Eastern Railway’s Kanchrapara Workshop near Kolkata, one of the oldest railway workshops in the country, is celebrating 150 years. It was set up in 1863 by the then Eastern Bengal Railway, and was subsequently taken over by Eastern Bengal State Railway in 1884 when the management was transferred to the Government.

Starting as an integrated workshop for repair jobs for steam locomotives, carriage and wagons, it served the Government’s defence requirement during the Second World War by undertaking repair jobs for aircraft as well as manufacturing armoured cars and hand grenade shells. After Independence, the workshop was renamed Eastern Railway Workshop, Kanchrapara. In 1962, with the introduction of 25KV traction in eastern India, it was turned into a base workshop for periodic overhaul (POH) of electric locos and electrical multiple unit (EMU) coaches (used in suburban trains) for both Eastern and South Eastern Railways.

The first electric locomotive after POH came out of the workshop in 1965 and the first EMU motor coach the same year. Since then, it has been handling all classes of rolling stock of electric traction being in the forefront of undertaking major development work relating to AC traction rolling stock. As it completes 150 years, Kanchrapara Workshop sets for itself the ambitious rolling stock targets of 120 locomotive POH, 480 EMU motor coaches, 960 EMU trailer coaches and 540 other coaches every year.

(This article was published on November 25, 2012)
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