Great Indian Peninsula Railway
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
The Bombay-Poona Mail in full flight about 1910
|Line of route|
| Bombay to Raichur (SE Division}|
Bombay to Jubbulpore (NE Division))
Bhusawal to Delhi
Bhusawal to Nagpur
|Gauge / mileage|
|Broad gauge||1562 miles (1905)|
|1853||First section of line open to traffic|
|1871||Through trains to Calcutta via Jubbulpore|
|Dhond-Manmad State Railway absorbed|
|1900||Line acquired by State|
|Stations||Kalyan, Poona, Hotgi, Wadi, Ahmadnagar, Akola, Chanda, Khandwa, Itarsi, Narsinghpur|
|Worked by Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
|How to interpret this infobox|
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
Great Indian Peninsula Railway device
|1900||Company re-formed to work State line|
|1925||Government takes over working of system|
|Constituent companies / lines|
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
|Agra-Delhi Chord Railway|
|Gwalior Light Railway|
|1900||Indian Midland Railway|
|Major Stations||Agra, Ahmadnagar, Akola, Amraoti, Banda, Bhopal, Bhusawal, Cawnpore, Chanda, Delhi, Dholpur, Gwalior, Hotgi, Itarsi, Jhansi, Jubbulpore, Khandwa, Muttra, Nagpur, Narsinghpue, Poona, Raichur, Saugor, Wadi|
|Successor system / organisation|
|1951||Central Railway (IR zone)|
|Broad gauge||2988 miles (1905)|
3363 miles (1943)
|2' 0" NG||183 miles (1905)|
202 miles (1943)
|Associated auxiliary force|
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway Regiment|
|How to interpret this infobox|
|See our interactive map of|
the North East Division
locations and routes on Google Maps
Like most of the early railways in India, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) was a British company, registered in London, privately owned and financed, operating under licence and guarantee from the (British) Board of Control in India and the East India Company (EIC). The GIPR was India's and Asia's first railway.
- 1 History
- 2 Construction
- 3 GIPR Branch Lines and extensions
- 4 Railways absorbed into GIPR
- 5 Lines worked by GIPR at some time
- 6 Records
- 7 FIBIS Resources
- 8 External Links
- 9 References
Formed in 1845, it was not until 1849 (at the urging of the then Governor, Lord Dalhousie) that the EIC sanctioned the GIPR to construct an experimental line, built to the broad gauge of 5' 6", eastward from Bombay. The first sod was turned on 31 October 1850 and the first locomotive was used in construction on 22 December 1851, but the first passenger train in India did not run until 16 April 1853, when a train, with 14 railway carriages and 400 guests, left Bombay bound for Thane, hauled by three locomotives: Sindh, Sultan, and Sahib. The 21 mile journey took an hour and fifteen minutes over the first section of the GIPR to be opened.
By 1859, GIPR was tasked with "the construction and working of the following lines, all of which terminate at Bombay, - viz. from Bombay, via Callian, to Jubbulpore, to meet the East Indian Railway Company's line from Allahabad, with branches to Mahim and Nagpore - 870 miles; and from Callian, via Poonah and Sholapore, to the opposite side of the river Kristna, to meet the line, via Bellary, from Madras - 366 miles - total, 1,236 miles. Capital 10,000,000ll. Rate of Interest Guaranteed - 5 per cent. on 8,000,000l. capital, and 4½ per cent. on 333,000l. debentures, the balance to be raised upon arrangements to be hereafter made."  
On 30 June 1900, the assets of the GIPR were purchased by the GoI and merged with those of the Indian Midland Railway into a "new" GIPR, managed by the old company.
The principal economic benefit of the GIPR was the opening up of the interior to external trade. The two lines up the Western Ghats were fully open by 1865 in time for cotton from the Deccan to be exported from Bombay to Manchester thus filling the trade gap created by the American Civil War.
The Western Ghats
The narrow coastal plain of India's west side is separated from the Deccan plateau by a mountain range which rises 1200m (3,900 ft) and which has always restricted internal communication with the Arabian Sea.
Bhore Ghat Railway Incline - between Kalyan and Poona
The Bhore Ghat Railway Construction was a major engineering constructed undertaken 1856-63 taking the GIPR south-eastern route towards Madras.
Incline length: 15 miles, tunnels: 26 (totalling 2.25 miles in length),and 8 viaducts of masonry construction.
