Kalighat Falta Railway

Kalighat Falta Railway

The Kalighat Falta Railway (KFR) was one of four lines built in the early part of the 20th Century by McLeod & Company, a subsidiary of a London company of managing agents, McLeod Russell & Co. Ltd, to open up undeveloped parts of India, all of them in and around Calcutta. The running of the trains were managed by a company called the McLeod's Light Railways. This company also owned and managed the Ahmadpur-Katwa, Burdwan-Katwa and the Bankura - Damodar River Valley lines.

KFR was convert|26.95|mi|km long, opened on 28th May 1917 from Gholeshapur in Behala to Falta and was extended a further convert|0.92|mi|km to Majherhat on 7th May 1920. The lines used were a 2' 6" gauge railway track.

The KFR line was the first in India to use three brand new 2-6-2 side tank AK16 locomotives, built in November 1916 by WG Bagnall Ltd. of the Castle Engine Works at Stafford in England. They entered service with KFR in February, 1917. The 'AK' in the name stood for 'Ahmedpur-Katwa'. They were also known as the 'Delta Class' engines (since they were originally ordered by the Egyptian Delta Railway but were more successful in India) and they were very successful and a lot many were used in the following years till 1953 when the last order was placed. One of the 1916 built Bagnall locomotives has been preserved by the Phyllis Rampton Trust in the UK [ [http://www.irfca.org/~apub/katwa/index.htm AK16 Steam Locomotive ] ] .

The Kalighat Falta line closed in 1957, some years after the independence of India, when the British owners, McLeod, folded up their operations in India, and the new Indian and West Bengal government thought it best to close down this stretch of railway tracks. The reclaimed land, from where the tracks used to be, has been used to construct a road - the James Long Sarani in Behala.


External links

* [http://www.rediff.com/travel/1998/jul/03bank.htm A classic travelogue on the McLeod lines]

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