Bengal Central Railway

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Bengal Central Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Bangaon to Khulna
Gauge / mileage
Broad gauge 125 miles (1895)
1881 Formed as private company without guarantee
1882-1884 Opened to traffic
1904 Nationalised and merged into Eastern Bengal State Railway
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
Stations Bangaon, Jessore, Khulna
System agency
By 1895 Worked by Eastern Bengal State Railway
How to interpret this infobox

The Bengal Central Railway (BCR) was an un-guaranteed, privately owned, company formed in 1881 to build and operate a broad gauge(BG) railway from Bangaon via Jessore to Khulna

The 'Bengal Central Railway Company' was formed and launched in July 1881 and raised over £1 million initially … "The Company was found to be a pure financing vehicle when, a matter of months after listing, the operations of the line were subcontacted to the wealthy Eastern Bengal Railway Company(EBR) ... The price of EBR’s ... shares reacted positively to this arrangement ... in June 1882, after which EBR was purchased by the Government of India(GoI)... BCR management reverted to the GoI at that time.” [1]

Note : The EBR became the Eastern Bengal State Railway, owned and managed by the Government of India (GoI), on 30 June 1884.


The Company constructed two BG lines Ranaghat to Bangaon , 21 miles(33km), opened in October 1882 Dum Dum to Khulna via Bangoan , 108 miles(172km) opened in stages and completed in 1884.

In 1904/5, to ensure better management, the BCR merged into the Eastern Bengal State Railway (EBR) that had been formed in 1884 by the GoI and expanded in 1887 from the amalgamation of other lines working in the region. The former BCR lines became the basis of the Kulna Branch Railway of the EBR network. [2]


Refer to FIBIS Fact File #4: “Research sources for Indian Railways, 1845-1947” - available from the Fibis shop. This Fact File contains invaluable advice on 'Researching ancestors in the UK records of Indian Railways' with particular reference to the India Office Records (IOR) held at the British Library

An on-line search of the IOR records relating to this railway [3] gives 27 references. The most important being:-

  • L/AG/46/4 “Records of the Bengal Central Railway Company; 1856-1906”
  • L/AG/46/24 “Records of the India Office relating to the Bengal Central Railway Company; 1903-1916”

Personnel Records

List of Employees The following record is applicable

  • L/AG/46/4/11 "List of employees" (1886-1896)”. Research comment - not included in the index Z/L/AG/46.

Miscellaneous Records

Following merger with EBR in 1904/5 this railway became a State Railway; a search of the following may yield a result

  • L/F/8/1-20 "Appointments to State Railways made in the UK 1855-1946"
  • Z/L/F/8/1-2 Index to Appointments to State Railways made in the UK 1855-1946"

External Links

Further Information

See Eastern Bengal State Railway


  1. "Financing India's Imperial Railways, 1875–1914" by Stuart Sweeney; Retrieved 27 Dec 2015
  2. Railway Raj Safari 1a by Keith Scholey
  3. “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search "; Retrieved 20 Jan 2016
  4. Institution of Civil Engineers "Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland - Furnivall, Willoughby Charles"; Retrieved on 21 Jul 2016