Northeast Frontier Railway zone

Northeast Frontier Railway
The logo of Northeast Frontier Railway - Flickr - Dr. Santulan Mahanta.jpg
3-Northeast Frontier Railway
Northeast Frontier Railway Headquarter, Maligaon.jpg
N.F. Railway Headquarter, Maligaon
HeadquartersMaligaon, Guwahati
LocaleAssam, Nagaland, West Bengal, Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Bihar
Dates of operationJanuary 15, 1958; 65 years ago (1958-01-15)
PredecessorNorth Eastern Railway
Track gaugeBroad gauge
Narrow gauge
Previous gaugeMetre gauge
WebsiteNorth East Frontier Railway website

The Northeast Frontier Railway (abbreviated NFR) is one of the 19 railway zones of the Indian Railways. It is headquartered in Maligaon, Guwahati in the state of Assam, and responsible for operation and expansion of rail network all across Northeastern states and some districts of eastern Bihar and northern West Bengal.


Northeast Frontier Railway is divided into 5 divisions:

Each of these divisions is headed by a Divisional Railway Manager, a Senior Administrative Grade officer of the rank of Joint Secretary to Government of India. The departmental setup at headquarters level and divisional setup in the field assists the General Manager in running the railways. Various departments namely engineering, mechanical, electrical, signal & telecom, operations, commercial, safety, accounts, security, personal and medical are headed by a Senior Administrative Grade / Higher Administrative Grade officer, provide technical and operational support to the divisions in train operations. Another division is being to be set up in Silchar by bifurcating Lumding division.


Dibrugarh Railway Yard 1943

In 1881, the Assam Railway and Trading Company opened a metre gauge line 65 kilometres (40 mi) long from Dibrugarh to Makum. This company later started the first passenger train in Assam by the name of Dibru–Sadiya Railway. The North Eastern Railway was formed on 14 April 1952 by amalgamating two railway systems: the Assam Railway and Oudh and Tirhut Railway. Later, it was bifurcated into two railway zones on 15 January 1958, the North Eastern Railway and the Northeast Frontier Railway.[1] to better serve the needs of the northeastern states.

Operational area

Map of Northeast Frontier Railway zone railway lines

The area of Northeast Frontier Railway operations is characterized by exceptional beauty and at the same time by some of the most arduous terrain. This difficult terrain limits the rail network expansion, and the only state with a decent rail network is Assam. The network is not broad gauge in many parts and the rail lines are antiquated with speeds at some sections being limited to a maximum of 30 km/h (19 mph). Before the Saraighat Bridge was constructed, passengers had to get down on the Amingaon side of the Brahmaputra and take a ferry across to Pandu Junction from where they could resume their journey. The majority of the tracks have been converted to BG and electrification is in process starting from Katihar till Guwahati.

Major sections

A few of the major sections under the Northeast Frontier Railway zone are:

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Darjeeling to Ghoom heritage narrow-gauge train

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway is maintained and governed under the responsibility of Katihar division. It ascends 6,850 feet (2,090 m) from New Jalpaiguri; the climb begins at Sukna, continues uninterruptedly to Ghum (7,407 ft or 2,258 m) and descends the final 5 miles (8.0 km) to Darjeeling. After independence, India's partition resulted in the isolation of the Northeast region. Consequently, the DHR was merged into Assam Railways, it was closed for the construction of the Assam–Bengal link line and one of its extension lines to Kishanganj was converted to metre gauge. DHR's other extension line to Kalimpong was washed away due to floods. On reopening, the DHR was merged with North Eastern Railway in 1952 and later into Northeast Frontier Railway in 1958.

The DHR achieved worldwide fame for many reasons such as:

  • A gateway to the Himalayas
  • The tiny four-wheeled steam locomotives of the 19th century
  • The curves, loops, "Z"s and steep grades crisscrossing the road

An interest in DHR all along has ensured that it continues to operate notwithstanding very heavy losses. The steam locomotive is an icon of this Railway. Tindharia workshop has kept 13 locomotives surviving, some of which are over 100 years old and the youngest is about 70 years old.

Timeline of DHR:

  • 20 January 1948: Purchased by the Government of India
  • 26 January 1948: Transferred to Assam Rail Link
  • 26 January 1950: Transferred to Assam Railway
  • 14 January 1952: Transferred to North Eastern Railway
  • 15 January 1958: Transferred to Northeast Frontier Railway

Major Trains

Loco sheds

  • Diesel Loco Shed, Siliguri
  • Diesel & Electric Loco Shed, Malda Town
  • Diesel Loco Shed, New Guwahati
  • Diesel Loco Shed, Mariani

Sicklines & Pitlines

  • Dibrugarh Coaching Depot, Dibrugarh
  • Pitline, Dibrugarh
  • N.F.Railway Mechanical Workshop, Dibrugarh
  • Coach Maintenance Depot/Sickline, Guwahati
  • Pitline, Guwahati
  • Pitline, New Guwahati
  • New Bongaigaon Carriage & Wagon Workshop, New Bongaigaon
  • Coach Maintenance Depot, Kamakhya
  • Automatic Coach Washing Pitline, Kamakhya
  • Silchar Coaching Depot, Silchar
  • Pitline, Silchar
  • DEMU cum Sick Shed, Agartala
  • Pitline, Agartala
  • Routine Overhaul(ROH) Depot, New Tinsukia
  • Tinsukia Carriage Depot, Tinsukia

Major stations

These are the major railway station which have large numbers of passenger frequencies and stoppages of trains in the zone.

List of major railway stations in Northeast Frontier Railway Zone of Indian Railways
Sl. No. Name of station Station code Division
1 Guwahati GHY Lumding
2 Dibrugarh DBRG Tinsukia
4 Rangiya Junction RNY Rangiya
5 Kamakhya Junction KYQ Lumding
7 Lumding Junction LMG Lumding
9 Mariani Junction MXN Tinsukia
10 Badarpur Junction BPB Lumding
11 Silchar SCL Lumding
12 Dimapur DMV Lumding
13 New Tinsukia Junction NTSK Tinsukia
14 Rangapara North Junction RPAN Rangiya
15 New Bongaigaon Junction NBQ Rangiya
16 New Alipurduar NOQ Alipurduar
17 New Cooch Behar Junction NCB Alipurduar
18 Alipurduar Junction APDJ Aipurduar
19 New Jalpaiguri Junction NJP Katihar
20 Katihar Junction KIR Katihar
21 Agartala AGTL Lumding
22 Siliguri Junction SGUJ Katihar

See also

Further reading

  • Dutta, Arup Kumar (2002). Indian Railways, the final frontier: genesis and growth of the North-East Frontier Railway. Guwahati: Northeast Frontier Railway. LCCN 2003308231.


  1. ^ Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways, New Delhi: National Book Trust, pp.42-4

External links

  • Northeast Frontier Railway
  • Indian Railways Online (official site)
  • Indian Railways Fan Club
  • IR. Online Tickets
  • N F Railway (construction)
  • Northeast Frontier Railway Recruitment

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