Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway

The Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (reporting mark BB&CI) was a company incorporated in 1855 to undertake the task of constructing a railway line between Bombay and Vadodara in India. BB&CI completed the work in 1864. The first suburban railway in India was started by BB&CI, operating between Virar and Churchgate (later extended to Colaba), a railway station in Bombay Backbay in April 1867.

The railway was divided into two main systems, broad (5 ft. 6 in.) and metre gauge. There was also a comparatively small mileage of 2 ft. 6 in. gauge line worked by the BB&CI on behalf of the Indian States. In 1947 the mileage of the respective portions was stated to be: broad gauge, 1,198 miles, with a further 69 miles worked for Indian States; metre gauge, 1,879 miles, with a further 106 miles worked for Indian States; narrow-gauge, 152 miles, worked for Indian States and various companies. Quadruple track mileage was 22 and double-track 250, the remainder of the system being single-track, whilst running powers were exercised over 147 miles (including the important section from Muttra Junction to Delhi, owned by the Great Indian Peninsular Railway).[1]

The main headquarters of the BB&CI Railway was located at Churchgate, Bombay and the headquarters and workshops for the metre gauge tracks and services was located in Ajmer.

Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway
Area served
Bombay Presidency and Rajputana Agency
ServicesRail transport
M2-162 Indian Railway Museum
Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway train at the National Rail Museum, New Delhi

Description of systems

The broad-gauge main line ran northwards from Bombay to Baroda, where it bifurcated, the north-east main line continuing towards Delhi, and the north-west main line to the industrial city of Ahmedabad and onwards to Viramgam and Kharagoda. The north-east main line passed through Godhra, Ratlam, Kotah and Bayana (from where a branch line ran to Agra Fort), to Muttra Junction, where it joined the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, over which it had running powers for 90 miles into Delhi.

The metre-gauge system was originally the Rajputana Malwa State Railway. It began at Ahmedabad and ran northwards through Baroda State and Rajputana via Abu, Ajmer, Jaipur and Rewari to Delhi. There were branches from Rewari to Bhatinda and Fazilka, from Ajmer to Ratlam, Indore and Khandwa, and from Achnera to Cawnpore.[2]


The original Bombay, Baroda & Central India Railway Company was purchased by the Government of India in 1905, but continued to be worked by a company with a board of directors in London until 1 January 1942, on which date the working was taken over by the government and it became part of the Indian State Railway system, directly under the Railway Board.[3]

Construction and Opening

The section from Churchgate to Ahmedabad was opened in stages between 1860 and 1870. The original Bombay terminus was at Grant Road, subsequently extended to Churchgate in 1870 and to Colaba, at the southern tip of the island of Bombay, in 1873. After the new Bombay Central station was opened in 1930, the line between Churchgate and Colaba was closed and removed.

The section from Godhra to Nagda was opened in 1896 and extended to Baroda. Nagda to Muttra Junction was opened in 1909, making possible through broad-gauge running between Bombay and Delhi.

The metre-gauge system was originally the Rajputana Malwa State Railway and was taken over subsequently by the BB&CI. The metre-gauge main line from Delhi to Jaipur was completed in 1874, extended to Ajmer in 1875 and to Ahmedabad in 1881.[4] The branch from Rewari to Bhatinda and Fazilka was begun in 1881 by the Ferozepore & Rewari Railway, but the section between Bhatinda and Ferozepore was subsequently built to the broad-gauge and passed to the GIPR.


The Colaba-Borivali section (37.8 km) was electrified on 5 January 1928 on the 1.5 kV DC system. The two tracks between Colaba and Grant Road stations were electrified, while four tracks between Grant Road and Bandra railway stations were electrified. Only two suburban tracks between Bandra and Borivali were electrified in 1928, two main tracks were left for the steam locomotives. In 1933, Colaba railway station and two electrified tracks between Colaba and Churchgate railway stations were dismantled. In 1936, electrification was extended to the two main tracks between Bandra and Borivali railway stations, left earlier and the two main tracks between Borivali and Virar railway stations were also electrified, resulting in completion of the electrification of the Churchgate-Virar section.[5]

Locomotives and Rolling Stock

In 1947, the total numbers of broad-gauge locomotives in service were 363 steam, 10 diesel and 2 electric. There were 1,042 passenger coaches (including 40 electric motor and 120 electric trailer coaches) and 10,584 goods wagons.

The equivalent figures for the metre-gauge were 437 locomotives, 1,335 coaches, 3 Sentinel steam coaches, and 9,127 wagons.

On the 2 ft. 6 in. gauge there were 20 locomotives, 58 coaches and 259 wagons.[6]

Later developments

In 1949, after independence of India, Gaekwar's Baroda State Railway was merged in to Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway by Government of India.

On 5 November 1951 the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway was merged with the Saurashtra Railway, Rajputana Railway, Jaipur State Railway and Cutch State Railway to give rise to the Western Railway.

