The Non-Government Railways of the 1940s

I had earlier summarized information about the 9 non-government railways which were separately listed in the All-India Timetable of 1964. None of them exist in NG now, they have either been converted to BG or closed for many years.

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/the-non-government-railways-of-india-in-1964-and-what-happened-to-them/

As there is interest in timetables of these and other vanished lines, I am giving some extracts of a 1943 Bradshaw which covers all the lines which were apparently not part of the larger railway systems of that time. Some survived into the 1960s and beyond and others closed much earlier.

Here we see the lines of the Bengal Provincial Railway, which closed in 1956:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_Provincial_Railway

1943-NG-1

Here we have the two McLeod and Co lines known as the Burdwan Katwa Light Railway and the Ahmadpur Katwa Light Railway.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardhaman%E2%80%93Katwa_line

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmadpur%E2%80%93Katwa_line

Both these lines were transferred to the Eastern Railway in 1966, where they continue till now after being fully converted to BG and electrified.

Also the Dehri Rohtas Light Railway, initially owned by the Octavius Steel group and then the Sahu Jain group. It closed in 1984 and is not likely to be revived.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehri_Rohtas_Light_Railway

1943-NG-2

The 4 lines here were all part of the Martin Burn group:

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Bukhtiarpur-Bihar_Light_Railway

Was transferred to ER and converted to BG by 1962.

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Futwah-Islampur_Light_Railway

Was closed in 1986, converted to BG and became part of ER (and then East Central Railway).

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Arrah-Sasaram_Light_Railway

Closed in 1978, converted to BG and became part of ER (and then East Central Railway).

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Shahdara-Saharanpur_Light_Railway

Closed in 1970, converted to BG and became part of Northern Railway.

1943-NG-3

Also from the Martin Burn group:

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Howrah-Sheakhalla_Light_Railway

This was of 2’0″ gauge. This closed in 1971 and no steps have been taken to reopen it.

1943-NG-4

Next is the Howrah-Amta Light Railway. This was also of 2’0″ gauge.

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Howrah-Amta_Light_Railway

Like its sister line above, it closed in 1971. The Howrah-Amta section was converted to BG and electrified, and is now part of the South Eastern Railway. It is unlikely that the Champadanga branch will be revived.

1943-NG-5

The Rupsa-Bagerhat Light Railway, now in Bangladesh. This was converted to BG in around 1970 but was closed soon afterwards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khulna%E2%80%93Bagerhat_Railway

1943-NG-6

The Bankura Damodar River Railway (from the McLeod & Co group):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLeod%27s_Light_Railways#Bankura%E2%80%93Damodar_Railway

This was transferred to the South Eastern Railway and converted to broad gauge in the 2000s. It was extended from Rainagar to Gram Masagram (near Masagram on the Howrah-Barddhaman chord).

The Kaligat Falta Railway

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Kalighat-Falta_Railway

This was closed by 1957. A road now runs over the alignment.

1943-NG-7A

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which needs no introduction. The 2’0″ line from NJP and Siliguri continues to run much as it has since the 1880s, except that diesels now haul the regular trains.

1943-NG-7B

The line from Siliguri to Kishanganj was converted to MG as part of the Assam Rail Link in 1948-50, and to BG more recently.

The Teesta Valley branch continued running until 1950. The section between Siliguri and Sevok was converted to mixed NG/MG gauge until the hill section up to Gielle Khola was damaged by floods in 1950. The hill section was closed and the NG line removed from Siliguri to Sevok which continued to be part of the Assam Rail Link. Today it is broad gauge.

The Tezpur Balipara NG line was then privately owned. By the 1950s it became part of the Northeast Frontier Railway and converted to MG. Still later it was converted to BG although the terminus is now Dekargaon, north of Tezpur.

1943-NG-8

And finally the Jagadhri Light Railway, which closed in 1950:

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Jagadhri_Light_Railway

1943-NG-9

This, then, is the summary of all NG lines which were not part of the major railway companies in 1943. A brief history of the later developments has been given.

The links provide sources of more information from Wikipedia and Fibis.

There were still other NG lines which had closed by 1940, mainly in South India. Most of them never reopened.

 

 

Vanished routes of the Indian Railways since 1975-Part 1-Former CR

The route maps of the Indian Railways have undergone major changes since 1975.Construction of new lines, large-scale gauge conversion and the upgrading of many hitherto minor routes have all taken place.

Here we start with the All-India Time Table of November 1975 and see which lines have vanished from the passenger timetable.

The timetable was arranged in alphabetical order, so we start with the Central Railway as it then was.

Note that we are here using scans of scans, so some of the old timetables may not be as legible as we would wish.

CR1975-1 001

T 17: Majri-Rajur: The section between Majri and Wani is now part of the longer route from Majri to Pimpalkuti, Adilabad and beyond. Rajur still has goods services but not passenger services.

T19: Tadali-Ghugus: No passenger services, still has goods services.

CR1975-2 001

T22, 22A: Note the local trains between Pune and Dehu Road Depot, which is on a branch from Dehu Road. Passenger trains on this branch stopped long ago.

Note the footnote (for Contractor’s Labour, Military Department’s Workmen and Staff).

The future of some narrow gauge lines such as Murtazapur-Achalpur are uncertain at the moment.

Next comes ER (including suburban services).

Return from the dead: the Alnavar-Dandeli line

There are many small branch lines which have closed over the years. A few have been reopened, often after conversion. One such line was the former MG branch from Alanavar to Dandeli, both in north-western Karnataka on the SWR.

It was opened in 1919 by the M&SMR. Passenger traffic was low and it also handled freight from the West Coast Paper mills, served by a siding which took off a little before Dandeli.

