Punjab Northern State Railway

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Punjab Northern State Railway(PNSR)

The route of what became the PNSR, was first surveyed in 1857 and years of political and military debate followed as described under Lahore & Peshawar Railway .

Finally, following further exchanges, the line was constructed by the of Government of India(GoI). The Punjab Northern State Railway(PNSR) was created in 1807-71 to construct and operate the raiway from Lahore to Peshawar. The line was finally opened in 1876 and was the first railway in India to have been taken under GOI control.

Francis Joseph Edward Spring was deployed from the Indian Imperial Civil Service's engineering section in 1873 as Consulting Engineer for the survey of the PNSR and the construction of various parts of that Railway and Bridges. He remained attached to the PNSR until 1878.

Several major bridges required construction to complete the PNSR line between from Lahore and Peshawar:-

  • Jhelum Bridge, over the River Jhelum at Jelum, started in 1871 by the British engineer William St. John Galwey and opened in 1873
  • Alexandra Bridge, over the River Chenab between Wazirabad and Gujraat Pakistan. Construction started in 1871 and opened 1876 by Edward VII the King-Emperor when he was Prince of Wales.
  • Ravi Bridge, over the River Ravi situated between Sadiq Pura, Lahore and Shahdara Bagh. The construction work on this bridge was started in 1871 and completed in 1876.

With others, the Punjab Northern State Railway was merged with the Sind, Punjab and Delhi Railway in 1886 to form the North-Western State Railway (later becoming the North Western Railway).


An on-line search of the India Office Records (IOR) records held at the British Library relating to this railway [1] gives the following:-

  • R/V/24/3590; "Public Works Department: Railways" which includes "Administration report on the construction of the Punjab Northern State Railway, 1877/78 and 1878/79”

Personnel Records

There are no PNSR Staff agreements held at the British Library in the India Office Records.

However the following staff have been identified:-


  1. “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 27 Apr 2016