Gandhi film

The railway is featured in many travel scenes in the 1982 film Gandhi which tells the story of the leader of India's independence movement, Gandhi played by the actor Ben Kingsley.

See also


  1. ^ Article by H.C. Towers in The Railway Magazine, vol. 93, no. 568, March and April, 1947
  2. ^ Towers, ibid.
  3. ^ Towers, ibid.
  4. ^ Towers, ibid.
  5. ^ Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways, New Delhi: National Book Trust, pp.150-1
  6. ^ All figures quoted by Towers, ibid.

External links

1855 in India

Events in the year 1855 in India.

Alexander Mitchell (engineer)

Alexander Mitchell, (13 April 1780 – 25 June 1868) was an Irish engineer who from 1802 was blind. He is known as the inventor of the screw-pile lighthouse.

Born in Dublin, his family moved to Belfast while he was a child, and he received his formal education at Belfast Academy - where he excelled in mathematics.

Originally working in brickmaking in Belfast, he invented machines used in that trade, before patenting the screw-pile in 1833, for which he would later gain some fame. The screw-pile was used for the erection of lighthouses and other structures on mudbanks and shifting sands, including bridges and piers. Mitchell's designs and methods were employed all over the world from Portland breakwater to Bombay bridges. Initially it was used for the construction of lighthouses on Maplin Sands in the Thames Estuary (the first light application, in 1838), at Fleetwood Lancashire (UK) Morecambe Bay (the first Ever Beacon Lit ) completed, in 1839), and at Belfast Lough where his lighthouse was finished in July 1844.

In 1848 he was elected member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and received the Telford Medal the following year for a paper on his invention.In May 1851 he moved to Cobh to lay the foundation for a lighthouse on the Spit Bank; the success of these undertakings led to the use of his invention on the breakwater at Portland, the viaduct and bridges on the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway and a broad system of Indian telegraphs.

He became friendly with astronomer John Thomas Romney Robinson, and mathematician George Boole.

He died at Glen Devis near Belfast on 25 June 1868. His wife and daughter had predeceased him.

Auxiliary Force (India)

The Auxiliary Force (India) (AFI) was a part-time, paid volunteer organisation within the Indian Army in British India. Its units were entirely made up of European and Anglo-Indian personnel.

The AFI was created by the Auxiliary Force Act 1920 to replace the unpopular British section of the Indian Defence Force, which had recruited by conscription. By contrast, the AFI was an all-volunteer force modelled after the British Territorial Army.

The Indian parallel to the AFI was the Indian Territorial Force.


BBCi can refer to: - The Berlin Brain-Computer Interface site (external link) (current in 2018)

BBC Online, the website of the BBC, formerly known as BBCi between 2001 and 2004

BBC Red Button, the BBC digital television text service, formerly known as BBCi between 2001 and 2008

Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway, an Indian rail company


Bagol is a village in the Desuri tehsil in the Pali district of Rajasthan, India. It was established by Keshu Das and Bheek Singh. It is near Sadri town on state highway SH 62 between Ganthi and Magartalav-Kolar, in a valley on the western side of the Aravalli Range. Bagol is accessible by road from Jojawar and Khinwara to Desuri.Falna, Rani, Somesar, Phulad and Marwar Junction are the nearest railway stations to reach Bagol. Around 1910, Bagol was the only railway station on proposed Udaipur–Fulad Railway line by Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI). Due to some government planning the work of extending the railway line via Bagol was stopped. The railway building still exists in Bagol, which is now under Forest Department.

Charles Ollivant

Sir Edward Charles Kayll Ollivant (1846–?) was a senior member of the Indian Civil Service who made a mark in his dealings with two notable politicians.

Ollivant had arrived in India in 1881. By 1892, he was Political Agent in Rajkot and had a notable disagreement with Mohandas Gandhi who was then a young barrister. The incident resulted in Gandhi being pushed out of the room, and ill-feeling was apparently a factor in his departure for South Africa in 1893.

Ollivant was knighted as a Knight Commander of the KCIE in 1892. He was a judicial member of the Council of the Governor of Bombay until April 1902. It was Ollivant who offered to hire Jinnah at 1,500 rupees per month and was notably turned down.

Ollivant is also known to have been a director of the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway.

East Indian Railway Company

The East Indian Railway Company, operating as the East Indian Railway (reporting mark EIR), introduced railways to eastern and northern India, while the Companies such as the Great Indian Peninsular Railway, South Indian Railway, Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway and the North-Western Railway operated in other parts of India. The company was established 1 June 1845 in London by a deed of settlement with a capital of £4,000,000,

largely raised in London.

Gaekwar's Baroda State Railway

Gaekwar's Baroda State Railway (GBSR) was a narrow gauge railway line owned by the Princely State of Baroda, which was ruled by the Gaekwar dynasty.

Gandhidham–Ahmedabad main line

The Gandhidham–Ahmedabad main line belongs to Western Railway of Ahmedabad Division in Gujarat State.

