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Grand Chord
Gaya Junction lies on the Grand Chord line
OwnerIndian Railways
LocaleWest Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh
Operator(s)Eastern Railway, East Central Railway
Line length450.7 km (280 mi)
Number of tracks2/3
Track gauge5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) broad gauge
Operating speedup to 160 km/h (99 mph)
Route map

to Mughalsarai–Kanpur section
Up arrow
of Howrah–Delhi main line
and Howrah–Gaya–Delhi line
Mughalsarai Junction
Right arrow
to Sitarampur
via Howrah–Delhi main line
Chandauli Majhwar
Karmanasa River
Uttar Pradesh
Bhabua Road
Sasaram Junction
Right arrow to Ara
Nehru Setu bridge
across Son River
Son Nagar
Left arrow to Barkakana
Anugrah Narayan Road
Gaya Junction
Gaya Junction
Right arrow Patna–Gaya line
Falgu River
Right arrow Gaya–Kiul line
Right arrow to Tilaiya (under construction)
Koderma Junction
Left arrow to Hazaribagh Town
Right arrow to Madhupur
Barakar River
Hazaribagh Road
NSC Bose Gomoh
Left arrow to Bokaro Steel City
Left arrow to Adra
Barakar River
West Bengal
Right arrow
to Mughalsarai
via Howrah–Delhi main line
Asansol Junction
Down arrow to Howrah

Grand Chord is part of the Howrah–Gaya–Delhi line and Howrah–Prayagraj–Mumbai line. It acts as a link between Sitarampur, (Asansol), (West Bengal) and Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, (Uttar Pradesh), previously known as Mughalsarai Junction, and covers a stretch of 450.7 km (280.1 mi).[1] The Coal India Corridor line that branches off from Dhanbad Junction and rejoins the Grand Chord at Son Nagar Junction is another major coal loading hub. It is a fully electrified, quadruple line section from Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay to Son Nagar and double line section from Son Nagar to Sitarampur . There are plans to triple the lines from Son Nagar to Dhanbad to accommodate the increasing traffic. . The entire line lies under the jurisdiction of three divisions, Mughalsarai railway division , Dhanbad railway division and Asansol railway division. The Grand chord section is the lifeline of the country, 2nd busiest railway section of India after Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh to Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction, Uttar Pradesh (previously known as Mughalsarai Junction) Main Line section, on which coal, steel and other important goods are moved from Eastern section to Western and Northern sections of the country. In the down direction, the traffic consists of mostly food grains, fertilizers and empty wagons for coal loading in the Jharkhand and West Bengal coal fields. Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyay Junction is a transit division and the main objective is to maintain mobility of high density traffic. The present capacity of the Grand Chord is being optimally utilized. Traversing through Chota Nagpur Plateau of Jharkhand as well as parts of the fertile Gangetic plains of Bihar, the Grand Chord covers a stretch of 450.7 km (280.1 mi). The Grand Chord is renowned for its remarkable controlling of passenger traffic, despite being burdened with freight traffic.

The railways first came to eastern India in 1854, and the CalcuttaDelhi railway link, with a distance of more than 1,642 km (1,020 mi), became operational by 1866. With the increase in traffic it became necessary to construct an alternative route.

With this in view, the Grand Chord section was planned. The Grand Chord section was opened in December 1906 by Lord Minto, then Viceroy and Governor-General of India with a function at Gujahandi.[1] With the opening of the Grand Chord route, the distance between Calcutta and Delhi was reduced by 192 km (119 mi). The cost of construction was around 415 lakh (equivalent to 14 billion or US$170 million in 2023).[2]

The Grand Chord section is critically important even today, handling major passenger trains on the Howrah–Delhi route, particularly all the Rajdhani Expresses from Howrah, Bhubaneswar and Ranchi and the entire freight traffic, particularly coal, handled by the Dhanbad division of East Central Railway.

Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor

The Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) encompasses a double-line electrified traction corridor from Haldia on the Eastern Railway to Khurja on the North Central Railway (1,270 km or 790 mi) via Grand Chord, Khurja to Dadri on NCR double-line electrified corridor (46 km or 29 mi) and Single electrified line from Khurja to Ludhiana (412 km or 256 mi) on Northern Railway. The total length works out to 1,379 km (857 mi). So in the Grand Chord section its total 4 parallel track will be run to ease traffic movement on this busy route.

The EDFC will traverse 6 states and is projected to cater to a number of traffic streams – coal for the power plants in the northern region of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and parts of Rajasthan from the Eastern coal fields, finished steel, food grains, cement, fertilizers, limestone from Rajasthan to steel plants in the east and general goods. The total traffic in UP direction is projected to go up from 38 million tonnes in FY2005-06 to 116 million tonnes in FY2021–22.