Civil Engineers included: Consulting Engineer England: Robert Stephenson (until his death 1859)
- GIPR Chief Engineer 1849 - 1862: James James Berkley (surveyor and route designer).
- GIPR 2nd Engineer 1850 - CB Kerr
- GIPR 3rd Engineer 1850 Robert W Graham (his assistant Robert Maitland Brereton)
Consultant engineer 1847 - 1867: Arthur Anderson West (surveyor of the Bhore Gate Incline). 
GIPR Engineers: Messrs Adamson and Clowser, replaced by Messrs West and Tate in November 1859.
The contract was awarded (autumn 1855) to William Frederick Faviell and work begun at Bhore Ghat on 24 January 1856. In March 1859, Faviell gave up his contract; for a short time, two GIPR engineers, Swainson Adamson and George Louis Clowser, carried on the work.
The GIPR construction contract was relet in November 1859 to Solomon Tredwell who died within fifteen days of landing in India. His wife, Alice Tredwell, assumed the contract and appointed Messrs Adamson and Clowser to manage the contract for her in her absence, as Mrs Tredwell returned to England. This arrangement was to last seven years.
“These gentlemen (Adamson and Clowser) carried on the work with the greatest zeal and ability.” Labour management could limit construction progress, but “by their good and liberal management (Adamson and Clowser) collected and kept on the work a force of 25,000 men during two seasons, and in 1861 of more than 42,000 men.”
Thul Ghat incline - between Kalyan and Nasik
The GIPR north-eastern route towards the Gangetic plain.
Bombay's Victoria Terminus was both the principal station and GIPR's HQ; designed by architect Frederick William Stevens, it opened on Queen Victoria's 1887 Golden Jubilee. The GIPR had a collection of sidings spurring off to the docks in the east Bombay. There were numerous spurs to:
- Victoria Dock 1891
- Princes Dock 1888
- Carnac Basin
- Malet Basin
- Frere Basin
- Clerk Basin
GIPR Branch Lines and extensions
- Dhond-Manmad State Railway, opened 1878. A 'chord' line connecting GIPR main lines; constructed by GoI and handed to GIPR, 1880.
Railways absorbed into GIPR
- Agra-Delhi Chord Railway, opened 1904. Constructed to provide extra capacity between Agra and Delhi; worked by GIPR
- Allahabad-Jubbulpore line, opened 1867. Built by East Indian Railway(EIR); transferred to GIPR, 1925
- Amraoti State Railway, opened 1871. Branch railway to Baderna on GIPR. Worked by GIPR and finally taken over.
- Bina-Goona-Baran Railway, opened 1895. Owned by State of Gwalior and Udaipur Durbar; worked by Indian Midland Railway(IMR); amalgamated into GIPR , 1900
- Dhond-Manmad State Railway; opened 1878. A 'chord' line connecting the GIPR south-eastern main line to Madras with the GIPR north-eastern main line to Allahabad, passed to GIPR 1880.
- Indian Midland Railway(IMR). State agency formed 1882 to work several branch lines centred on Jhansi, amalgamated into GIPR, 1900
- Cawnpore-Kalpi-Jhansi Railway, opened 1886. Line completed 1888 by IMR.
- Bhopal State Railway, opened 1884. Indian State line, initially worked by IMR as Bhopal-Itarsi (Indian State Section).
- Bhopal-Itarsi Railway, opened 1882. State(British) Section; worked by IMR, 1885.
- Bhopal-Ujjain Railway, opened c.1895. Indian State line worked by IMR.
- Bina-Katni Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Jhansi-Bina Bhopal Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Jhansi-Gwallior and Katni Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Jhansi-Konch-Kalpi Railway, opened 1886. Part of IMR.
