Grand Chord EIR Line

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Grand Chord EIR Line , known in some references as the Moghalsarai-Gaya Line

The line ran from Dhanbad to Moghal Sarai(Mogalsarai) via Gomoh, Koderma and Gaya. The East Indian Railway (EIR) broad gauge(BG) line of 281 miles(450 km) and inaugerated on 6 Dec 1906 [1].

The first section from Sitarampur to Barakar opened 1865; Barakar to Dhanbaid 1894; Gaya to Moghal Sarai opened 1900, which included the 'Upper Sone Bridge, Dehri'. The middle section from Dhanbaid via Paharpur to Manpur opened 1906. Total 278 miles(447km)[2].



The ‘First Chord EIR Line’ that had been completed in 1871 connecting Raniganj with Luckeesarai was not providing sufficient capacity.

By the mid 1880's the traffic on the East Indian Railway mainline had continued to grow and it became necessary to find another shorter route [1]

The route of what would become the ‘’Grand Chord Line had first been surveyed in 1850, with the idea of constructing the original main line by that route, it being the more direct way to the North-West ; but the Government of the day preferred, and no doubt wisely preferred, the somewhat more circuitous Loop Line route, which tapped the great cities and trade centres along the banks of the River Ganges [3].


  • A fresh survey was undertaken in 1888-89 to find a direct route and after two more surveys to cut costs, a route was determined from Dhanbad to Moghulsarai via Gomoh, Koderma and Gaya.
  • The Government finally authorised the project in 1895 and construction commenced.. The major works on the line were the Upper Sone Bridge, Dehri, tunneling and ghat line construction [4].
  • Alexander Meadows Rendel was the EIR Consulting Engineer [5] and was responsible for the construction of the Upper Sone Bridge which was completed in 1900 [6].
  • Frederick Palmer was the EIR District Engineer on surveys and construction. He was responsible for the construction of the line, which was commenced in 1896 and completed in 1900, and included the Upper Sone Bridge of ninety-six 100-ft. spans-the longest bridge in India [7].
  • The 'Grand Chord' was opened by Viceroy Lord Minto on 6th December 1906. It was 281 miles(450km) in length and reduced the distance from Calcutta to North India and Bombay by 50 miles (80km).

Further Information


  1. 1.0 1.1 “Symphony of Progress - The Saga of the Eastern Railway 1854-2003”; published by Eastern Railway, 2003; pages 18-19
  2. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 54 (pdf63); Retrieved 1 Dec 2020
  3. "History of the East Indian Railway ..." by George Huddlestone, page 141-144, pdf page 196-199; Retrieved 12 Jun 2016
  4. Grace's Guide " The Grand Cord"; Retrieved 12 Jun 2016
  5. Grace's Guide "Alexander Meadows Rendel"; Retrieved 12 Jun 2016
  6. Grace's Guide "Upper Soane Bridge"; Retrieved 12 Jun 2016
  7. Graces Guide "Frederick Palmer"; Retrieved 12 Jun 2016