Railway first entered Assam in 1881 when the Assam Railway and Trading Company began construction of a 65-Km long metre gauge line from Dibrugargh to Makum Collieries in Margherita for the sole purpose of transporting tea and coal. The year 1881 was a landmark year for railways in this region for yet another event and that was the famous Darjeeling Himalayan Railway with the legendary Toy Train was commissioned.
With the partition of India, the Bengal and Assam Railway had to be re-divided according to the political boundary. As a result of which the Assam Railway was formed and from August 1947, with headquarters at Pandu. To establish an all India rail route, the construction of the Assam Rail Link between Kishanganj and Fakiragram, 142 miles long project was started on a war footing on 26th January, 1948 and completed and opened in December 1949 within a record time. The first passenger train run on January26, 1950.
On April14, 1952 with the regrouping of the Indian Railways, the entire Assam Railway system was amalgamated to from the North Eastern Railway with its HQ at Gorakhpur in UP. Carved out of the unbifurcated NER, the Northeast Frontier was formed in 15th January,1958 with the aim to give greater impetus to the development of the Northeast with its HQ at Maligaon.
The N.F.Railway in under the administrative charge of the General Manager, who reports to Railway Board assisted by heads of departments .It is divided into five divisions-Alipurduar division, Katihar division, Lumding division , Rangiya division and Tinsukia division.
The dedicated service of the railwaymen and the sincere desire to meet the special requirement of this region helped progressively to improve the performance of this railway. The N.F.Railway serves as many as ten states, besides providing interchange facility with Bangladesh and serves as railhead for Nepal and Bhutan.
During the last four-decade, we have been continuously striving towards overall upliftment of this region by taking up numerous projects and executing them successfully.
Construction of Saraighat Bridge, the first rail-cum-road bridge over river Brahmaputra was started on January1958. It was opened to goods traffic in Oct.1962. The then prime minister of India Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru opened passenger traffic on 7th June. The estimated cost of the bridge was Rs.10,65,16,891.00
With the completion of the Saraighat Bridge, a modern era of Rail Transport has dawned in Assam and Northeast India, opening a new horizon of progress and development.