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Martin's Light Railways

Martin's Light Railways
Industry Railways
Founded ?
Defunct ?
Headquarters India
Area served
British India
Services Rail transport

Martin's Light Railways was a private company operating railways in India. The routes on which trains were run by Martin's Light Railways (or by Martin & Co.) are as shown below:[1]

  1. Howrah Maidan-Amta and Shiakhala lines, 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge, closed on 1 January 1971
  2. Bukhtiarpur Bihar Light Railway, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge, taken over by the local district board in 1950, taken over by Indian Railways (IR) and replaced by 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) in 1962.
  3. Barasat Basirhat Railway, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge, closed 1955, partly replaced by 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) in 1962 by Indian Railways.
  4. Fulwah-Islampur Light Railway in Bihar, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge, closed 1987
  5. Arrah-Sasaram Light Railway in Bihar, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) gauge, closed 1978
  6. Delhi Shahdra to Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh
File:Martins Light Railway Bridge over River Kaushiki - Kana-Damodar - Jagatballavpur - Howrah 2014-09-28 8261.JPG
The Martin's light railway bridge over river Kaushiki or Kana-Damodar at Jagatballavpur, Howrah. Sep. 2014

Howrah Maidan-Amta and Shiakhala lines

The 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge light railways had their origin in an agreement, dated 12 June 1889 between the District Board of Howrah and Messrs. Walsh, Lovett & Co., which was subsequently renewed with Messrs. Martin & Co., and sanctioned by Government notification in the Calcutta Gazette of 27 March 1895.[2] The Howrah-Amta line was opened up to Domjur in 1897, and to Amta in 1898. An extension from Bargachhia (Bargechhe) junction to Antpur was opened in 1904, and a further extension to Champadanga in 1908. This extension, however, lies almost exclusively in Hooghly district. Both the Howrah- Amta and Howrah-Shiakhala lines start from Telkalghat on the Hooghly river, and skirting the Court maidan pass through the crowded Panchanantala road to Kadamtala station. Here they separate, the Howrah-Sliiakhala line running north-west along the Benares road to the border of the district, and thence to Shiakhala in Hooghly district. The Howrah-Amta line runs west, chiefly along the side of the Jagatballabhpur road, and then goes south-west to Amta.[2]

The new Howrah-Amta broad gauge line project, including the Bargachia-Champadanga branch line, was sanctioned in 1974-75. The first 24-km stretch of the section from Howrah to Bargachia was completed in 1984 by South Eastern Railway along with electrification, and commissioned soon after. The 6 km long Bargachhia-Munsirhat stretch was inaugurated in 2000.[3] The Mahendralal Nagar-Amta section was opened in 2005.[4] However, the Bargachhia-Champadanga branch line is yet to be completed. According to the reply to a parliamentary question in 2006, land to be provided free of cost by the State Government as per Memorandum of Understanding, was still to be handed over.[5]

Stations of Howrah - Shiakhala Line

File:Waiting Room - Chamrail Station - Martin's Light Railways - Chamrail Athletic Club - Benaras Road - Chamrail - Howrah 2013-09-08 2350.JPG
The Waiting Room of Chamrail station, now that turned to the Chamrail Athletic Club, Howrah. Sep. 2013.

There was another branch line : Chanditala - Janai

Bargachia-Champadanga branch line

It is a branch line of Howrah - Amta Line , Which is now closed . The stations are

Bukhtiarpur Bihar Light Railway

Bukhtiarpur-Bihar line (or Bakhtiarpur-Bihar line) was a narrow gauge railway line running between Bakhtiarpur and Rajgir.[6] Bukhtiarpur-Bihar line of Martin's Light Railways was taken over by the local district board in 1950. This line was later taken over by Indian Railways in 1961 and replaced by 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) (Indian gauge) line in 1962.[7]

Arrah-Sasaram line

The Arrah-Sasaram line was opened as a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge section of Martin’s Light Railways in 1914 and was closed in 1978.[8][9] A new 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) line was laid by Indian Railways from Sasaram to Arrah in 2006-07.[10]

Shahdara Saharanpur Light Railway

The 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) wide narrow gauge Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway, was opened to traffic in 1907.[11] After the closure of the light railway in 1970 there was a lot of debate about the future course of action. The proposal for revival as a broad gauge line was strongly backed by Charan Singh, Prime Minister of India in 1979, whose constituency Baghpat was on this line. It was later reopened in the late 1970s after conversion to broad gauge by Northern Railway.[12][13][14]

See also


  1. ^ "[IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Non-IR Railways". IRFCA. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  2. ^ a b "Howrah District (1909)". IRFCA. Retrieved 2009-01-19. 
  3. ^ "Howrah-Amta BG line section inaugurated". The Hindu Business Line, 24 July 2000. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  4. ^ "Lalu remote-launches 2 S-E Rly projects". The Hindu Business Line, 1 January 2005. Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  5. ^ "RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO 2689 TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.12.2006". Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  6. ^ [IRFCA] Indian Railways FAQ: Non-IR Railways
  7. ^ consultant
  8. ^ R.P.Saxena. "Indian Railway History timeline". Retrieved 2011-11-20. 
  9. ^ "Non-IR Railways in India". IRFCA. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  10. ^ "Speech of Shri Lalu Prasad Introducing the Railway Budget 2006-07 On 24th February 2006". New lines. Press Information Bureau. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  11. ^ "Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway". fibis. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "IR History Part V (1970-1995)". IRFCA. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Speech of Shri Lalit Narayan Mishra introducing the Railway Budget for 1973-74, on 20th February 1973" (PDF). Light Railways. Indian Railways. Retrieved 8 March 2014. 
  14. ^ R. Sivaramakrishnan. "Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway". IRFCA. Retrieved 2 March 2014.