Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FIRST TRAIN IN INDIA 1853-bombay- and other 1860 to 1900 trains


First proposal for a railway in India, in Madras. This remained a dream on paper.
Various proposals for railways in India, especially around Calcutta (EIR) and Bombay (GIPR).
R MacDonald Stephenson’s “Report upon the Practicability and Advantages of the Introduction of Railways into British India” is published.
Survey work carried out for Bombay-Kalyan line and an extension up the Malay Ghat for proposed connections to Khandwa and Pune.
May 8: Madras Railway Company is formed.
East India Railway company is formed.
Governor-General Lord Dalhousie while advocating railway construction in India also says, &uot;No one can safely say whether railways in this country will earn or not”.
August 1: Great Indian Peninsular Railway incorporated by an Act of Parliament.
“Old Guarantee System” providing free land and guaranteed rates of return (5%) to the private English companies willing to work on building railways. Agreed upon in March, finalized on August 17.
Locomotive Thomason is used for construction work in Roorkee, beginning on December 22.
Construction begins of an “experimental” section of track (Howrah-Rajmahal) for the proposed Calcutta-Delhi link via Mirzapur (EIR).
Construction of a line out of Bombay begins, and a locomotive, Falkland, begins shunting operations on February 23. The line is ready by November, and on the 18th of November, a trial run of the Bombay-Thane trip (35 km) is held. (Some accounts suggest another locomotive, Vulcan might have also been used for shunting operations here.)
The Madras Guaranteed Railway Company is formed.

On April 16th, at 3:35pm, the first train in India leaves Bombay for Thane (see above for details). Initial scheduled services consist of two trains each way between Bombay and Thane and later Bombay and Mahim via Dadar.

A passenger train travelling from Bombay toTannah, 1855

The bridge over Thane creek is the symbol of the first train journey in India on April 16, 1853

"Railway from Calcutta to Delhi--baggage train passing the fortress of Rhotas," from the Illustrated London News, 1851;

"An Indian railway station," from the Illustrated London News, 1854;

"Opening of the Madras railway," from the Illustrated London News, 1856

*"Opening of the East Indian Railway--the Burdwan Station," from the Illustrated London News, 1855*

"Santhan Rebellion: Affray between Railway Engineers and Santhals," Illustrated London News, 1856

"Engineer's camp, on the East Indian Railway," from the Illustrated London News, 1857

*"Accident on the East Indian railway between Ahmoodpore and Rampore," from the Illustrated London News, 1863*

*"The Bhore Ghaut incline" (a very taxing track engineering feat), from the Illustrated London News, 1867*

The track loop: trains climbed up to Darjeeling, then turned around and headed back down; an albumen print, c.1870

*another view of the Darjeeling track loop, c.1880's*;

another Darjeeling railway scene, c.1890's*

*a railway bridge near Darjeeling, c.1890's*

"The Bhor Ghat: Gradient of the Railway Near Khandala, India"; a wood engraving from 1884

"The ghats, or "steps," by which the range is interrupted at intervals, have naturally acquired exceptional importance, as affording direct communication between the peoples of the coast and the plateau. North-east of Kalyan lies the Thal, or Kasara ghat, traversed by the main highway and by the railway from Bombay to Calcutta, which, by a gradient of 26 millimetres in the yard, attains an elevation of 1,900 feet. The Bhor ghat, formerly known as the "Key of the Dekkan," is even lower, being only 1,800 feet high; but it is crossed at a much steeper incline by the Bombay-Madras railway, which, before the opening, of the lines over the Alps, Rocky Mountains, and Andes, was regarded as one of the greatest triumphs of modern engineering skill. All the other ghats south of this pass have hitherto been utilised only by tracks and carriage-roads, but they are so numerous that every town and village on the coastlands enjoys direct access to the plateau. Most of them are jealously guarded by garhs, or forts,

"The Loop, Darjeeling," an albumen photo by Bourne and Shepherd, c.1880's, showing another feat of railway engineering

An unexpected danger -- an English engineer's predicament in India," from The Graphic, 1890*

"An awkward visitor at an up-country railway station in India," from The Graphic, 1892*

"Thirty miles an hour: trolleying down to New Chaman from the Khojak Tunnel on the Quetta and Khojak Railway," from The Graphic, 1894

A private rail-trolley ride; an albumen photo, c.1880's-90's

Fast food at the window of your train compartment; a visitor's photo, 1902*

File:First Train of East Indian Railway-1854.jpg

Extent of Great Indian Peninsula Railway network in 1870