North Western Railway

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North Western Railway
NWR Engine.jpg
Line of route
Karachi to Quetta
Karachi to Lahore
Lahore to Delhi
Lahore to Peshawar
Gauge / mileage
Broad gauge 3186 miles (1905)
6861 miles (1947)
1886 Formed by merger of several railways, viz:
Sind, Punjab and Delhi Railway
Indus Valley State Railway
Punjab Northern State Railway
1930 Southern Punjab Railway merged into NWR
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
System agency
1886 State agency
How to interpret this infobox
North Western Railway
North Western Railway logo.jpg
North Western Railway device
System timeline
1886 State owned and State worked
Constituent companies / lines
1886 North Western Railway
Dandot Light Railway
Jammu and Kashmir Railway
Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway
Ludhiana-Dhuri-Jakhal Railway
Nowshera-Durgai Railway
Rajpura-Bhatinda Railway
Southern Punjab Railway
Kalka-Simla Railway
Key locations
Headquarters Lahore
Workshops Moghalpura
Major Stations Amritsar, Ferozepore, Hyderabad, Meerut, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Saharanpur, Sibi
Successor system / organisation
1947 [West] Pakistan Railways
1947 Eastern Punjab Railway (Indian Railways)
1952 Northern Railway (IR zone)
System mileage
Broad gauge 3890 miles (1905)
Narrow (2' 6") gauge 132 miles (1905)
Narrow (2' 0") gauge 6 miles (1905)
Associated auxiliary force
North-Western Railway Battalion
How to interpret this infobox

The North-Western State Railway (NWR) was formed in January 1886 from the merger of the Sind, Punjab and 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. [1]


Later renamed the North Western Railway, by 1905 it was the longest railway under one administration and the strategic railway of the north-west frontier. In 1947, one part became the nucleus of Pakistan's railways, with 4976 of the old system's 6861 miles lying within the new state; the part lying in India was reorganised and renamed as Eastern Punjab Railway.

NWR Lines, Branches and Extensions

In addition to the main line sections the following are significant :-

Railways absorbed into NWR

Lines worked by NWR at some time

Railways surveyed by NWR

  • Bannu Railway Survey. Under Survey in 1909 (ref 1909 India List) by NWR on behalf of Government of India(GoI), but no evidence that it was constructed

FIBIS resources

  • FIBIS Gallery Album Railways/NWR/H V O WATERS Collection He served as a travelling Inspector of Coaching and Goods Accounts, NWR 1907-1917. Includes a
    • map of the railway network. To enlarge, click on the icon at the top left hand corner of the map.


  • There are at least two records at the National Archives
    • RAIL 1156/20/36 Victor Hope Boalth: Chief Commercial Manager, North Western Railway of India. Birth: 12 September 1872, Sumbolpore, India. Railway service: 1895-1927.
    • RAIL 1156/26/40 Frank Montagu George Wheeler: Deputy Chief Mechanical Engineer, North Western Railway, India. Birth: 22 July 1907, London. Railway service: 1931-1949

Also see


Recommended reading

  • Berridge, Percy Stuart Attwood. Couplings to the Khyber: the story of the North Western Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1969.

Good coverage of the largest Indian railway system, especially from a civil engineering perspective. Lacks a bibliography and poorly annotated. [Slides of the photographs used form a collection deposited at the Cambridge South Asian Archive together with copies of the North Western Railway Magazine, the monthly staff magazine edited by the author.]

  • North Western Railway Magazine.

Monthly staff magazine. Some editorial content published in Urdu . No BL holdings. 2 copies (November 1942, December 1945) are held in the Berridge Papers, Cambridge South Asian Archive.

External Links

Historical books online


  1. " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 106; Retrieved 20 Dec 2015