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North East Frontier Railway

Travelling Through Beautiful Picturesque Landscapes Through The North East Frontier Railway

North East Frontier Railway or also known as NF railway is among the 16 zones into which the Indian Railway has been divided. Since the beginning of the history of Indian Railway, there had been an urgent need for the constructing of the network of railways in the North Eastern part of India. Even though it is not as big as other railway zones in the country, yet it is having the significance of being the track with picturesque locations and hilly terrains.


The North East Frontier Railway has a history of about 70 years of so with its beginning in 1952.

  • This railway network was formed by merging two important railway divisions of Assam Railway and Oudh and Tirhut Railway.

Then later in 1958, this zone was further divided into North Eastern Railway and this particular Railway zone, which was based at Maligaon, so that the North Eastern states could be served better.

  • The major part of this track has been formed from the Assam Railway, along with Eastern Bengal Railway and Assam Bengal Railway of the olden days, which was known as Bengal Assam Railway. Many company owned railways in this zone were also included under the Bengal railway, thereby giving the infrastructure of the entire North East frontier railway.
  • In 1948, the Darjeeling Himalayan railway was incorporated into the Assam Railways.

The Assam Rail Link project was completed in 1950, after which the railway zones were revised and the merger leading to the formation of North East Frontier Railway was carried out.

Divisions and jurisdiction

Even though the NF Railway is the smallest of the initial 9 zones of Indian Railway, it has the distinction of serving about 10 states of the country such as Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal. The North East Frontier Railway also serves as the Rail Head for the Nepal and Bhutan, which interchanging connections with Bangladesh Railway.

The divisions under the North East Frontier Railway are Tinsukia, Lumding, Rangiya, Alipurdar and Kathiyar. The headquarters of the North East Frontier Railway is located at Guwahati.

Landscapes through which the North East Frontier Railway travels is not only picturesque but also has many hilly terrains. Due to this reason, the railway track is having problem to be laid down. Most of the areas are not broad gauge and therefore the speed of the trains is limited. Most of the tracks are in the process of being converted to broad gauge.

Saraighat Bridge, which brought a new life to the Assam railways and then the North East Frontier Railway, was constructed in 1958. This is the first road cum rail bridge to be built in the country. Goods trains started using this track in 1962. The bridge is present on the river Brahmaputra.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

This railway track is traversing to the heights of 6850 fts. This railway is present much before the Indian independence, probably since the 1880s. When after independence, the partition caused this region to be isolated from the remaining of the country, the Darjeeling Himalayan region was merged into the Assam Railway. It was finally merged with North East Frontier Railway in 1958. There are certain features, which have led to the popularity of the DHR. It is the gateways to the Himalayas. There are many tiny 4 wheeled steam locomotives which belong to the 19th century. A number of curves and criss-crosses are seen in this route. This steam locomotive is an icon of the North Eastern Railway and by the efforts of this zone, 13 such locomotive trains have been kept surviving.

Railway Recruitment Board, North East Frontier Railway

It has been the lookout of the Railway Recruitment Board to recruit the eligible candidates into this zone. In the North East frontier railway, the recruitment is done by the RRB of Siligui and RRB of Muzaffarnagar and Guwahati and RRB of Malda. This zone is one of such zones which have more than one centre for recruitment and therefore the aspiring candidates will have to pick up the zone of their requirement.

  • Headquarters of NF Railway, Lumding, Tinsukia, and Rangiya divisions are having their jurisdiction under RRB of Guwahati. But the other divisions are catered to by some of the RRBs.
  • Alipurdar division is under RRB Malda, Kathiyar division under RRB Gorakhpur, while the Siliguri RRB looks after recruitment in Kathiyar and Alipurdar divisions.

These overlapping division recruitment systems owe their distribution to the large number of zones in which the Indian Railways were divided. Such distribution also proves that the North East Frontier Railway has been reorganised in the recent years from a number of divisions. Because there have been much divisions in the Railway Zones, the intake of employees can be looked after by more than one board.

Special trains

Many reasons have been attributed to the starting of special trains in the zone of North East Frontier Railway. Some of these are the exam days for which many students travel to the north eastern states to take admissions in the various courses and institutes. Some of them are also run for the high traffic in the season of Urs. Summer special trains are introduced also. In the year 2011-2012, there are about 16 summer special trains that are run along different routes in the North East Frontier Railway such as Kolkata Chitpur Kamakhya SF special weekly train, Mumbai LTT Kamakhya Weekly SF special train, guwahati Lucknow weekly special, Varanasi Guhawati weekly special, Dibrugarh Kamakshya biweekly special, Howrah New Jalpaiguri Express weekly, etc and some more. These trains have helped ease the traffic that was highly congested in the routes in North East Frontier Railway. Some more trains have been introduced as and when the requirement arises.

North East frontier Railway is an efficient system of rail network in the country, which has been laid down in the Indian terrains of the sub Himalayan and Himalayan regions, so that the traffic passes through a number of hilly regions. Among the large number of trains, the Darjeeling Himalayan railway has a special significance among the tourists. The trains in this division have helped in the transport of people and the goods, thereby strengthening the Indian railways further.

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