Complete Set of 4 nos of commemorative postage stamps on the South Eastern Railway Zone Centenary (1887-1987) :
Issued by India
Issued on Mar 28, 1987
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a set of 4 stamps on the centenary of the South Eastern Railway.
Description of Designs : A set of four multicolour stamps in the denominations of 100 p, 150 p, 200 p and 400 p have been designed by India Security Press.
Type : Stamps, Postal Used
Watermark : No
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 100, 150, 200 & 400 Paise
- The South Eastern Railway had its beginning 100 years ago when its predecessor, the Bengal–Nagpur Railway Co., a company formed in London, signed a contract with the Secretary of State in Council in India to take over the meter-gauge Nandgaon Nagpur line on 9th March, 1887. Subsequently, the Katni–Umaria line, now in the then Central Province, was taken over by this Railway and the Nagpur–Chhattisgarh Railway converted to broad-gauge. In the next ten years, this railway came upto Calcutta which was then declared as its headquarters and also upto the coalfields of Bengal–Bihar with a line connecting Asansol in the then East India Railway. In the next ten years, the east coast section to Madras was linked alongwith a connection to Puri, a most popular sea resort for the people of the eastern sector.
- The Bengal–Nagpur Railway was brought under direct state management on October 1, 1944 on the expiry of all contracts between the companies and the Government. After independence, the Bengal-Nagpur Railway was merged with the then East India Railway and one zonal railway unit was founded with headquarters at Calcutta. This was found to be unwieldly and on 17th June, 1955, the then Railway Minister, Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri announced the separation of old East India Railway and Bengal-Nagpur Railway as two separate zones with headquarters of both in Calcutta. The old Bengal-Nagpur Railway sections constituted the South Eastern Railway.
- SER connects Calcutta with Bombay and Madras. This Railway extends upto Nagpur on the Bombay route, a distance of 1132 kms. and Waltair on the east coast section to Madras, a distance of 879 kms.
- This Railway traverses six States, viz. West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, which are rich in natural resources, cultural heritage and folklore. During the last two decades, this Railway has grown into a gigantic railway system and is referred to from time to time as the ‘blue chip of Indian Railways’, ‘Core railway for the core sector’, ‘Bread winner of the Indian Railways’, etc.
- It is significant that this railway, with only 10% of the country’s route kilometerage, loads 33% of the total freight loaded on the Indian Railways. Last year [before issuance of these stamps, i.e. 1986], out of 267 million tonnes loaded and moved on the Indian Railways, South Eastern Railway’s share was 89 million tonnes. Thus a high volume of traffic is generated from the steel plants located on this railway, viz. Tatanagar, Rourkela, Bhilai, Bokaro and Burnpur. Even for Durgapur, the raw materials like Limestone are loaded and moved on this Railways. The Coalfields in West Bengal, Bihar, Talcher, Id Valley, Central India, Pench Valley, the ports of Haldia, Vizag, Paradip, thermal power stations, cement factories, paper mills etc. are all located on this Railway route.
- The last 31 years [since the issuance of these stamps] had been momentous years for this Railway. Starting from a modest beginning in 1955 with an originating revenue earning freight traffic of 19.5 million tonnes, this Railway had loaded 85 million tonnes in 1984-85. The S.E. Railway expected a spurt in freight loading during the Seventh Plan.
- The S.E. Railwaymen have distinguished themselves in sports for the last many years and the BNR club today is well known in sports circles.