The history of Sealdah division is a little difficult to track . The part of network under this division was a part of the Eastern Bengal Railway. Eastern Bengal Guaranteed Railway was formed on 29.9.1862 in undivided Bengal. After the state acquired the guarantee railway This was renamed as Eastern Bengal Railway on 01.07.1884  and amalgamated with North Bengal State Railway and South East Railway. Then Again it lost its identity and amalgamated with Assam Bengal Railway and a new railway Bengal & Assam Railway was formed on 01.01.1942. But this was also short lived. B.&A.Railway was divided according to international boundaries after partition of India. in 1947. Sealdah division was formed on 14.04.1952 after reorganisation of railways, The main line (Sealdah to Ranaghat was opened far back on 29.09.1862 during formation of Eastern Bengal Guaranteed Railway.

Eastern Bengal Railway   Eastern Bengal Railway Company was registered in 1857 to establish railroad connection between Calcutta and Eastern part of undivided Bengal beyond Ganges(Padma) . First section was completed in January 1962 from Calcutta to Champahati. By May 1862 this extended to Port Canning. Ranaghat was connected in September 1862. After this for the next 20 years there was no extension. Between 1882-1884 Ranaghat , Dum Dum , Bongaon and Diamond Harbour was completed. State took over in 01.07.1884.  Dum Dum - Chitpore Goods line was connected in 1914. Shantipur branch opened in 1924. Baruipur - Lakhikantapur section was opened in 1928. (source Jivan Marg : 15.10.1952.)


  Sealdah north   

     Images of 1956

Sealdah main

  Sealdah Yard






The original station , designed by Mr. Walter Glanville was built in 1869. This was the main station. Subsequently as Calcutta spread, large areas south of the became suburbanised and it became necessary to provide these new areas with railway communication. The lines radiating to Diamond Harbour (once the main port) , Laksmikantapur, Canning and Budge Budge were known as south section. Interestingly this part of Sealdah station was built close to the main station but at right angles to the main station. Due to the same reasons for growing traffic to and from northern suburban areas another new north Sealdah station was built adjacent to main station. Unfortunately  Sealdah lost much of its importance and business after partition. 

A few facts : It was a horrendous task to build a station building at the central business district of the then Calcutta. The foundation of the main Station had to be abnormally deep , in many places 45 ft. below normal ground level owing to the presence of many underground tanks or pits at the site. Some of the walls at that depth are 8 to 10  ft. thick. A six mile long approach embankment was constructed to bring the main line into the station. This was necessary to cross various roads and canals.   

 The division covers the geographical part between river Hooghli on the west, Bangladesh on the north and East and Sundar bans on the south. It is connected with Howrah division main line at Bandel and HB chord at Bally.

It is predominantly a Suburban Division which connects Calcutta with suburbs, surrounding metropolis and villages. Apart from lines in three direction it also controls the Calcutta Circular Railway. The division is the gateway for the traffic of Calcutta Port Trust. It provides services to the Thermal Power stations, feeds - paper, jute, Iron & Steel Plants etc. Gede is the principal interchange point with neighbouring Bangladesh through which cement, coal etc. are exported. It serves the oil terminals at Budge Budge. Apart from this the division has a large number of goods sidings at Cossimbazar, Berhampur, Krishnanagar, Kalyani, Titagarh, Sodepur, Dum Dum Cantonment, Barasat and New Alipur at Kolkata.
Diesel Shed at Beliaghata - 26 Locomotives
Car Shed at Narkeldanga -  297 EMU coaches
Car Shed at Barasat         -  171 EMU coaches
Car Shed at Sonarpur      -  230 EMU coaches.

Places to visit

Apart from Kolkata, with her rich tourist attraction( Victoria Memorial, Zoological Garden, Kalighat, Dakshineswar, Science City, Birla Planetarium, Nicco Park ,Indian Museum, Botanical Gardens, St. Paul's Cathedral, National Library, Nakhoda Mosque, Mahabodhi Society, Vidyasagar Setu, Howrah Bridge, Jain Temple, Jorasanko Tagore House, Marble Palace)
this division also takes you to Murshidabad, a place of historical Importance. Once it was the capital of Bengal. Hazarduari Palace( a palace with a thousand doors) is famous for valuable old oil paintings, antique chandeliers & oriental decoration


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It is famous for the Kali temple established by Rani Rashmoni and also the abode of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa Deva.


Once it was the capital of Bengal. Hazarduari Palace is famous for oil painting, antique chandeliers & decoration   Places to see:

Hazardurai Palace ; Imambara ; Jafarganj Deorhi Kat Gola ; Katra Mosque ; Motijheel Palace, Khus Bagh.Tope Khana ;Rani Bhawani's Temple at Baranagar ; Cossimbazar Palace, Maharaja Nanda Kumar's Palace.


St. Paul's Cathedral, Kolkata
It was constructed by Bishop Willson in 1847 . It is the first Episcopal Church of the East. The  Indo-Gothic style architecture of this church is   really impressive.

Nakhoda Masjid

The largest mosque in Calcutta   which can accommodate 10000 worshippers at a time; built in Indo-Saracenic architecture style.

Bak Khali
The Fascinating Sea beach can be reached from Diamond Harbour
Exciting tourist Spot, the home of Royal Bengal Tigers. Lothian Island Sanctuary, Sajnakhali Bird Sanctuary. The famous Sagar Mela held every year during Makar Sankranti can be reached from Naamkhana approachable from Diamond Harbour.


N.G. steam loco BK3 plinthed at Sealdah

Sealdah Station 1944

Sealdah Station 1942

Sealdah in 2002

For Picture Gallery of Calcutta and suburbs click here
Acknowledgement : Old IR Magazines, Railway Gazette and my good friend John Lacey

THANK YOU FOR THE VISIT. Please come back again

Divisions : Sealdah  Howrah  Asansol  Maldah

Workshops  :  Jamalpur  Liluah  Kanchrapara