Titbits from my Archives: From Kalimati to Tatanagar

by B M S Bisht, Retired GM, NFR. May 2007.

One night a she-bear entered the hut used as an office by the railway traffic department and cubbed under the Superintendent's table
-- The Story of Tata Steel, by Verrier Elwin.


At the beginning of the 20th century, a group of intrepid pioneers set out on a voyage of discovery, braving wild bears, intense heat and untold hardship. This search ended at Sakchi and Tata Steel. And India's first steel plant was founded.

From the beginnings, the railways became the life-line of the steel plant. In 1910, the village Kalimati got itself a railway station on BNR's Howrah-Bombay route.

KALIMATI is today's TATANAGAR and the friendship has only grown stronger over the years.

Together Into the Future

Through the years, Tata Steel has helped the railways to be on the right track. It was the first source of rails and railway sleepers, wheels, tyres and axles, and continues to be a dependable source of special steels for the railways.

In the Centenary year of the South-Eastern Railway, Tata Steel pledges to continue this most fruitful friendship.


The above historic and historical full page congratulatory write-up is from the Reader's Digest, India, that appeared in 1989 at the time of the Centenary Celebrations of South-Eastern Railway in Calcutta. This story of Kalimati is accompanied with a pencil sketch depicting a wooden table with a hand-signal lamp and train-operations register on it. Besides is shown a British officer with a sola in khaki half-pants and khaki bush-shirt (typical dress of field officers then) - presumably the Traffic Superintendent referred to in Verrier Elwin's book on the top of the this write-up. Suspecting, he leans to be surprised to find a she-bear and her newly born cub under the table in his improvised tent office!

Among other things, the big felicitating message above from the steel giant Tata Steel shows the excellent P.R. of South-Eastern Railway with its corporate customers.