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
Bengal Dooars Railway Map 1931

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]

The lines were constructed for the opening of the Western Dooars and for the development of the tea industry [2].

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 [3].

Contents

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.

Bengal Doors Railway Lines

The following mainly based on the 1937 ‘Report on Railways’[2] and 1918 ‘Administrration Report’ [4]:-

  • ‘Main Line’ total line length in 1893 31.0 miles(50km); after 1931 28.4 miles(46km)
    • ‘East Bank of the Teesta (Barnes Ghat) to Domohani Section’, about 4.3 miles(7km), opened 1893, abandoned 1931
    • ‘Domohani to Dam Dim Section’, 26.7 miles(43km), opened 1893
    • ‘Mile 66 to Domohani Section’, 2.7 miles(4km), opened 1931
  • ‘Branch Lines’ total line length 1893 5.6 miles(9km), after 1933 11.1 miles(18km)
    • ‘Lataguri Junction to Ramshai Section’, 5.6 miles(9km), opened 1893. First described as the ‘Ramsai Branch Railway’ serving the remote tea garden at Ramsai
    • ‘Domohani to Barnes Ghat Section’, 5.5 miles(9km), opened 1933

Bengal Doors Extensions Railway Lines

The following mainly based on the 1937 ‘Report on Railways’[2] and 1918 ‘Administrration Report’ [4]

  • ‘Eastern Extension’ total line length 48.8 miles(78km)
    • ‘Mal Junction to Chalsa Junction Section’, 5.1 miles(8km), opened 1901
    • ‘Chalsa Junction to Madarihat Section’ via Chengmari and Dalgaon, 38.5 miles(62km), opened 1903 . First described as the ‘ Madari Hat Branch Railway
    • ‘Chalsa Junction to Metelli Section’, 5.2 miles(8km), opened 1918. First described as the ‘Metelli Branch Railway
  • ‘Southern Extension’ total line length in 1900 65.8 miles(105km) ; 66.1 miles(106km)
    • ‘Barnes Junction to Mile 61½ Section’, about 4.2 miles(6km), opened 1900, abandoned 1931
    • ‘Mile 06 to Mile 61½ Section’, 4.5 miles(7km), opened 1931
    • ‘Mile 61½ to Lalmanirhat Section’ via Baura and Bhotemari, 61.2 miles(98km) , opened 1900
  • ‘Western Section’ total line length 5.7 miles(10km). First described as the ‘Dam Dim-Bagrakote Extension Railway
    • ‘Dam Dim to Oodlabari Section’, 2.8 miles(4km), opened 1901
    • ‘Oodlabari to Bagrakote Section’, 3.9 miles(6km), opened 1902

The ‘Statistics of Working’ show the year-by-year financial results
For ‘Bengal Dooars Railway’ from 1893 through to 1936-37 with the route mileage rising from 36½ miles(km) to 39½ miles(km) by 1933 [2]
For ‘Bengal Dooars Extension’ from 1900 through to 1936-37 with the route mileage rising from 121 miles(km) to 121 miles(km) by 1918-19 [2]

Classification

Indian Railway Classification of 1926 - Class II railway system.

Connecting and Associated 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 [5] 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