Cherra-Companyganj Railway

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Cherra-Companyganj Railway

Alternative name for Cherrapunjee Mountain Railway

The Cherra-Companyganj State Railways was a 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) mountain railway that operated between Tharia, a mining town in Meghalaya and Companyganj, now in Sylhet District of Bangladesh, for a distance of 7.5 miles(12.1 km). [1] [2] [3]

The line, which was owned and worked by the Provincial Government of Assam, brought limestone and coal from the mines in the Khasia Hills south to navigable water at Companyganj. Initially the line was worked in conjunction with ropeways but after 1891 packhorses brought the goods down the steep incline up to the hills.

The ambitious railway project was conceptualised by a British engineer in India, H. Kench, after need arose to connect Shillong, the then capital of the British India Province, to Calcutta by rail since carts had difficulty in negotiating mule tracks and roads on the steep slope of the Khasi Hills.

The Railway continued to run between Tharia and Companyganj till the Assam earthquake of 1897 in which the tracks were completely destroyed. The tracks were not repaired after that and the railway finally closed in 1900

Four tank engines of the 0-4-2T arrangement were in use were subsequently transferred to the Jorhat line.

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