Assam India North east Travel

The Silchar to Lumding train line

Almost each and every part of India is now connected by train, more so are the major towns in every state. However, there are towns and cities in the North East which does not have this luxury, not as yet!

There are routes which still operate the Meter Gauge (wiki) trains in the north-east and one such route is the Lumding – Silchar route.

lumding silchar train
Chugging along

This route is one of the many marvels of the british construction that came up during their rule.

The track came up during the late 1800 with the primary purpose of transporting tea from the tea gardens of south Assam to mainland India.

Railway tunnel lumding silchar train
One of the many tunnels

The 247 kms long track which winds through the Dima Hasao district has more than 30 tunnels.

The journey, apart from being very picturesque is unique in many ways. As the train reaches Harengajao station which is the start of the hill section from Silchar, another engine is attached at the back of the 8-9 bogey train, to help it successfully climb the steep ascent.

dima hasao district train
Small villages en route

Even with two engines, the speed of the train is so slow that many adventurous passengers prefer sitting on top of the train instead of sitting inside!

silchar lumding train line
Train on the Dhanu bridge

This exact route became history last November when the Railways finally decided to remove the meter-gauge tracks and replace them with broad-gauge as part of the final leg of the gauge-conversion project that has been going on since more than 15 years, much to the relief of the people of the towns and villages this route serves.

This is by far, the most beautiful train journey I have ever had been on. What’s yours?

Photo credits: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

20 thoughts on “The Silchar to Lumding train line”

  1. This journey was in my to-do list. But last november they shut the lines down to upgrade it to broad gauge.

    1. Glad that you liked it.
      It indeed is a beautiful place.

      I am going to post more posts about the beauty of noth-east in the coming days.
      You may want to subscribe to the blog so that you don’t miss the up-coming posts 🙂 .

    1. Thanks! I was actually waiting for you to see this post :-).

      Despite all the issues ranging from being late to literally no power in the train, this train journey undoubtedly was the most beautiful & picturesque I have ever taken.

      I wish I had more photos of the same route!

  2. The Line was made to connect Dibrugarh & Chittagong Port of Bangladesh as it takes more time to transport Tea from Dibrugarh (Upper Assam) to Chittagong for export in EUROPE .
    Actually In that time Silchar ( Barak Valley / South Assam ) was well connected with Calcutta & all over india via Bangladesh . In British Period A Daily train named SURMA MAIL runs between CALCUTTA (SEALDAH ) & SILCHAR . On that time Upper assam is is only connected via river route . The railway line is upto AMINGAON in Brahmaputra valley .

  3. I am planning to visit the North east states, soon. This interesting information should be useful. Nice pictures and narration. Joydeep Roy’s information is interesting too! Thank you!

    1. Thanks!
      Glad that you liked the post.

      I am sure you will enjoy your visit to the North-east.
      Do let me know if I can help you with any info 🙂


  4. Wow…must be nice sitting on top of the train… if you have done write a blog on how to climb on roof of the train… good that good tracks have come replacing the meter gauge. Mountain climbing, tunnel travelling, water bridge crossing traing must be always a interesting journey. I hardly get down train stations but I know it can be exciting part as well… this time when travelling to Talaguppa for the Jog Falls, train stopped at some station… and it was beautiful…down the tracks if we climb down it would have been nice due to freash air and green stuff including perfect tree structure that I don’t remember seeing anywhere… the freash air, drizzle and the perfect trees was a sight which was nice… long train journeys get boring because you tend to prefer a/c berth and sleep than watch windows etc… but train journeys do have their own chair even if everything is dirty, atleast all sorts of people are there from rich, middle class, poor, students, family and kids climbing about… but this journey seemed short and precise and enjoyable for you…so it is good.

    1. Ah! Maria, if I write about how to climb atop a train many people will run behind my life for promoting dangerous activity so I better not do that!

      I for one, always try to make sure that I get down at stations wherever the train makes a stop more so when it stops at random places and not stations.

      About this particular stretchy, I can very confidently say that this was by far the most beautiful train route I have ever been to.

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