Delhi Durbar 1903 Railway

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Delhi Durbar 1903 Railway

The 1903 Delhi Durbar was held in commemoration of the succession of King Edward VII as Emperor of India. Two full weeks, commencing on 1 January 1903, of festivities were arranged by the Viceroy Lord Curzon [1]

A 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) railway system was installed for the transport of troops and visitors to the Durbar. The first works started by a contractor on 1 Aug 1902 and comprised preliminary earthworks. The work was taken over by two companies of the Bengal Sappers and Miners Corps; who commenced track laying, blasted a cutting through the Delhi ridge, a 21foot(6.3metre) high rock escarpment, constructed a bridge and numerious culverts. The line was inspected and passed for traffic on 29 Nov 1902[2].

  • The mainline ran from the Kashmere Gate to the Polo Ground, it was laid as a double line and had a balloon loop at each end giving a continuous run, it was divided into 13 sections and trains followed each other around the loop – the maximum number of trains running at any one time was ten, with trains running every eight minutes.
  • A branch line ran from the Kashmore Gate to various Durbar camps on its route, its main use was to reduce road traffic for the visitors and soldiers visitors taking part, it consisted of 4 miles(6.4km) of double line and two single line branches, one of about 1¼ miles(2km) to the Amphitheatre and the other just under 1½ miles(2.4km) to the Review branch.

The official history of the line records that 12 locomotives were utilised; nine borrowed from the Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal NWR Frontier (Military) Section and three from the Military Department. The records also show that 120 General Service Trucks were lent from the Light Military Reserve Railway [2].

See Also


  1. Wikipedia “Delhi Durbar of 1903” ; Retrieved 12 Feb 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compliled by Simon Darvill. Published by ‘The Industrial Railway Society’ 2013. ISBN 978 1 901556 82-7. Available at Reference: EntryDL02 pages 139-140