Akra Brick Factory Tramway/Railway

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Akra Brick Factory Tramway/Railway

A brickworks at Akra, near Calcutta was in use before 1859-60, initially established by the Government of India and thransferred to the Government of Bengal in 1877. It produced bricks, tiles and soorkee°° for Government projects all over Bengal with 100 lakh bricks per year being producedon average by the mid 1870's [1].

By 1860 a jetty on the Hooghly River was constructed to transport the products from the factory. A 4 ft 0in (1222cm) gauge (see Gauge Note) tramway was laid to connect the factory to the jetty. It is thought the tramway was worked by animals [1].

During the building of the Calcutta Port Commissioners' Kidderpore Dock in the mid 1880's a 3½ mile(5.6km) long temporary line was laid for the transportation of bricks from Akra for the new docks. It is thought this was a broad gauge(BG) line using locomotives and wagons on hire from the Calcutta Municipal Railway [1].

In 1889 the brickworks was leased to a private contractor for five years which was renewed in 1894. It is unknown if the private contactor retained the 4 ft 0in tramway [1].

°°soorkee, is brick pulverized and mixed with lime to form a mortar - Merriam-Webster Indian Definitions [2].

Gauge Note

The 4ft 0in (1222cm) Gauge specified is most unusual and we have classfied this as a Unique Rail Gauge.

The only other known examples of this gauge are:-

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Published by ‘The Industrial Railway Society’ 2013. ISBN 978 1 901556 82-7. Available at http://irsshop.co.uk/India. Reference: Entry WB141 page ....
  2. Merriam-Webster Indian Definitions; Retrieved 10 Oct 2017