Prior to 1996-97, Indian Railway consisted of nine Zones. On 16.06.96, Ministry of Railways decided to setup six new Zones to be carved out of the existing network of Indian Railway by reorganization of the existing zones. East Central Railway with its Headquarters at Hajipur in Bihar is one of these six new zones.
Construction of temporary Zonal Office Building for E. C. Railway covering 3100 sqm. area was completed in June, 1997 and core group of Officers and staff posted. E. C. Railway started functioning by looking after some of the activities of Sonpur and Samastipur Division.
East Central Railway was inaugurated on 8 September 1996 with headquarters at Hajipur, Bihar. It became operational on 1st October 2002 by carving out areas from Eastern and North Eastern Railway Zone currently consists of the divisions viz. Dhanbad, Danapur, Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya (Old name Mughalsarai) of Eastern Railway and Sonpur and Samastipur of North Eastern Railway.
The last 21 years of its existence has been full of challenges and every obstacle was dealt in a dedicated manner despite constraints of work force and infrastructure. As on 31st March 2023, ECR has a vast network of 9013.218 Track Kilometres and 4237.950 Route Kilometres encompassing the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Out of 4237.950 Route Kilometres, 4084.628 km have been electrified. ECR has been lifeline for the people in its expanse and is playing a pivotal role in rapid development of the area. The development of infrastructure has been the major thrust area to bring about a rapid growth rate in the region and prosperity to the people. In the field of construction of new lines, doubling, gauge conversion, construction of bridges/road-over bridges, new workshop projects, Other than this qualitative and perceptible improvement in safety, cleanliness, catering, passenger amenities have been achieved to a large extent. ECR is unique in the sense that both Goods loading and Passenger traffic assume great importance in view of the huge coal loading in the coal bearing of Dhanbad division of Jharkhand state and densely populated area of Bihar. The rapid growth in both the sectors has necessitated strengthening of infrastructure of Railways. Further, ECR is also a gateway to Nepal with International traffic catering to the movement of export traffic and passengers to Nepal and vice versa.
Hajipur is the district Headquarters of Vaishali district and is located at approximately 25 kilometres by road and 33 kilometres away by rail route from Patna Junction (Capital of Bihar).