Calcutta and South Eastern Railway

From FIBIwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Calcutta and South Eastern Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Calcutta to Port Canning (Matla)
Gauge / mileage
Broad gauge 29 miles (1859)
1859 Formed as Guaranteed company
1868 Transferred to State ownership
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
Stations Sealdah, Ballygunge, Dhakuria, Jadabpur, Gariya, Bansra,
System agency
1868 State agency
1884 Eastern Bengal Railway
How to interpret this infobox

The Calcutta and South Eastern Railway (CSER) was formed in 1859 for "the construction and working of a line from Calcutta to the Port of the Mutlah* - length, about 29 miles(45 km). Capital 250,000l. Rate of Interest Guaranteed - 5 per cent" [1]. *Note this refers to a Port on the Matla River - later known as Port Canning

The line from Calcutta to Port Canning, constructed in 1862 by the 'Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway', was the first railway track on the east bank of the Hooghly. It ran from what was then Beliaghata station (presently Sealdah South station) to Port Canning on the Matla River [2]

The Diamond Harbour Line Railway link was constructed by the 'Calcutta and South-Eastern Railway' in 1883.


In 1868, having suffered extensive losses on their Sealdah-Canning line because of floods and other problems, the directors of the CSER exercised their right to surrender the line to the Government of India in return for the capital costs. The CSER thus became the first railway in state ownership.

In 1868 the company sold the line to the Indian government (management then being leased to the Eastern Bengal Railway), and the company was dissolved in March 1870. [3]

The “1870-71 Annual Report for Indian Railways for the Calcutta and South Eastern Railway “ gives:- ‘Broad Gauge (BG) Line sanctioned and opened , nil opened 1870/71 and nil to be finished’. The Report also details the ‘progress of the railway and the commercial summery’ - see separate pages for Report details.


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 [4] gives 35 references. The most important being:-

  • L/AG/46/8 “Records of the Calcutta and South Eastern Railway Company; 1856-1875”
  • L/AG/46/4/13 “Records of the Bengal Central Railway Company, some earlier records relating to appointments made in the UK to the Calcutta and South Eastern Railway; 1856-1866“; this being partially indexed in:-
  • Z/L/AG/46 “Index to UK Appointments to Indian Railways; 1849-1925”


Thacker's Directories The following for Calcutta and South Eastern Railway Personnel have been indexed in Grace's Guide -

‘Grace’s Guide 1861’ [5].

  • Directors London Office, 25 Old Broad Street
    • John Borradaile - Chairman
    • John Clark Marshman
    • Charles Barber
    • James Mitchell
    • Henry H. Thomas
    • John Alfred Burkinyoung
    • C.G.Fagan Lieut.Col - Secretary
  • Calcutta No 3 Fairlie Place
    • Frederick Schiller - Agent
    • H. H. Ashworth - Accountant
  • Calcutta No 2 Sealdah
    • James Longridge - Consulting Engineer, temporarily in charge of the Works
    • P. W. Wall - Resident Engineer Calcutta
    • Henry Bolden - Resident Engineer Sonapore
    • Edward Garrett - Assistant Engineer
    • William Shepperd - Surveyor
    • St. Leger Hasted - Inspector Sonopore and Mutlah
    • William Mabert - Inspector Sonopore and Mutlah
    • H. Mabert - Inspector Sonopore and Mutlah
    • William Morrison -Accountant
    • R M K Roberts – Asst. Accountant
    • George Skakle - Storekeeper
    • Beauchamp - Storekeeper’s Clerk
  • ‘Grace’s Guide 1872’ [6].
    • W. K. Walker - Traffic Superintendent
    • R.P. Langley - Inspector of Way
    • W. H. Hollis - Engine Foreman
    • G Grosser - Engine Driver
    • J. Cation - Engine Driver
    • Blake, Eviet and Mookerjee – Conductors

Further Information

See Eastern Bengal Railway - Lines owned and worked