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South Eastern Railway

Freight Traffic, Revenue Generation And Intensive Coverage Marks The South Eastern Railway Zone

History of South Eastern Railway

Bengal Nagpur Railway was set up in 1887 to convert the broad gauge line of Nagpur Chhatisgarh Railway. This line was then extended to Asansol. By the end of 19th century Calcutta Mumbai and Calcutta Madras lines were completed. By the end of 1931, the Bengal Nagpur Railway had under its jurisdiction, the largest network on the narrow gauge line by the means of various lines built to different industrial and mining units. In 1944, the management of the BNR was taken over by the British Government. But in 1952, this was amalgamated with East Indian Railway to get the name of Eastern Railway, which was one among the 6 zones to be formed in 1952.

Then in 1955, the Bengal Nagpur line was separated and the South Eastern Railway came into force. Till the year 2003, the South Eastern Railway had about 8 divisions and then in the same year, two more divisions were created out of this SER which were East Coast Railway and South East Central Railway. In April 13th 2003, the South Eastern Railway was constituted including the divisions of Adra, Kharagpur, Chakradharpur and Ranchi.

Divisions of the South Eastern Railways

The South Eastern Railway has been divided into four divisions of Adra, Chakradharpur, Kharagpur and Ranchi, with its headquarters in Garden Reach in Kolkata. It carries about 40% of freight traffic of the Indian Railways, and is contributing to the surplus revenue in the highest amount.

  • Adra division is rich in mineral contents in the country, primarily the coalfields of Bengal and Jharkhand. This division was actually a minor Railway station in the Purulia district under Raghunathpur under the ruling of Maharaja of Kashipur. In about 1889, Adra was a primary station in the Bengal Nagpur line in order to cater to the Jharia and Burnpur coalmines. It formally became a division in the year 1962.
  • Chakradharpur division has history dating back to 22nd January of 1890 when it was opened to the part of Nagpur Asansol Railway line. It has a total route kms of 749 kms and has 648 kms of electrificated route kms. Total number of stations is 87 and total number of trains in pair is 74. There are 142 officers on roll and 21680 staffs.
  • Kharagpur division has a total route kms of 749 and 150 stations. Daily average passengers amount to 389000 and the total staff on roll are 21185 in the division and about 10000 in the Kharagpur workshop.
  • Ranchi division covers about 7 districts in Jharkhand and 1 district in West Bengal. The route kms under this division is about 441 kms of which 374 has been electrified. Total number of stations is about 52. Total number of passenger carrying trains is about 50 in pairs.

Transport of goods in the country

South East Railways contribute about 12% of the Railway lines in the country, but in terms of total goods traffic it carries about 39% of all the Railway zones. In India, the areas, which are specifically served by the SE Railways, are having rich resources of bauxite, dolomite, limestone, iron ore, manganese ore, and coal. There are 7 major steel plants in the country, which are located in the belt of the South Eastern Railway zone such as in Burnpur, Rourkela, Jamsedhpur, Bhilai, Durgapur, Bokaro and Visakhapatnam. 5 of these are exclusively catered to by the SER, while the Burnpur plant is served also by the Eastern Railway, and a part of Durgapur is catered to by SER. In view of such an extensive dependence of the steel industries on the South Eastern Railway, this Railway is also termed as the Steel Railway of India.

The coal fields of Bengal and Bihar, Central India and Talcher are all served by this Railway system. A part of the narrow gauge line of Satpura of Nagpur division caters to the Pench Valley Coalfields.

Aluminium industry is also dependent on the South Eastern Railway. The two industries at Korba and Nalco at Machiliguda in Odisha have their materials transported to and brought through these trains.

South Eastern Railway also serves as the transport provider to the ports of Visakhapatnam, Haldia, Kolkata and Paradeep, which has helped the industries to grow and expand the revenues.

Facts about South East Railways

  • Total route kilometres in broad gauge in all the divisions are 2315 kms, while in narrow gauge it is about 106 kms. The different states which have the broad and narrow gauge lines are Jharkhand, Orissa and west Bengal with almost equal distribution in Jharkhand and west Bengal and half of it in Odisha.
  • Total of 301 stations, of all types are found in the South Eastern Railway.
  • Total number of staffs in the Group C & D on roll is 95198 while the officer cadre employees are 610 on roll.
  • Various types of freight services that are being done under the SE Railways are the raw materials required for steel industries, finished steel products, petrol oil lubricants, fertilizers, food grains, cement, Export Ore, etc.

Railway Recruitment Board of South Eastern Railway

The RRB in Kolkata looks after the recruitment in the headquarters of the South Eastern Railway and Kharagpur division. It also is carrying out the recruitment in the metro rail and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works. Adra division of South Eastern Railway is having its recruitment from the RRB of Malda, while that of the Ranchi and Chakradharpur divisions is done by RRB Ranchi. These recruitments are mostly for the Group C employees while in some cases it is also for Group D technical and non technical personnel.

Special trains

During the summer peak seasons, the special trains are run in the South Eastern Railways so that it helps the people to reach their native places and there are about 20 summer special trains running during the peak season. Some of these trains are Santragachi Kochuveli weekly special, Adra Shalimar Special, Jhargam Kharagpur Express special, Digha Flag station Santragachi Jn DEMU special, Mumbai LTT Santragachi SF special, etc.

  • Some trains are also especially run to Puri during the Car festival, where people from all over the country arrive to participate in this auspicious occasion, especially from the state of Bengal and Jharkhand.
  • During other festivals and national holidays, special trains are sanctioned to ply on this zone for the benefit of the travellers.

Concluding note

The zone of South Eastern Railway is having rich resources of mineral and therefore the revenue generation has been quite high, with more stress of this zone on the transportation of these materials. Even though it has been started very late, yet the benefits have been quite high from the South Eastern Railway.

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