Bokaro Ramgarh Coalfields Railways

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Bokaro Ramgarh Coalfields Railways


The Bengal-Nagpur Railway(BNR) entered the Jhariah coalfield (see separate page) in 1904 and it was recorded that “the subsequent extension of various loops and small branches, besides innumerable small sidings from both Railway systems and the East Indian Railway ‘EIR Grand Chord’ from Dhanbad to Gomoh which opened in 1907, enabled full development of every part of the coalfield, including the extension to the west towards the Bokaro Ramgarh Coalfields [1].

The ‘East Bokaro Coalfield’, covering an area of 208 sq km, was developed first to supply the railways. The main source of coal, even to the present time, is the 21-23m thick Kargali seam. The Bokaro colliery was opened in 1917. [2] .
The ‘West Bokaro Coalfield’ and the ‘Ramgarh Coalfield’ were developed later.

In 1917, L.S.S.O’Malley described the coalfields in the upper reaches of the Damodar River as follows: "Near the western boundary of Jharia field is that of Bokaro, covering 220 sq.miles(}, with an estimated content of 1,500 million tons; close by… is the Ramgarh Field, 40 sq.miles, in which, however, coal is believed to be of inferior quality. A still larger field in the same district is that called Karanpura, which extends over 544 sq.miles(}a nd has an estimated capacity of 9,000 million tons."[3] [4] .

The Coalfields

The ‘Bokaro Coalfield’ is 40 miles(65km) from east to west and 6½ to 10 miles(10 to 16km) from north to south. ‘Bokaro West’ and ‘Bokaro East’ are two subdivisions of the field separated almost in the middle by Lugu Hill, height 3150 feet(960mtr) [5]

The ‘Ramgarh Coalfield’ covers an area of 38 sq.miles( and has total coal reserves of 1,059.20 million tonnes.[6] [7] .


The following railways are relevant to the ‘Bokaro Ramgarh Coalfields’

  • Mahuda Junction-Chandrapura-Bermo Branch Line, 22 miles (35km) , from Mahuda Junction to Jamuniatand, via Chandrapura reached Bermo Colliery in 1913. The line was jointly worked by EIR and BNR and described as part of the “Bokaro Ramgarh Extension Line” in the 1918 Administration Report [8]. Note: Bokaro is 4 miles west of Bermo and Ramgarh is a further 24 miles west, the title of the line refers to what came later in 1927 westward extension - see ‘ Bokaro Ramgarh Coalfields Extension Line’ below
  • Bokharo Colliery Railway was connected to the East Indian Railway(EIR) network in 1916 with the construction of the ‘Jamuniatand Link Line EIR’; this was a ‘EIR/BNR joint line’ with a length of 2 miles(3.2km) from the EIR line at Khanoodih to meet the ‘Bokharo Colliery Railway’ Railway[9] .
  • Bokaro Ramgarh Extension Line This was the description used in the 1916 Administration Report for Railways and became the 1927 westward extension of the BNR line to Barkakana as follows:-
  • Helsa-Barkakana Railway (see separate page) , later described as Chandil-Barkakana BNR Section, 72 miles(116km), opened 1927 [4], connecting the EIR mainline and BNR network providing an alternative outlet to the south for coal from ‘West Bokharo’ and the ‘South Karanpura Coalfields’(see separate page) .
  • Central India Coalfields Railway (see separate page) also opened in 1927 the ‘Gomoh-Barkakana Railway’. It was extended to Daltonganj in 1929. Later, these lines were amalgamated with East Indian Railway [10] [4] .

Further Information

See page Jharia Coalfield Railways
and page Karanpura Coalfields Railways
and page East Indian Railway - Lines owned and worked
and page Bengal-Nagpur Railway - Lines Owned and Worked


  1. “Bengal District Gazetteer - Manbhum” by H.Coupland, 1911, Chapter IX ‘Coalfields in Manbhum’, pages 174-5; Retrieved 11 May 2019
  2. Google Books “Natural Resources in Tropical Countries” by Jin-Bee Ooi, page 145; Retrieved 11 May 20196
  3. ‘Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, Sikkim’ by L.S.S. O’Malley, p.87, Cambridge University Press, 1917 (paper back 2011) {{ISBN|978-1-107-60064-5
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Wikipedia ‘West Bokaro Coalfield’; Retrieved 11 May 2019
  5. “A Reflectance Study of Certain Coals from the Bokaro Coalfield, Bihar” by S.M.Casshyap, publisher = University of Aligarh; Retrieved 11 May 2019
  6. “Critical Evaluation of Geo-Environmental Scenario of Damodar River Basin, India” by Prasoon Kumar Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Brajendra Kumar Tiwary
  7. Wikipedia ‘Ramgarh Coalfield’; Retrieved 11 May 20196
  8. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 2 (pdf11) ; Retrieved 22 Apr 2019
  9. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 55 (pdf64); Retrieved 11 May 2019
  10. “Indian Railway History Timeline”; Retrieved 11 May 2019