Madras-Walajapet Railway Proposal 1837

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Madras-Walajapet Railroad Proposal 1837

A railroad from Madras to Walajapet (spelling Wallajaingger in the document) had been proposed by the Madras Department of Public Works. Authorisation was given in 1837 to undertake experimental work prior to construction. An internal letter dated 29 June 1837 to the Chief Secretary to the Government of Madras advised that ‘works as are here proposed to be experimented upon renders it very desirable that small sums should now be laid to bring them to possible perfection previous to their being permanently constructed at a great expense on the railroad from Madras to Wallajaingger [1].

It is not known if any work was undertaken by the Madras Department of Public Works.

Later Developments

The Madras Railway Company(MR) was formed provisionally in July 1852 to acquire lands in the “East Indies” and to construct and work a railway or railways in that territory. In December of that year the railway company contracted with the East India Company to construct and maintain an “experimental line of railway” from Madras to (or towards) the west coast of India. [2].

The first section of line, constructed by MR from Veyasarpandy (2 miles/3.5km from Madras centre) to Walajah Road (3km from Walajapet and 5km from Arcot) [3], opened on 1 July 1856. This line became part of the ‘Madras-Jalapet SW Mainline' [4].

Further Information

See Early Railway Experiments and Proposals for more information and background.


  1. British Library IOR/F/4/1867/79385, page 223. “Fort St George Public Consultation” extract from letter dated 11th July 1837. Department of Public Works.Nr 335. From Superintendent Stafford Vaidon,Officiating Secretary, Board of Revenue in the Department of Public Works. To the Chief Secretary to Government of Madras dated 29th June 1837
  2. H.M. Government “Statute Law Repeals: Nineteenth Report : Draft Statute Law (Repeals) Bill; April 2012"; pages 130-132, paragraphs 3.65-3.73 Retrieved on 5 January 2017
  3. Wikipedia “Walajapet”; Retrieved 5 Jan 2017
  4. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 81 (pdf 90); Retrieved 5 Jan 2017