Great Indian Peninsula Railway

The Great Indian Peninsula Railway (reporting mark GIPR) was a predecessor of the Central Railway, whose headquarters was at the Boree Bunder in Mumbai (later, the Victoria Terminus and presently the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus). The Great Indian Peninsula Railway was incorporated on 1 August 1849 by an act of the British Parliament. It had a share capital of 50,000 pounds. On 21 August 1847 it entered into a formal contract with the East India Company for the construction and operation of a railway line, 56 km long, to form part of a trunk line connecting Bombay with Khandesh and Berar and generally with the other presidencies of India.[1] The Court of Directors of the East India Company appointed James John Berkeley[2] as Chief Resident Engineer and C. B. Kar and R. W. Graham as his assistants.[3] It was India's first passenger railway, the original 21 miles (33.8 km) section opening in 1853, between Bombay (Mumbai) and Tanna (Thane). On 1 July 1925 its management was taken over by the Government.[4] On 5 November 1951 it was incorporated into the Central Railway.

Great Indian Peninsula Railway
Founded1 August 1849
Defunct5 November 1951
Area served
British India
ServicesRail transport
Extent of Great Indian Peninsula Railway network in 1870

Incorporation in London

Incorporated as a company in 1849, with its head office in London, the Great Indian Peninsula railway was initially proposed for a length of 1300 miles, to connect Bombay with the interior of the Indian peninsula and to Madras(Chennai) major port on the east coast. It was originally meant to connect the towns of Poona (Pune), Nassuek (Nashik), Aurungabad (Aurangabad), Ahmednuggur (Ahmednagar), Sholapoor (Solapur), Nagpur, Oomrawutty (Amravati), and Hyderabad. It was meant for the purpose of increasing the export of cotton, silk, opium, sugar and spices.[5]

The management committee consisted of 25 British men, including officials of the East India company and banks in London, most of whom resided in Britain and some who had resided in India. The original 25 person board consisted of: people such as John Stuart Wortley and W.J Hamilton (both M.P.s from Britain who became the company's chairman and Deputy chairman), Frederick Ayrton (ex-East India Company), Cavalrymen such as Major Clayton and Major-General Briggs, Bombay residents John Graham, Col. Dickenson and Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy[6] , bankers such as John Harvey (Commercial Bank of London) and S. Jervis (Director of the London and County Bank, Lombard Street), and Directors of other railway companies such as Richard Paterson (Chairman of the Northern and Eastern Railway Company) and Melvil Wilson (Director of the Alliance Assurance Office).[7]

Railways around Bombay

On 16 April 1853 at 3:35 pm, the first passenger train of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway left Boree Bunder station in Bombay (present day Mumbai) for Tanna (present day Thane)[8] The train took fifty-seven minutes to reach Tanna.[9] It covered a distance of 21 miles (33.8 km). Three locomotives named Sultan, Sindh and Sahib pulled the 14 carriages carrying 400 passengers on board.[3]

The smaller railway viaduct (top) and the longer railway viaduct (bottom) near Tanna (present day Thane) in 1855.

Tanna Village and Smaller Viaduct (12671597053)
Tanna Railway Viaduct (9142699593)

The portion of the line from Tanna to Callian (present day Kalyan) was opened on 1 May 1854. The construction of this portion was difficult as it involved two-line viaducts over the estuary (see picture on right) and two tunnels.[10]

On 12 May 1856 the line was extended to Campoolie (present day Khopoli) via Padusdhurree (present day Palasdhari) and on 14 June 1858 Khandala-Poona (present day Pune) section was opened to traffic. The Padusdhurree-Khandala section involved the difficult crossing of the Bhore Ghat (present day Bhor Ghat) and it took another five years for completion. During this period, the 21 km gap was covered by palanquin, pony or cart through the village of Campoolie.

