A panoramic view of LILLOOAH WORKSHOP in 1920

To have a better view of the above picture please click on the following
(1) Liluah1 (2) Liluah 2 (3) Liluah 3 (4) Liluah 4 (5) Liluah 5 (6) Liluah 6



The case of unfortunate shipwreck bringing EIR,s first loco and mis-despatch of Ship carrying EIR's first coaches for inauguration of First Railroad in Eastern India led the E.I.R. authorities to consider manufacture of Rolling stock in India.(Read History Of ER)

   Initially EIR  had set up  in 1853  a Locomotive and Carriage Workshop near the Howrah Station (somewhere near the salt gola) with the idea of maintenance of assets after inauguration in 1854 and was later shifted to its present site in the year 1900 as the site did not meet the requirement in terms of magnitude of work. The Locomotive portion was shifted to a new and much bigger workshop at
Jamalpur in 1862 and the Howrah works was upgraded to a Carriage and Wagon Workshop in 1863. As the Howrah location was found unsuitable for further expansion, the facility was finally shifted to its present site. The Liluah Carriage and Wagon Workshop is located in the suburbs of Howrah about 7 Km. from Howrah. It is the largest combined Carriage & Wagon Workshop of Indian Railways.

The prime responsibility of this workshop was to manufacture rolling stock. This excluded locomotives . Only Carriages and Wagons were initially manufactured. During the last century Liluah  had efficiently discharged the duties. Manufacturing of coaches were done till 1972 and Liluah has 3000 coaches to its credit. Wagon manufacturing was however discontinued in the post independence era and Coach manufacturing was also stopped when sufficient infrastructure was built throughout the country to cater for the ever-growing demand.                                                                             

Another interesting fact which is less known is that apart from rolling stock manufacture Liluah made immense contribution to the war machinery of Allied Forces during the Second World War. Apart from rolling stock required for transport of military equipments Liluah also produced hundreds of Ambulances, Water Cars, tanks, armoured vehicles and lorries. Ammunitions were also produced for the Royal Army and Royal Air force. Minor items like tent pegs etc. were also in thousands. All the above illustrates  the technical expertise and skill developed within the work shop. An essay published in 1945 in East Indian Railway Magazine by D.K.Whitworth (Click here to see) should be read to understand how great a job was done by railwaymen at Liluah between 1938 and 1942. 



Liluah 1923


Elephant Cage Wagon


The Workshop is presently engaged with the following activities.
(Information and statistics given here are updated up to 2000 A.D. only.)

    1. POH of Eastern Railway coaches both ICF & BEML including all Air Conditioned coaches and POH of 21 units of North Eastern Railway & 15 units of Western Railway coaches incorporating modifications as issued from time to time. Present capacity is 205 coaches per month which is being upgraded to 235.

    2. POH of all types of wagons. This activity is being transferred to Jamalpur workshops slowly.

    3. Conversion of DMU coaches.

    4. Repairs of Electrical Components viz. Alternators, Motors. Transformers etc.

    5. Overhauling of DG sets of Rajdhani and Shatabdi Power Cars.

    6. FRP and SMC/processing activities. In-house facilities for moulding of components like axle box covers, louvre shutters etc.


The early achievements could not be traced out due to lack of proper documentation. The later achievements however are being listed below.

The Great Indian Rover(GIR), a luxury tourist train was conceived by IR in January 1983 and the stupendous task of converting a few  old tourist cars to prestigious GIR train was given to two Workshops namely Liluah  and Lower Parel. Liluah converted six IRS type (these are all outdated and withdrawn now) tourist cars, one lounge car and one restaurant car to suit the purpose being extensively modernised  with PA system, intricate furniture , high quality lighting and upholstery. The first GIR puffed out from Howrah for Gaya on 10th. February 1983, just within a month.

With growing demand for commuter trains in non-electrified areas of West Bengal and Bihar, Rail top Brass decided to run Diesel powered multiple unit trains(DMU), similar to EMUs, in non electrified areas and this task was given to Liluah Workshops in February 1992, with only two months' time frame. In absence of any prototype, model, drawings and materials, Liluah shops started from scratch. With assistance of material from DLW-Varanasi the first indigenous Push-Pull type Diesel Multiple Unit was dedicated to service on 30th. April 1992 comprising of 10 coaches.

Indian Railways decided to run a special Train christened as "Exhibition-on-Wheels"  with exhibits of the history  railroad development in India. For this purpose some parcel vans had to be modified with extensive modification and the job was distributed between two workhops. Liluah had to work with three such conversions which was a stupendous task.

Whenever occasion demanded Liluah Works always took the challenge. Thus after GIR  when it was Bodh Parikrama it was again Liluah Workshops. A total of 12 coaches converted to suit the prestigious Tourist Train keeping in view the international standards for the foreign customers.



Area :2,99,000 Sq.m.                                                 Covered Area : 1,04,471 sq. m

Staff Strength : 12209                                                 No. of M&P : : 1654

Main Activities : POH of coaches including A.C. Coaches. ( 205 Coaches)

                        POH of all type of wagons.(900 FW units)

                        POH of Air Brake Freight Stock.

                        Power consumed : 5500 kWh.


The E.I.R. authorities considered it necessary to provide a small township adjacent to the workshop for the benefit of staff and management. The well designed township consisted of a few spacious bungalows for officers and some staff quarters. The quarters are still in very good condition with large airy interiors and plenty of sunshine and fresh air. The colony has unique feature of communal  harmony with a church , a mosque and a temple providing solace to residents from different religious communities. The street still bear the name of prominent British Railway men. There is a large tank in the south-eastern end of the workshop a hunting arena for anglers. There is a Hospital for the benefit of the staff of Liluah Workshops and other Railway employees residing in the suburban area surrounding the Colony. There are two high Schools for Bengali and Hindi students up to Higher secondary level. On the whole the township provides  peace to the residents in the congested industrial area of Liluah.  



 ISO 9002 certification for the entire workshop in 2002


ISO 14000 certification for the entire workshop in 2003


Augmentation of POH capacity of coaches to 235 per month by 2004


Augmentation of POH capacity of A.C. coaches to 35 per month by 2004


POH of modern and new generation LHB coaches by 2005


Phase out Wagon POH to Jamalpur

The workshop has acquired ISO 9002 certification for the entire workshop in 2002

Acknowledgement : The authorities at Liluah workshops, CWM/LLH, old IR and Eastern Railway magazines, brochures and publication of Liluah workshops during their Centenary celebration and "History of EIR."

Disclaimer: This page is my personal creation and it is not endorsed or recognised by the Railway Ministry of India, Indian Railways or any of it's institutions and/or corporations/undertakings. Neither are the contents of this web-site, necessarily the official view of Government of India, Railway Ministry of India, Indian Railways or any of it's institutions and/or corporations/undertakings. 

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