Martin's Light Railways

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Martin's Light Railways
Martins Light Railways Logo.png
Martins Light Railways Logo
System timeline
1898 First lines opened
1986 Last line nationalised
Constituent companies / lines
1914 Arrah-Sasaram Light Railway
1914 Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway
1903 Bukhtiarpur-Bihar Light Railway
1922 Futwah-Islampur Light Railway
1897 Howrah-Amta Light Railway
1897 Howrah-Sheakhalla Light Railway
1907 Shahdara-Saharanpur Light Railway
Key locations
Headquarters Calcutta
Major Stations
Successor system / organisation
Some lines taken over by Indian Railways
System mileage
2' 6" NG 270 miles (1943)
2' 0" NG 62 miles (1943)
Associated auxiliary force
How to interpret this infobox

Martin’s Light Railways (MLR) was part of Martin & Company of Calcutta responsible for the railway operations.

MLR operated several disparate Narrow Gauge(NG) light railways in the Gangetic plain, from Calcutta in the east to Delhi in the west [1].

The lines continued to operate independently long after Independence in 1947, the last being nationalised as late as 1986. At least two lines and parts of a third have been converted to broad gauge and are now part of Indian Railways.

Lines owned and worked by MLR

See separate pages for more information

Two lines had a common terminus at Telkut Ghat, Hooghly opposite Calcutta, both using the 2ft/610mm narrow gauge(NG).

Three other lines in Bihar were feeders for the East Indian Railway(EIR) using the 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG)

A further line running northwards from the outskirts of Delhi using the 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG)

Lines worked by MLR at some time

  • Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway. Private Company formed 1903, first part opened 1905, worked by Martin's Light Railways. Independent until nationalised 1955
  • Ranaghat-Krishnagar Light Railway. Privately owned line, constructed and initially worked by MLR, opened in 1899. In 1904 the line was taken over by the state and became part of the NG network of Eastern Bengal Railway(EBR)
  • Nepal Government Railway. MLR conducted a survey to construct a light railway from Raxaul in India on the border north to Amlekhganj in Nepal, about 37 miles(60km) south of Kathmandu). they then constructed and for a time operated on behalf of the Nepal Government a 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) line from Raxaul to Amlekhganj, opened by the King of Nepal in 1927

Lines constructed by MLR

Railways absorbed into MLR

Further Information

See individual pages detailed above
See also Martin & Company


  1. Wikipedia "Martin's Light Railways"; Retrieved 10 Apr 2016