Trains on the route

In c. 1970, it was said that a goods train passes by every 20 minutes on the Grand Chord line. Now, the frequency has become around 5 minutes making it one of the busiest routes in India. More than 50 mail and express trains use this shorter route apart from 2 dozens of passenger trains.

Some important trains on the route

  1. Howrah Rajdhani Express (via Gaya)
  2. Sealdah Rajdhani Express
  3. Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express (via Bokaro, Tatanagar)
  4. Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express (via Adra)
  5. Bhubaneswar Rajdhani Express (via Sambalpur)
  6. Ranchi Rajdhani Express (via Bokaro, Gaya)
  7. Ranchi Rajdhani Express (via Daltonganj)
  8. Howrah–Ranchi Shatabdi Express (via Bokaro, Dhanbad)
  9. Howrah–New Delhi Duronto Express
  10. Bhubaneswar–Duronto Express
  11. Sealdah–Bikaner Duronto Express
  12. Patna–Ranchi Vande Bharat Express
  13. Sealdah-Jammu Tawi Humsafar Express
  14. Godda-New Delhi Humsafar Express
  15. Ranchi–New Delhi Garib Rath Express
  16. Howrah–Anand Vihar Yuva Express
  17. West Bengal Sampark Kranti Express
  18. Odisha Sampark Kranti Express
  19. Jharkhand Sampark Kranti Express
  20. Gaya–Anand Vihar Garib Rath Express
  21. Howrah–Jodhpur Express
  22. Ajmer–Sealdah Express
  23. Kalka Mail – The oldest running passenger train of India
  24. Poorva Express (via Gaya)
  25. Garbha Express
  26. Howrah–Jaisalmer Superfast Express
  27. Purushottam Express
  28. Ara–Ranchi Express
  29. Parasnath Express
  30. Howrah–Gwalior Chambal Express
  31. Howrah–Agra Cantt/Mathura Chambal Express
  32. Howrah–Indore Junction Shipra Express
  33. Jharkhand Swarna Jayanti Express (via Bokaro)
  34. Mahabodhi Express
  35. Deekshabhoomi Express
  36. Gaya–Chennai Egmore Weekly Superfast Express
  37. Howrah–Bhopal Weekly Express
  38. Doon Express
  39. Neelachal Express (Via. Bokaro)
  40. Nandankanan Express (Via. Adra)
  41. Patna–Hatia Express
  42. Shalimar (Howrah) Express
  43. Pratap Express
  44. Black Diamond Express
  45. Coalfield Express
  46. Patna - Ranchi Janshatabdi Express
  47. Purnia Court - Hatia Kosi Express
  48. SealdahAmritsar Jallianwalla Bagh Express
  49. TatanagarAmritsar Jallianwalla Bagh Express
  50. Kolkata Mail via Allahabad
  51. Ganga Damodar Express
  52. Ganga Sutlej Express
  53. Garib Nawaz Express
  54. Howrah–Ranchi Intercity Express via Adra
  55. Dhanbad–Patna Intercity Express
  56. Dhanbad–Gaya Intercity Express
  57. Patna–Bhabua Road Intercity Express
  58. Howrah–Ranchi Intercity Express via Tatanagar
  59. Ranchi–Varanasi Express
  60. Ranchi–Kamakhya Express
  61. Shaktipunj Express
  62. Haldia–Anand Vihar Terminal Superfast Express
  63. Bhubaneswar–Anand Vihar Weekly Superfast Express via Sambalpur, Rourkela, Bokaro
  64. Shabd Bhedi Superfast Express
  65. Howrah–Lalkuan Express
  66. Durgiana Express
  67. Kolkata–Agra Cantonment Express
  68. Kolkata–Agra Cantonment Superfast Express
  69. Santragachi–Anand Vihar Superfast Express
  70. Jasidih–Pune weekly Express
  71. Shalimar-Gorakhpur Weekly Express
  72. Gaya-Lucknow Ekatmata Express
  73. Jasidih–Vasco-Da-Gama weekly Express


  1. ^ a b "The Grand 'old' Chord". The Hindu. 4 December 2006.
  2. ^ "Grand rerun of Raj rail route - Railways enact Lord Minto's flag-off at Gujhandi to celebrate 100 years of Dhanbad-Gaya chord line". The Telegraph. Kolkata. 7 December 2006. Archived from the original on 9 January 2011.