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1887 The Bengal Nagpur Railway (BNR) Company was incorporated to take over from the Nagpur Chhattisgarh Railway and to convert the line to broad gauge. The work was completed in 1888.
1891 Line opened. W. A. Anderson is chief engineer. Total length of 830 miles of which 620 miles connects Nagpur with Asenhole, a station on the East Indian Railway, 135 miles from Calcutta. The new line shortens the distance between Bombay and Calcutta by 127 miles.
A 161-mile branch line (258 km) that connected Bilaspur to Umaria coal mine was built and linked to the existing line from Umaria to Katni (1891).
By the turn of the twentieth century, work on the Calcutta-Bombay and Calcutta-Madras lines were completed. Through the first half of the twentieth century work on the BNR lines progressed steadily.
In 1921 the Talcher coalfields were connected by a railway line starting from Nergundi.
In 1931, the Raipur-Vizianagaram line was set up, which connected the east coast with the Central Province.
By the end of the 1930s the BNR owned the largest narrow gauge network in the country.
The BNR management was taken over by the British Indian government on 1 October 1944 and continued to be called by that name until 14 April 1952, when it was amalgamated with the East Indian Railway to form one of six newly carved zones of the Indian Railways: Eastern Railway.