- Jhansi-Manikpore State Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Kunch- Madhggarh Railway. Project in 1906 by IMR/GIPR as extension to Ait-Kunch Branch Railway
Lines worked by GIPR at some time
- Agra-Gwalior Railway, opened 1881; renamed Gwalior Light Railway c.1899; worked by GIPR; renamed Scindia State Railway , 1944
- Ait-Kunch Branch Railway, opened 189?. Indian State line initially worked by Indian Midland Railway(IMR); then worked by GIPR
- Ambaji-Taranga Light Railway, opened 1919-20. Unassisted Company formed 1917; apparantly worked by GIPR
- Baran-Kotah Railway, opened 1908. Worked by GIPR , 1909
- Cawnpore-Banda Railway, opened 1913-14. Worked by GIPR , 1914
- Central Provinces Railway Co Ltd(CPR). A British owned company, formed 1910, operating a group of NG lines; all worked by GIPR ; under GoI management, 1925
- Darwha-Pusad Railway, opened 1931. Part of CPR
- Dhond-Baramati Railway, opened 1914-15. Part of CPR
- Ellichpur-Murtazapur-Yeotmal Railway, opened first section opened as Yavatmal Murtijapur Railway 1903, extended to Ellichpur 1913 . Known informally as Shakuntala Railway. Part of CPR
- Pachora-Jamner Light Railway, opened 1919. Part of CPR
- Pulgaon-Arvi Railway, opened 1917-18. Part of CPR
- Gwalior Light Railway, opened 1899. Owned by State of Gwalior; worked by GIPR; renamed Scindia State Railway 1944
- Khamagaon-Jalna Railway. The date of opening of the railway is not known; the railway was under consideration in 1906.
- Khamgaon Branch Railway. Short branchline of 12km between Jalamb and Khamgaon; worked by GIPR. The date of opening of the railway is not known.
- Salsette Trombay Railway, opened 1928. Operated by GIPR, closed 1934
- Nizam's Railway, opened 1874. Worked by GIPR until 1878; then by GoI; became Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway, 1886
- Pench Valley Coalfield Railway, opened 1913. Private Branch Line to Itarsi-Nagpur Railway; worked by GIPR
- Wardha Valley Railway, opened 1874. Worked by GIPR, also called Wardha Coal Railway
- Wardha-Warora Railway, opened. Opened in 1877, managed by GIPR by 1905
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  gives 136 references. The most important being:-
- L /AG/46/12 “Records of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company; 1845-1926”
- L/AG/46/12A “Records of the Great Indian Peninsula Extension Railway Company; 1863-1869”
The following employment records are relevant :-
- L/AG/46/12/86 : GIPR Lists of appointments (officers 1849-1885; workmen 1852-1880)
- L/AG/46/12/88 : GIPR Contracts of employment (officers 1886-1925; workmen 1881-1925)
- Z/L/AG/46 : Index to UK Appointments to Indian Railways (1849-1925)
- Mss Eur D1184/14 : Letters to Arthur A West from G L Clowser Nov 1860-Nov
- Great Indian Peninsula Railway Wikipedia
- GIPR picture gallery Science & Society Picture Library.
- "Guaranteed Railways in India" Hansard 1803-2005 (accessed 04 December 2008)
- History (of Central Railway) Central Railway (Indian Railways). (now an archived site)
- Victoria Terminus, (GIPR HQ & station [Bombay]) Wikipedia (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus)
- "Mumbai Multiplex : The line starts here" by Supriya Nair 4 January 2013. livemint.com "The ‘heritage wing’ of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a railway enthusiast’s dream"
Historical books online
- The Cotton and Commerce of India: considered in relation to the interests of Great Britain; with remarks on Railway Communication in the Bombay Presidency by John Chapman, founder and late manager of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company 1851 Google Books. Contents-Railway Chapters page xix.
- Paper on the (GIPR) Thul Ghaut Railway incline by James John Berkley: GIPR Chief Engineer, Bombay, 1860.
- Reminicences of an old English Civil Engineer 1858 -1908 by Robert Maitland Brereton 1908 Archive.org. Includes Appendix: India page 49. Brereton's account of working on the GIPR 1857-1870. He became Chief Engineer.
- "Money Market and City Intelligence", The Times, Wednesday, 15 June 1859, #23333, 7a.
- H.M. Government “Statute Law Repeals: Nineteenth Report : Draft Statute Law (Repeals) Bill; April 2012"; pages 128-130 paragraphs 3.57 - 3.64 Retrieved on 2 January 2016
- " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; pages 64-68; Retrieved 18 Dec 2015
- OBITUARY. ARTHUR ANDERSON WEST, 1827-1913, ICE Virtual Library . Retrieved on 28 July 2014.
- Campbell, Sir James MacNabb and Enthoven, Reginald Edward. Thana District Gazetteer, 'page 329. Retrieved on 28 July 2014.
- British Library “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 22 Jan 2016