North Western State Railway

The North Western State Railway (NWR) was formed in January 1886 from the merger of the Scinde, Punjab & Delhi Railway, the Indus Valley State Railway, the Punjab Northern State Railway, the eastern section of the Sind–Sagar Railway and the southern section of the Sind–Pishin State Railway and the Kandahar State Railway.[2]

North Western State Railway
North Western Railway
1909 Map of the North Western State Railway
LocalePunjab Province
Sind Province
North-West Frontier Province
Baluchistan, Karachi, British Raj
Dates of operation1886–1947
PredecessorScinde, Punjab & Delhi Railway
Indus Valley State Railway
Punjab Northern State Railway
Sind–Sagar Railway
Sind–Pishin State Railway
Kandahar State Railway
SuccessorPakistan Western Railways
Eastern Punjab Railway[1]


Fortified Northwestern Railway bridge over the Indus at Attock LCCN2004707360
Fortified North Western State Railway bridge over the Indus at Attock, 1895

The military and strategic concerns for securing the border with Afghanistan were such that, Francis Langford O'Callaghan (who was posted from the state railways as engineer-in-chief) was called upon for a number of demanding railway projects, surveys and constructions in the Northwest Frontier.[3] What initially started off as military and strategic railway project, ended up becoming part of the North Western State Railway network upon its formation in 1886. The Bolan Pass railway was completed in 1886 and in 1887 the Khawaja Amran Railway Survey included the Khojak Tunnel and the Chaman Extension Railway.[4] The Khojak Tunnel opened in 1891 and the railway reached Chaman near the Afghan border. By 1905, it was the longest railway under one administration and the strategic railway of the entire Northwest frontier. In 1947, much of the North Western State Railway fell in Pakistan territory domain became part of the Pakistan Western Railways, while railways in Indian territory became incorporated into the Eastern Punjab Railway.[5]


The North Western State Railway network was formed by merging several major and minor railways together. These included:

Major railways absorbed

Minor railways absorbed


The North Western State Railway undertook a major railway expansion program, which included:

See also


  1. ^ Directory of Railway Officials & Yearbook. Tothill Press. 1954. p. 114. It comprises the whole of the former North-Western system of British India except the lines in the south-eastern Punjab, now the Eastern Punjab Railway of India.
  2. ^ " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 106; Retrieved 20 Dec 2015
  3. ^ Institution of Civil Engineers "Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland - O'Callaghan, Francis Langford "; Retrieved on 9 Jul 2016
  4. ^ "The Imperial Gazetteer of India" v. 21, p. 14.; Retrieved on 13 Jul 2016
  5. ^ Reed, Sir Stanley (1949). The Times of India Directory and Year Book. Times of India Press. Retrieved 26 November 2016. On that day the Indian portion of tile North-Western was constituted into Eastern Punjab Railway, and the parts of the Bengal- Assam in the province of Assam were formed Into Assam Railway.
  6. ^ " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 110; Retrieved 16 Feb 2016

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