Kanchrapara Workshop is one of the oldest Railway workshops in the country. It was set up by the then Eastern Bengal Railway during the year 1863 at the present Loco Complex site in Kanchrapara. It was developed as an integrated shop to carry out repairs to Steam Locomotives, wooden body Carriage and Wagons. The management of the workshop was taken over by the state on 1st July, 1884. In the year 1914 a separate carriage and wagon shop was completed.
This shop has displayed high level of flexibility by adapting to the changing environment and product-mix from time to time. During World Wars, the workshop served the Defence Department for repairs to aircrafts and manufacture of armoured cars and hand-grenade shells.
In 1962, with the introduction of 25 KV Electric traction in Eastern India, a decision was taken for remodeling Kanchrapara Workshop to make it a base workshop for Periodic Overhauling of Electric Locomotives and Electric Multiple Unit (Suburban Electric Trains) stock of Eastern and South Eastern Railways. This workshop also had the privilege of turning out the first electric locomotive after Periodic Overhauling (POH) in 1965 and the first Electric Multiple Unit motor coach was turned out after POH in the very same year.
This workshop has dealt with all classes of Rolling Stocks of Electric Traction and it has been in forefront of undertaking major developmental works connected with Electric traction rolling stock. The workshop also boasts of manufacturing 78 Nos of tower cars for maintaining over head equipment of electric traction between 1957 and 1986. Today, it ranks First among Indian Railways Workshops in terms of number of Electric Multiple Unit Coaches overhauled and Second in terms of number of Electric Locomotives overhauled.
At present Loco Complex mainly deals with repair and overhaul of Electric Locomotives and Electric Multiple Unit Motor Coaches. The Carriage Complex deals with Periodical Overhauling of Electric Suburban Trains, Mainline Electric Multiple Unit trains, Diesel Electric Multiple Unit trains, Non-Air Conditioned Coaches, Accident Relief Train vans and 8 wheeler Tower Cars.
Setting up of 2.7 million liters/day Effluent Water Treatment Plant in September’ 2002 was a landmark in environmental pollution control. The workshop was accredited with ISO-9001:2000 certificate in September 2005. With upgradation of ISO-9001 certification to the latest 2008 standard recently, the workshop is geared up to meet the ever-changing requirements of Indian Railways and serve the nation with high quality output.