The line does not appear in the Bradshaws of 1935 and 1943. Perhaps services were temporarily closed.

This is what we see from the US Army map of 1955:

Alnavar Dandeli map 1955

Here we can see the branch heading to the SW from Alnavar, which is east of Londa.  The stations of Shirgur and Dandeli are seen.

And this is the same area through today’s Google Maps:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Alnavar+Junction/@15.356553,74.6864282,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x3bbf2528c10858ed:0x3ac02d80bdee31fd!8m2!3d15.42441!4d74.73827

Here you can see Shingatgeri and Ambewadi stations, and the line heading to the West Coast Paper mills from the latter. Expand the map if needed.

In timetables of the 1960s, we see

Alnavar; 14 km to Shingatgeri, 22 km to Shirgur Siding Halt and finally Dandeli (32 km). No Ambewadi station.

At this time there are two pairs of passenger trains between Alnavar and Dandeli.

By February 1994, this is what Bradshaw said:

Alnavar Dandeli 1994 001

Services had shrunk to a bare minimum. By then, BG conversion of Miraj to Bangalore had started in earnest and it was not thought worthwhile to convert this MG branch. Freight traffic must have dried up by then. Services were suspended some time in 1994 and nothing was heard from there until recently.

The line was converted to BG up to Ambewadi as well as the paper mills siding. According to a friend who was posted in that area in the mid-2000s, goods trains were running but there were no passenger services on the BG.

Public demand had grown in recent years, with the growth of tourism around Dandeli.

Dandeli toursm

Finally it was decided to convert the line to BG, but only up to a new station called Ambewadi 26 km from Alnavar:

AlnavarAmbewadiambewadi-2

A few days ago, a new passenger train was started between nearby Dharwad and Ambewadi. Here is its timetable:

https://indiarailinfo.com/train/timetable/all/107350/1424/7683

https://indiarailinfo.com/train/timetable/all/107351/7683/1424

The RBS table for this branch:

Alnavar Dandeli distance map

There are not many short branches which have been revived after being in a coma for 25 years.

 

The last gasp of the Satpura narrow gauge lines

A news item about the impending conversion of the (Nagpur) Itwari-Nagbhir narrow gauge section from November 2019:

https://www.railpost.in/the-last-ng-section-in-secrs-nagpur-division-to-close-down-for-gauge-conversion/

This is the last of the vast network of narrow gauge lines which used to cover a large part of the less-developed areas of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Here is an earlier post describing its operations in late 2015:

https://abn397.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/the-satpura-railway-still-exists/

A rail accident in India in 1933

A brief extract from the Annual Report of the Indian Railways of 1933-34.

Accident on 2nd May 1933

And pictures from there:

Barh 1933 Acc-1Barh 1933 Acc-2

Note: a well-known railfan site has these pictures mentioned as showing the accident at Bihta in 1937, but this is incorrect and due to the wrong assumption of the writer.

Rail resources-All India map of 1911

As there is an interest in old maps and timetables, here is a link for the Survey of India map of railways, roads and canals dated 1911. Unlike other SOI maps of the Railways, it appears to show all (or most) stations which existed at that time. It also covers British India and Burma of that time.

Use this Dropbox link:

https://www.dropbox.com/transfer/cap_pid_ft%3AAAAAABZ1CSHSDLiNt1Cf425zamj74mDv8sp5MGRS7B33pKnWXBIhRfM

which is valid until 18/11/2019.

As it is about 32 MB, you may have to alter settings on your system.

You could also download this from:

http://pahar.in/indian-subcontinent-after-1900/

from the line 1911: Railway Canal and Road Map.

While this is freely downloadable, note these conditions set by the website pahar.in :

“This material is placed here by PAHAR to assist scholars, researchers, enthusiasts and mountain lovers and is for personal, non-commercial use only. Any attempt to make commercial use of these materials will be grounds for barring further access to the site.”

 

 

Places in the news-Punjab

The centre of attention: Dera Baba Nanak and Kartarpur Sahib:

https://www.google.co.in/maps/place/Dera+Baba+Nanak,+Punjab+143604/@32.055151,75.0252443,13z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x391bfcec21c405cd:0x358173658502513b!8m2!3d32.0321859!4d75.0304481

While the corridor is not marked yet, you can see DBN  and Kartarpur Sahib across the border. Also the station of DBN, served by local trains from Amritsar.

Dera Baba Nanak

https://erail.in/trains-between-stations/amritsar-jn-ASR/derababa-nanak-DBNK

Some of these locals start from Verka, the first station from Amritsar. Other special trains are presently running from Sultanpur Lodhi, another sacred place for the Sikhs.

On the other side of the border, there is a now disused station at Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, which lies on the line from Narowal to Chak Amru.

Darbar Sahib Kartarpur

This was served by local trains until the early 2000s, when the trains serving this station had dwindled to one pair of trains on Sunday:

Kartarpur (Pak) TT 001

In happier times (from the 1943 Bradshaw) we have these trains in the same area:

NWR around Amritsar-1943 001

 

On the top right, the local trains between Amritsar and Narowal and Sialkot via DBN and Jassar (across the border). Wartime shortages must have reduced this to one pair of trains a day.

On the bottom right, the one train a day between Lahore and Chak Amru via Narowal, Jassar and Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. Those familiar with the 1971 war would remember the battles around Shakargarh. Chak Amru station was captured by the Indian army and was returned soon after the war.

Finally, the other Kartarpur which lies between Jalandhar and Amritsar.

Kartarpur India

Footnote: there is a place called Jassur on the Kangra Valley line, although the station’s name is Nurpur Road.