The Kassarah (present day Kasara) line was opened on 1 January 1861 and the steep Thull ghat (present day Thal Ghat) section up to Egutpoora (present day Igatpuri) was opened on 1 January 1865 and thus completed the crossing of the Sahyadri.[9]

Bombay to Madras

Beyond Callian, the south-east main line proceeded over Bhor Ghat to Poona, Sholapore (present day Solapur) and Raichore (present day Raichur), where it joined the Madras Railway. By 1868, route kilometerage was 888 km and by 1870, route kilometerage was 2,388.[11][12]

Bombay to Calcutta

Beyond Callian, the north-east main line proceeded over the Thull ghat to Bhosawal (present day Bhusawal). From Bhosawal, there was a bifurcation. One passed through great cotton district of Oomravuttee (present day Amravati) and was extended up to Nagpore (present day Nagpur) and then to Raj-nandgaon in Drug district (Present day Durg). The other was extended up to Jubbulpore (present day Jabalpur) to connect with the Allahabad-Jubbulpore branch line of the East Indian Railway which had been opened in June 1867. Hence it became possible to travel directly from Bombay to Calcutta. The Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line was officially opened on 7 March 1870 and it was part of the inspiration for French writer Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days. Although, in the novel it is erroneously claimed that the line passes through Aurangabad, which is, again erroneously claimed as the capital of the Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgeer. At that time period, line had not reached Aurangabad but rather moved northward after reaching Bhusawal towards Jabalpur. At the opening ceremony, the Viceroy Lord Mayo concluded that “it was thought desirable that, if possible, at the earliest possible moment, the whole country should be covered with a network of lines in a uniform system”. [13]


  1. ^ Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways, New Delhi: National Book Trust, p.15
  2. ^ Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events of the year: 1862. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1863. p. 690.
  3. ^ a b Khan, Shaheed (18 April 2002). "The great Indian Railway bazaar". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 16 July 2008. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  4. ^ "About Indian Railways-Evolution". Ministry of Railways website.
  5. ^ Company registration - 1845. London: Grace's Guide. 1846. Retrieved 16 August 2015.
  6. ^ Westrip, Joyce (2014). Fire and Spice. London: Serif Books. p. 20. ISBN 1909150282.
  7. ^ "Incorporation of Great Indian peninsula Railway". The Evening Standard. 19 November 1845.
  8. ^ Costa, Roana Maria (17 April 2010). "A sepia ride, from Boree Bunder to Tannah". The Times of India. Mumbai. p. 6.
  9. ^ a b Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways, New Delhi: National Book Trust, p.17
  10. ^ "Extracts from the Railway Times". Railway Times. 1854. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  11. ^ Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways, New Delhi: National Book Trust, pp.17-8
  12. ^ Mihill Slaughter (1861). Railway Intelligence. 11. The Railway Department, Stock Exchange, London. p. 202.
  13. ^ Navaneeth Krishnan S (2012). Advent and Expansion of Railways in India, p.15

External links

1849 in India

Events in the year 1849 in India.

1850 in India

Events in the year 1850 in India.

Bagra Tawa railway station

Bagra Tawa is a railway station in Hoshangabad district of Madhya Pradesh.

Bagra Tawa is a railway station on Jabalpur - Itarsi railway line. under West Central Railway zone of Indian Railway, which falls under administrative preview of Jabalpur Division of Railways. The station came into existence in when during 1869-71, the Itarsi to Jabalpur lines were built by Great Indian Peninsula Railway.

The train passes through a tunnel near Bagra Tawa and then crosses the bridge over Tawa River few kilometers down from village. The Tawa Dam is located nearby the station.

The station code is 'BGTA'. The immediate preceding station while coming from Itarsi junction is Sontalai and towards Jabalpur side is Guramkhedi.

Barsi Light Railway

Barsi Light Railway (BLR) was a 202-mile (325 km) long, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow-gauge railway between Miraj and Latur in the state of Maharashtra in India. It was the brainchild of British engineer Everard Calthrop, and regarded as having revolutionised narrow-gauge railway construction in India.

Bengal Nagpur Railway

The Bengal Nagpur Railway was one of the companies which pioneered development of the railways in eastern and central India. It was succeeded first by Eastern Railway and subsequently by South Eastern Railway.

Bhor Ghat

Bhor Ghat or Bor Ghat, Bhore Ghaut, is a mountain passage located between Palasdari and Khandala for railway and between Khopoli and Khandala on the road route in Maharashtra, India, situated on the crest of the Western Ghats.

Bhusawal–Kalyan section

The Bhusawal–Kalyan section is part of the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line and Howrah-Allahabad-Mumbai line. It connects Bhusawal and Kalyan both in the Indian state of Maharashtra. One of the branch lines, Jalgaon-Surat line, runs partly in Gujarat.

Indian locomotive class XP

The Indian locomotive class XP was a class of experimental 4-6-2 "Pacific" type steam locomotives used on broad gauge lines in India.The two members of the class were built by Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows, Lancashire, England, to an order placed by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) in 1935.

