Bengal Dooars Railway

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Bengal Dooars Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Lalmanir Hat towards Bhutan
Gauge / mileage
Metre gauge 153 miles (1905)
158 miles (1922)
Timeline
1891 Company formed
1941 Merged into Eastern Bengal Railway
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
Stations Lalmanir Hat
System agency
Company owned and worked
How to interpret this infobox
Bengal Dooars Railway Map 1909

The Bengal-Dooars Railway (BDR) was a company owned and operated collection of small metre gauge(MG) lines that ran from its junction with the Eastern Bengal Railway north west towards the Bhutan border. [1]

Confusingly, the later lines are listed separately as the Bengal Dooars Extensions Railway in railway statistics, although they form an integral part of its system; these being State funded extensions and passed to BDR on completion [2]

History

The Company was formed in the UK in 1891 and the main contract signed in the same year. The longest line ran from Lalmanir Hat in Rangpur District north west through Cooch Behar and Jalpaiguri Districts to the Western Dooars on the borders of Bhutan. The line's headquarters were at Domohani.

The undertaking was amalgamated with the Eastern Bengal State Railway in January 1941.

Branch Lines

  • Kurigram Branch Railway (Narrow gauge: 15 miles); Tista Junction to Kurigram - opened 6 February 1882. This line is a remnant of the Kaunia Dharle Railway, the most part of which was converted to metre gauge and incorporated in the main Assam line.
  • Dam Dim-Bagrakote Extension Railway; an extension to BDR opened 1891-92
  • Ramsai Branch Railway (Metre gauge: 6 miles); Lataguri Junction to Ramsai (6 miles) - opened 11 June 1893; this served a remote tea garden at Ramsai (362 miles).
  • Lalmonirhat-Gitaldaha(Geetaldaha) Railway; link between BDR and Cooch Behar Railway; opened c.1900
  • Madari Hat Branch Railway (Metre gauge: 44 miles); Mal Junction to Chalsa (5 miles)- opened 1 April 1901; Chalsa to Chengmari (14 miles) - opened 1 January 1903; Chengmari to Dalgaon (16 miles) - opened 23 March 1903; Dalgaon to Madari Hat (9 miles) -opened 14 June 1903.
  • Metelli Branch Railway (Metre gauge: 5 miles); Chalsa Junction to Metelli (5 miles) - opened 10 June 1918.

Associate Lines

Records

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 18 references. The most important being:-

  • L/AG/46/25 “Records of the India Office relating to the Bengal Dooars Railway Company; 1895-1927”
  • L/F/7/285-289 “Collection 29: Bengal Dooars Railway; 1926-1945”

Personnel

Staff records have not been found.

The 1905 Civil List gives one record

References

  1. " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 165; Retrieved 17 Dec 2015
  2. " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 167; Retrieved 17 Dec 2015
  3. “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search"; Retrieved 20 Jan 2016
  4. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 569 (pdf page 532) Retrieved on 27 May 2016