Grant Road railway station

Grant Road (station code: GTR), named after Sir Robert Grant, the Governor of Bombay between 1835 and 1839, is a railway station in South-Central Mumbai, and is the former terminus of the erstwhile Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway. The terminus was established in 1859 to connect to Surat, over the years the terminus facilities were moved to Bombay Central and facilities at Grant road were converted to cargo operations. Post independence the road which lends its name to the area and the station has been changed to Maulana Shaukatali Road

Indore Junction railway station

Indore Junction (station code: INDB) is one of the railway junctions in Madhya Pradesh and serves Indore, the commercial capital of Central India. The railway station of Indore Junction BG falls under the administrative control of Western Railway Zone of Indian Railways. It consists of 6 main railway platforms. The Ujjain – Indore route and Indore Junction was electrified in 2011. The Station is located 1 km away from the city centre. It is one of the ISO Certified Railway Stations of India.

Jaipur State Railway

The Jaipur State Railway was a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) metre gauge railway constructed by the Jaipur Durbar and owned by the Princely Jaipur State. The railway was managed, stocked and worked by the Jaipur Durbar and trafficked by the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CIR) for a specified fee.

Rajputana–Malwa Railway

Rajputana–Malwa Railway was a 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) (metre gauge) railway line which ran from Delhi to Ajmer and from Ajmer to Indore and Ahmedabad. It was earlier known as Rajputana State Railway until 1882 when it was renamed.

Saurashtra Railway

Saurashtra Railway came into being in April, 1948 with the amalgamation of state railways like Bhavnagar State Railway, Gondal Railway, Porbandar Railway, Jamnagar & Dwarka Railway, Morvi Railway, Dhrangadhra Railway, Okhamandal State Railway, Junagadh State Railway, Baria State Railway, Rajpipla Railway etc.Upon the independence of India and the merger of various Princely States into the Union of India, it became necessary to merge various State Railways owned by these Princely States into one. As the various states of Saurahstra and Kathiawar were merged to make Saurashtra State, the Government of India, similarly merged the various State Railways of Gujarat into a separate entity called Saurashtra Railway.

On 5 November 1951, Saurashtra Railway along with Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway, Rajputana Railway, Jaipur State Railway & Cutch State Railway were merged and Western Railway came into existence.

Silver Jubilee Railway Bridge Bharuch

The Silver Jubilee Railway Bridge Bharuch is a railway bridge in India, constructed by Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway and normally known as Silver Jubilee Railway Bridge. It is located between Ankleshwar and Bharuch Junction railway stations, on the river Narmada. This railway bridge number is 502.

This bridge was constructed by M/s Braithwaite & Co. (India) Ltd, in association with The Hindustan Construction Company Ltd who built the piers. The bridge was named in honour of the Silver Jubilee of King/Emperor George V of the United Kingdom.

Construction work began in 1933. The bridge was completed in 1935 and inaugurated on 20 December 1935 by Lord Brabourne Governor of Bombay. This bridge is 1.406 km (1406.68 m) long. This bridge has 17 spans.

In these spans one span is 18.28 m, another one is 76.20 m and the remaining 15 spans are 87.48 m each. The girders of the bridge were built of mild steel. The bridge damage in July, 1970 due to an earthquake.

It is double track electrified railway line. Near this railway bridge a road bridge is also available for road traffic which is known as the Golden Bridge or Narmada Bridge.

Viramgam Junction railway station

Viramgam Junction railway station is located in Ahmedabad district of Gujarat state of India. It serves Viramgam town. Its code is VG. It comes under Ahmedabad division of Western Railway Zone. Passenger, Express and Superfast trains halt here.

Viramgam–Okha line

The Viramgam–Okha line is a railway passing through Gujarat State.

Vrindavan railway station

Vrindavan railway station is on the Mathura-Vrindavan link. It is located in Mathura district in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It serves Vrindavan.

Western Railway zone

The Western Railway (abbreviated WR and प रे) is one of the 18 zones of Indian Railways, and is among the busiest railway networks in India. The major railway routes of Indian Railways which come under Western Railways are: Mumbai Central - Ratlam, Mumbai Central - Ahmedabad and Palanpur - Ahmedabad. The railway system is divided into six operating divisions: Vadodara, Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Ratlam, and Mumbai Central. Vadodara railway station, being the junction point for the Ahmedabad - Mumbai route and the Mumbai - Ratlam route towards New Delhi, is the busiest junction Station in Western Railways and one of the busiest junctions of Indian Railways too, while Ahmedabad Division earns highest revenue followed by Mumbai Division and Vadodara Division. Surat railway station is one of the busiest railway station in Western Railway in non-junction category where more than 160 trains pass per day.

Western Railway General Manager's official bungalow 'Bombarci' (abbreviation of Bombay, Baroda and Central India) is located on Altamont road in Cumbala hill, Mumbai.

Engine sheds
Notable Trains
Railways in Western India
National network /
trunk lines
Branch lines /
Suburban lines
Metro rail
Defunct lines
revived / under revival
Defunct lines
Railway divisions
Railway companies
See also

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