Kalyan taluka

Kalyan taluka is a taluka of the Thane district of Maharashtra in Konkan division. It is located between 19°4' and 19°24'N. and 73°1' and 73°24'E with an area of 276 square miles (710 km2). The capital is the city of Kalyan.The taluka is cubic in form, and in its western part a rich open plain. In the south and east, ranges of hills running parallel with the boundary line throw out spurs into the heart of the plain. The transport of produce is facilitated by the tidal creek of the Ulhas river and by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. The river Kalu is navigable by boats of 10 tons for 9 miles (14 km) above Kalyan town. There are disagreeable east winds in April and May; but although fever is prevalent in the cold season, the climate is on the whole temperate and healthy.


For the town in the Satara district, see Khandala, SataraKhandala is a hill station in the Western Ghats in the state of Maharashtra, India, about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) from Lonavala, 12 kilometres from Khopoli and 33.4 kilometres (20.8 mi) from Karjat.

Khandala is located at one (top) end the Bhor Ghat, a major ghat (meaning valley in Marathi) on the road link between the Deccan Plateau and the Konkan plain. The ghat carries an extensive amount of road and rail traffic. The Mumbai-Pune Expressway, the main link between the major cities of Mumbai and Pune, passes through Khandala.

Due to the ease of accessibility from nearby cities, Khandala is a common area for hiking. One destination is the nearby peak of Duke's Nose, which offers a panoramic view of Khandala and the Bhor Ghat.

The route near Khandala sunset point and khopoli has been there since centuries used to connect the coastal cities like Sopara to Pune. The transport from base of khopoli was by carts both hand pulled and horse drawn, which was tarred during British time somewhere in 1840.

The railway route from Karjat to Pune was started under the guidance of Great Indian Peninsula Railway Chief Engineer 1849–1862: James Berkley (surveyor and route designer). The chief Engineer had a bungalow near the current day st Xaviers Villa in Khandala facing towards Duke's nose hill, The construction of the Khandala tunnel was a herculean job as the tunnel had to be bored through basalt. There were four bouts of cholera in Khandala during the construction of the Tunnels and Khandala Railway station, Which is well documented by the paper published by sir James Berkley.

The another notable place of visit is the Ancient Jail which was built in 1896, in which founders of St Xaviers college were jailed as POWs by the British masters.

Latur–Miraj section

The Latur–Miraj section of the Indian Railways is a 342 km (213 mi) link from Latur city to Miraj.

The Barsi Light Railway on the route with a track gauge of 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) opened in 1897. It was converted to metre-gauge between 1929 and 1931 as part of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.

Now it falls under the administration of the Solapur railway division of Central Railway zone of Indian Railways. The section was converted from metre gauge to broad gauge in 2007-2008. It was electrified in 2014.

Madras Railway

The Madras Railway (full name Madras Railway Company) played a pioneering role in developing railways in southern India and was merged in 1908 with Southern Mahratta Railway to form Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway.

The Madras Railway was formed in 1845 and its first track from Royapuram in Chennai (then known as Madras) to Arcot was opened in 1856.It had as its objective, connection of Chennai on the east coast with the west coast, as also linking up with Bengaluru and the Nilgiris, and to link up with the line from Mumbai.1857 from Walaja Road to Cuddalore route was proposed via Katpadi. The link with the west coast was first established in 1862 with a line to Beypore, which served as the western terminus of Madras Railway. The western terminus was shifted to Khozikode (then known as Calicut) in 1888.The link between Jolarpettai, a station on the Chennai-Beypore line of Madras Railway, and Bangalore Cantt. was established in 1864.In 1871, Madras Railway extension up to Raichur was linked with an extension of Great Indian Peninsula Railway from Kalyan to Raichur, thereby establishing Chennai-Mumbai link. The Chennai-Vijayawada link was established in 1899, thereby paving the way for opening of the Howrah-Chennai main line.The southern part of the East Coast State Railway (from Waltair to Vijayawada) was taken over by Madras Railway in 1901. Amongst the constituent railways of Madras Railway were Kolar Goldfields Railway, Nilgiri Mountain Railway and Shornapur Cochin Railway.The Madras Railway was merged with Southern Mahratta Railway in 1908 to form Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway.

