Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway

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Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway
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Line of route
Barasat to Basirhat
Gauge / mileage
2' 6" NG 26 miles (1905)
52 miles (1914)
1914 Line fully opened to traffic
1952 Nationalised
1955 Closed
1962 Part converted to broad gauge and re-opened to traffic
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
Stations Barasat, Kadamgacha, Diganga, Bishnupur, Basirhat
System agency
Worked by Martin's Light Railways
1952 Eastern Railway (IR zone)
How to interpret this infobox
Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway

The Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway (BBLR) was a short 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) railway which ran from Barasat, a station on where there was an interchange with the Eastern Bengal Railway (Central Section), east for 26 miles(42km) to Basirhat. The line opened in 1905 and extended to Chingrighata in 1909. The ‘Shambasar Branch’ opened in 1910 reaching Belgatchia in 1914, giving a total length of 52 miles(83km) [1]

Rail System

  • Barasat-Basirhat Main Line, 26 miles(42km). Agreements 1897, 1902 and 1903, opened 1905.
  • Basirhat-Taki-Hosanabad Extension (Chingrighata), 8.50 miles (14km). Agreement 1907, opened 1909
  • Beliaghata Bridge to Patipkur (Pattipooker) Extension, 16.62 miles(27km). Agreement 1908, opened 1910
  • Patipukur (Pattipooker) to Belgachia Extension, 1.12 miles(1.8km). Agreements 1914, opened 1914. This also known as the Shambasar (Shyambazar) Branch


The ‘Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway Company’ was one of several small narrow gauge concerns owned and worked by Martin's Light Railways, a management company based in Calcutta. The principal Agreement dated 14 Dec 1897 between the District Board of the 24-Paragas and Messrs Martin & Company on behalf of the ‘Baraset-Basirhat Tramway Company Limited’, and gave concession for construction and operation of a tramway on a public road. It was in 1907 that a new company the ‘Barasat-Basirhat Light Railway Company Limited’ was formed [1]

A further Agreement dated 15 Aug 1914 [2] gives sanction to the construction of a extension of the existing Baraset-Basirhat Light Railway, from the existing station of that line at Pattipooker to the tramway terminus at Belgatchia. The following clauses are of note:-

  • 7.The tramway authorised by this order is a single line with passing places . . . running along the south side of the 5th and 6th miles of the Calcutta-Jessore Road to the tramway terminus at Belgatchia a distance of 5,450 feet (1.032 miles or 1.661 Km).
  • 8. The Tramway is to run on 9ft width but a road width of 20 feet must be maintained and at no time is there to be more than one line of rails on metalled roads.
  • 11. The gauge of the tramway is to be 2ft 6 inches
  • 19. The vehicles used may be steam powered, and an outside cylinder type of locomotive used.
  • 20. The speed shall not exceed 12 miles an hour on fenced sections and 10 miles an hour on unfenced. Locomotives must be fitted with Cowcatchers.
  • 37. No train shall run between sunset and sunrise without consent of the Local Government approved in writing.

The 1937 Report ‘Statistics of Working’ show the year-by-year financial results from 1913-14 through to 1936-37. The Report also confirms that ‘Martin & Company’ were the Managing Agents [3].

The records show that at some point, date unknown, but must be after 1937, the ownership of this railway changed to N I Roy and Sons Ltd [4]

The line was taken over by Indian Railways in 1952 but closed in 1955. In 1962, part of the old track was converted to broad gauge and re-opened to traffic [5]

Locomotives and Rolling Stock

The 2ft 6in/762mm NG) Locomotives are listed by Hughes with a total of nine of different types and specifications dating from 1904 through to 1925. Five are named as ‘Baraset’, ‘Basirhat’, ‘Alipore’, ‘Beliaghatta’ and ‘ Taki’. Also a Railcar dated 1938[6]

Further Information

See Martin's Light Railways


  1. 1.0 1.1 " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 212; Retrieved 23 Aug 2017
  2. British Library India Office Records L/F/8/17/1371 “Messrs. Martin and Co. on behalf of the Baraset-Basirhat Light Railway Company Limited, Application for construction of an extension to the Baraset-Basirhat Light Railway; 1914”
  3. US Archive .org pdf download of ‘History Of Indian Railways, constructed and in progress’, 31 March 1937 by ‘The Government of India - Railway Department’ page 263 pdf 305; Retrieved 26 Jul 2020
  4. 'Light Railways in West Bengal' by Sidikuro,'The Economic Weekly' 30 May 1953, Table IV page 622
  5. Wikipedia “Baraset-Basirhat Light Railway” ; Retrieved 23 Aug 2017
  6. “Indian Narrow Gauge Locomotives 1863-1940” by Hugh Hughes, published by ‘The Continental Railway Circle’ Section 26 Martin’s Light Railways, (D) Baraset-Basirhat Light Railway, page 50