Jessore-Jhenidah Railway

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McLeod’s Light Railways

The Jessore-Jhenidah Railway (JJR) was a 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) line that opened in 1913 linking Jessore to Jhenidah, a line length of 29 miles( 46km)[1].

Marked 5 on Map.

The Kotchandpur Branch Railway from Kaliganj (now known as Shibnagore) to Kotchandpur opened at the same time and gave a total line length of 36 miles (57km) [1]

Marked 6 on Map.

The railway was owned and worked by the ‘Jessore Jhenidah Railway Company’, a private company first registered in 1911, supported by the District Board of Jessore, which was founded in 1913 [2].

Maintenance under the original management was poor and In 1914 an inspector reported that “the general appearance of the track was like that of the waves of a troubled sea”. Again in 1915 “There was no person present vested with responsibility for the management of the line, nor was the staff able to name any person, present or absent, as their Manager”. [3] [4].

In August 1915 the management taken over by McLeod & Company through to 1924. During this period the railway was operated as part of the McLeod's Light Railways [3].

The ‘Jessore Jhenidah Railway Company’ went into liquidation, and all interests and rights and privileges including all assets were transferred to the ‘Jhenidah Railway Syndicate Ltd’ on 24 September 1924. The Secretary of State for India confirmed that the new company was granted all such rights and concessions and have free use of the public road between Jessore and Jhenidah and Kalinganji and Kotchandupr, not exceeding a width of eight feet on either side for the purpose of laying and working and using said railway [5].


Indian Railway Classification of 1926 - Class III railway system.

Later Development

The “Statistics of Working” show the year-by-year financial results from 1913-14 through to 1931-32 and states that ‘the line was closed from 1 April 1933’ and ‘to all kinds of traffic from 1 May 1936.’ It also records ten years of losses, bare breakeven for the other years and thhe suspension of the subsidy by the District Board from 1921 onwards [6].

The ‘Jessore-Jhenidah Railway ‘was dismantled in 1969[4]

Further Information

See separate page McLeod’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 230; Retrieved 28 Feb 2016
  2. British Library India Office Records L/F/8/17/1334 “Jessore Jhenidah Railway Company Limited, Indenture; 1913”
  3. 3.0 3.1 “Indian Locomotives Part 3 – Narrow Gauge 1863-1940” by Hugh Hughes No. 28 McLeods Light Railways - page 56-59
  4. 4.0 4.1 Wikipedia "Jessore-Jhenidah Light Railway"; Retrieved 28 Feb 2016
  5. British Library India Office Records L/F/8/20/1761 “Jhenidah Railway Syndicate Limited, Contract for the management, maintenance and working of the Jessore-Jhenidah Railway; 1930”
  6. 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 287 pdf 330; Retrieved 1 Aug 2020