Mumbai–Chennai line

The Mumbai–Chennai line is a railway line connecting Chennai and Mumbai cutting across southern part of the Deccan Plateau. It covers a distance of 1,281 kilometres (796 mi) across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Mumbai–Pune Mail

Mumbai-Pune Mail (started as Bombay-Poona Mail) or Poona Mail was a luxurious train on Mumbai-Pune section by the Great Indian Peninsula Railway. It was the first intercity train started between Mumbai and Pune. This train and the famous Deccan Queen Express used to serve Mumbai Pune commuters for many years. Later this train was extended to Kolhapur and was renamed Sahyadri Express. This train was believed to carry Royal Mail and was one of the finest trains in British Empire.

Nagpur–Bhusawal section

The Nagpur–Bhusawal section (railway track) is part of the Howrah-Nagpur-Mumbai line (alternatively known as Mumbai-Kolkata line / Bombay-Calcutta line) and connects Nagpur and Bhusawal both in the Indian state of Maharashtra. This section also has a number of branch lines. Part of one of the major trunk lines in the country, Nagpur–Bhusawal section passes through a section of the Deccan Plateau. The main line crosses Nagpur, Wardha, Amravati, Akola, and Buldhana districts of Vidarbha region and Jalgaon district of Khandesh region.


Nimar is the southwestern region of Madhya Pradesh state in west-central India.This region also having sub-regions like nimad, khandya, bhuwana.

The region lies south of the Vindhya Range, and consists of two portions of the Narmada and Tapti river valleys, separated by a section of the Satpura Range, about 15 miles (24 km) in breadth. On the highest peak, about 800 ft (244 m) above the plain and 1800 ft (549 m) above sea-level, stands the fortress of Asirgarh, commanding a pass which has for centuries been the chief highway between Upper India and the Deccan.The Nimar region is home to the Nimadi language, which is related to the Malvi language of Malwa as well as the other Rajasthani languages.

Nimar formed a district of British India, in the Nerbudda Division of the Central Provinces. The administrative headquarters were at Khandwa; but the capital in Muslim times was Burhanpur. Area, 4273 mi² (11,067 km²), population (1901) 329,615. The staple crops were cotton and millet; ganja or Indian hemp was also allowed to be grown under government supervision. The Great Indian Peninsula railway ran through the district, and a branch of the Rajputana line from Indore joined it at Khandwa. There were factories for ginning and pressing cotton at Khandwa, and manufacture of gold-embroidered cloth at Burhanpur. The district contained extensive forests, and the government preserved a section known is the Punasa forest, which extended for about 120 miles (190 km) along the south bank of the Narmada, home to forests of teak (Tectona grandis), sain (Terminalia tomentosa) and anjan (Hardwickia binata) trees.Nimar was also a district in the princely state of Indore lying west of the British district on both banks of the Narmada. Area, 3871 mile² (10,026 km²); pop. (1901) 257,110. From 1823 onwards this tract, then belonging to Sindhia rulers of Gwalior, was under British management; in 1861 it was ceded in full sovereignty to the British, but in 1867 it passed to Holkar rulers of Indore as the result of an exchange of territory.After Indian independence in 1947, The former British district became the Nimar District of the new state of Madhya Pradesh, with its administrative seat at Khandwa; the Nimar District of Indore state became the Nimar district of the new state of Madhya Bharat, with its administrative seat at Khargone. When Madhya Bharat was merged into Madhya Pradesh on 1 November 1956, The former Madhya Bharat district became West Nimar District, while the eastern district became East Nimar District. West Nimar district was split into the districts of Barwani and Khargone on 24 May 1998 and similarly East Nimar district was split into the districts of Khandwa and Burhanpur on 15 August 2003.

Robert Maitland Brereton

Robert Maitland Brereton (2 January 1834 – 7 December 1911) was an English railway engineer in India. In the United States he helped secure the first Act of Congress for the irrigation of California.

Taraon State

Taraon, also spelt 'Tarahwan' and 'Tarahuhān', was a jagir in India during the British Raj. It had an area of 67 square miles and its population was distributed in 13 villages. The capital of the state was in Pathraundi, located about 1.5 km from Karwi railway station of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway.Taraon Estate was merged into the Indian state of Vindhya Pradesh in 1948. The area covered by the former state is now in modern Chitrakoot district, at the southern end of Uttar Pradesh.

West Central Railway zone

The West Central Railway (abbreviated WCR and पमरे), one of the 18 zones of the Indian Railways, came into existence on 1 April 2003. It is headquartered at Jabalpur.

Railways in Western India
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trunk lines
Branch lines /
Suburban lines
Metro rail
Defunct lines
revived / under revival
Defunct lines
Railway divisions
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Railways in Central India
National network
/ trunk lines
Branch lines
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revived/under revival
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