Mysore State Railway

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Mysore State Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Mysore to Bangalore
Bangalore to Harihar
Gauge / mileage
Metre gauge 296 miles (1905)
1887 Leased to Southern Mahratta Railway
1919 Mysore-Bangalore section reverted to State
1938 Bangalore-Harihar section reverted to State
Key locations
Presidency Madras
Stations Bangalore, Birur, Harihar, Kadur, Maddur, Mysore, Seringapatam, Tumkur
System agency
1882 Worked by Southern Mahratta Railway
1938 Reverted to Mysore State Railway control
How to interpret this infobox
Mysore State Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
System timeline
1887 First system leased to Southern Mahratta Railway
1912 System re-formed by State of Mysore
1919 Reversion of some lines
1938 Lease terminated and lines reverted to full State of Mysore control
Constituent companies / lines
1919 & 1938 Mysore State Railway
1938 Anandapuram-Sagara Railway
1919 Birur-Shimoga Railway
1916 Bowringpet-Chikballapur Railway
1921 Chickjajur-Chitaldrug Railway
1918 Chikballapur-Bangalore City Railway
1918 Mysore-Arsikere Railway
1919 Mysore-Nanjangud Railway
1926 Nanjangud-Chamrajnagar Railway
1934 Shimoga-Anandapuram Railway
1921 Tadassa-Hebbe Tramway
1917 Tarikere-Narasimharajapura Tramway
Key locations
Headquarters Mysore
Workshops Bangalore
Major Stations Arsikere, Birur, Bowringpet, Chamrajnagar, Chikballapur, Chitaldrug, Harihar, Hassan, Hindupur, Kadur, Maddur, Nanjangud, Seringapatam, Shimoga, Tumkur
Successor system / organisation
1950 Nationalised
1951 Southern Railway (IR zone)
System mileage
Metre gauge 600 miles (1940)
2' 6" NG 102 miles (1940)
2' 0" 36 miles (1940)
Associated auxiliary force
How to interpret this infobox

The name, Mysore State Railway (MSR), originally referred to the metre gauge(MG) line which connected the State capital, Mysore, to Bangalore and named the Mysore-Bangalore Railway. Later, MSR, or Mysore Railway as it was sometimes known in this context, was the name applied to a network of disjointed metre gauge(MG) branch lines owned by the Princely Mysore State Durbar.


Following the disastrous famine of 1876-1877, the original sections of the MSR were planned and built by the State of Mysore, opening to traffic during 1881-1882. In 1887, in order to eradicate its "famine debt", the State of Mysore leased the MSR to the Southern Mahratta Railway (SMR) for a period of 45 years. [1].

In 1907, the SMR transformed itself into the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway (M&SMR), with the lease following. At this time, the Railway Department of the State of Mysore was defunct.

From 1912, the State of Mysore again became actively involved in the promotion and construction of railway lines within its boundaries, and, between 1916 and 1918, opened 232 miles of railway to traffic. In 1919, the State succesfully sought the reversion of the Mysore to Bangalore section and two branch lines, the Birur-Shimoga and the Mysore-Nanjangud Railways. Further construction, chiefly between 1921 and 1934, added 105 miles of new track.

From 1 January 1938, the lines leased to M&SMR reverted to the control of the State of Mysore, creating a homogenous railway of just under 740 miles. In 1950, MSR was nationalised and in 1951 became part of Southern Railway, one of the then newly formed zones of Indian Railways.

Lines worked by MSR at some time


Refer to FIBIS Fact File #4: “Research sources for Indian Railways, 1845-1947” - available from the Fibis shop. This Fact File contains invaluable advice on 'Researching ancestors in the UK records of Indian Railways' with particular reference to the India Office Records (IOR) held at the British Library

An on-line search of the IOR records relating to this railway [2] gives the following: -

  • R/2/Box4/34; “Files 479A 1-3 1888 Cession to the British Govt. of jurisdiction over the Mysore State Railways”; 1886-93
  • /L/F/8/13/939; “Southern Mahratta Railway Company Limited, Contract for an extension of the Mysore State Railway and maintenance and working and extension as separate undertaking Secretary of State”; 31 Aug 1887
  • L/F/8/20/1704; “Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Company Limited, Contract as to transfer of Mysore-Nanjangud, Birur-Shimoga and Mysore-Bangalore sections of the Mysore Railway to the Mysore Durbar Secretary of “;24 Oct 1924

Unfortunately, there are no MSR Staff agreements held at the British Library in the India Office Records.



  1. "The Ex-Mysore State Metre Gauge Lines" by Ian Manning 2007. Placed on IRFCA Indian Railways Fan Club Server Retrieved on 9 Feb 2016
  2. “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 26 Jan 2016
  3. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 546 (pdf page 509 Retrieved on 23 May 2016
  4. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 456 (pdf page 419) Retrieved on 23 May 2016