and Hind Motor stations. This incident occurred when the man boarded the train, thereafter some female commuters surrounded and abused him. He was eventually forced to get off the stations. When the man realized the station is coming, he ran to grab the handle but unfortunately, missed it and fell from the train.
On 19 July 2017, a train from Sonarpur Jn to Sealdah (South) Station, broke the buffer and hit the wall of platform number 13 in Sealdah (South) Station. This incident happened in the morning around 10:25 am.
On 4 September 2018, a portion of the Majerhat bridge (which carries the arterial Diamond Harbour Road) that elevates on the Majerhat Station collapsed, which trapped several people and crushed many vehicles. This incident took place at around 4.45 pm in the evening.
On 28 September 2018, one woman was killed while another woman sustained serious injuries after a slab of a foot-over-bridge (FOB) at Baruipur railway station in South 24 Parganas fell on them with a height of 30 feet, this incident has happened on the night. According to locals and daily passengers, the foot over-bridge was in a bad condition due to lack of maintenance.
On 23 October 2018, there was a stampede on a foot over-bridge at Santragachi railway station in West Bengal. Two people died and twelve others were injured, including two children and two women. This incident was occurred due to the arrival of two trains at the same time. People rushed to board the trains and that created a stampede-like situation on the bridge.
A New line is in construction between Amta and Bagnan with the length of 16 km under the jurisdiction of South Eastern Railway which is Sanctioned in 2010-11, Another New line is in progress between the Dakshinbari and Tarakeswar with joint Work of ER and SER.
On the Eastern Railway side, the Circular Railway part is going to double between the Princepghat and Majerhat which has a distance of 5 km. The New line is to be constructed between the Budge Budge and Uluberia with a length of 22 km which is direct connectivity of Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway.
On the southern part of Eastern Railways side, there is an expansion of line between Canning and Jharkhali with the length of 42 km, Second Expansion is at Kakdwip and Budhakhali with the length of 5 km and extends to the Sagar Island which it situates between the Delta of the River Hooghly there is only boat transport and expansion of this line is a boom for the people of Island with better connectivity, Third expansion is at Namkhana and Bakkhali with the length of 31 km, fourth expansion is Between Kulpi and Bahrarat with the length of 38 km.
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.
Indian Railways also announced that the AC local trains will start soon in the year 2019–20 on The Kolkata Suburban Railway which it becomes the image changer of the Suburban Rail Network.
Naihati railway station
A Howrah bound local train leaving Bandel railway station
Kharagpur railway station
- Budget Bypasses Kolkata Suburban network, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 2 February 2018
- Survey on Kolkata Suburban Railway, indiansss.org, 1 January 2013
- Multiple Units (EMU/DMU) and other self-propelled vehicles, irfca.org,28 November 2018
- History of EMU on Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway, 27 November 2018
- SER Completes 50th anniversary on successful operations of EMU services.
- Suburban Railway Maps, irfca.org, 5 June 2005
- TRS Organisation of Sealdah Division, Eastern Railways, 28 November 2018
- CAG report on Suburban Rail Performance,cag.gov.in, 30 November 2018
- Introduction of New Services, South Eastern Railways, 29 September 2015
- New trains Introduction, Eastern Railways, 29 September 2015
- Explanatory Note and Faretable, indianrailways.gov.in, 1 January 2013
- Report of Indian Railway, Indian Railways, 6 April 2017
- History of Electrification, core.indianrailways.gov.in, 29 November 2018
- New services from Eastern Railways, telegraphindia.com, 6 September 2009
- First Train to Barddhaman From Katwa Jn, youtube.com, 12 January 2018
- SER to launch Medha EMU rakes, railnews.in, 13 February 2018
- Mumbai like EMU Chugs out of Howrah Station, timesofindia.com, 16 April 2018
- Trains Came on the same line, indiatoday.in,12 December 2013
- EMU local details Suburban train services hit, timesofindia.com, 1 February 2014
- Blast in the Kolkata local train, 18 injured, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 13 May 2015
- Train Services hit in Bangaon Barasat section, ndtv.com, 24 August 2015
- Man pushed to death from women special train, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 18 November 2015
- Two rail officials suspended after local train mishap at Sealdah Station, indianexpress.com, 19 July 2017
- Majerhat Bridge Collapsed, One Dead, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 5 September 2018
- Railway FOB slab falls on the women, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 29 September 2018
- 2 dead, 17 injured in stampede at railway station in Bengal, timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 24 October 2018
- New Projects, South Eastern Railway, 29 November 2018
- Land reclaim for Sagar port soon, Times of India, 23 June 2011
- New Projects, Eastern Railway, 29 November 2018
- Not just in Mumbai, but AC local trains in Kolkata, Chennai, other cities, indianexpress.com, 23 December 2017
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