Andheri Tramway Company

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The Andheri Tramway Company made an application in 1914 for the construction of a tramway from Andheri Station on the BB&CIR Railway to the village of Vesava [1].

The application was made with the consent of the District Local Board of Thana, The Taluka Board of Salsette and the Notified Area Committee of Andheri. It was to be constructed under the Tramways Act 1886 [1].

Andheri is some 25 km north of Bombayand on the BB&CIR mainline , which also serves as the Bombay Suburban railway. The tramway was to run westward to Vesava on the coast, a distance of about 8 km.

The project was clearly completely specified, as can be seen from ‘Extract from British Library IOR/l/F/8/17 (1370)’ below. However no information has been found concerning how the project was to be funded or any information concerning the company.

There is no evidence that this project, although authorised, was ever constructed.

In 2004 approval was given to construct what became ‘Mumbai Metro Line-1’. The route selected was almost exactly that proposed in 1914, as can be seen from ‘Later Development’ below.

Extract from British Library Record IOR/l/F/8/17 (1370)
The Bombay Government Gazette August 9 1914 Pages 1726 -1729 Bombay 3rd August 1914. By order the His Excellency the Right Honourable the Governor in Council. J L Rieu, Secretary to the Government.
Page 1726. An application was made by the Andheri Tramway Company Ltd with the consent of the District Local Board of Thana, The Táluka Board of Sálsette and the Notified Area Committee of Andheri. It was to be constructed under the Tramways Act 1886. From Andheri Station on the B. B & C I Railway to the village of Vesáva. Objections were required by 15th September 1914. It was to be a single line with sidings and turnouts following Ghodbunder Road and the old Kurla-Vesáva Road and the Old Road to Vesáva village. The land necessary for the route would come from the land fund.
Page 1727. Whilst they had to buy other land required. It was not authorised to build depots, stables or any other buildings on the land from the land fund. Construction must start within 1 month of the acquisition of the land and completed within 2 years. The construction of the tramway would be a gauge of 3 feet 3⅜inches (1 metre) of grooved track and laid flush with the road. Carriages will not overlap the track by 1 foot 9 inches on each side. The tramway will be powered petrol engines with a maximum speed of 12 mph with a speed limit of 4mph at crossings or while passing. The double cars will be 25 horsepower and the single 15 hp. The fuel will be 745o Benzene. The cars will be light by a bright white on the front and a red on the rear at night. The carriages for the conveyance of passengers will afford shelter from sun and rain. Separate carriage will be supplied for luggage. Page 1728: ‘The tramway will carry people, language, animals, goods, minerals and parcels but may not have to carry goods seemed by the Government as dangerous. The maximum passenger luggage carried for free will be 20 seers of 80 tolas. The tramway may refuse to carry anything with the exception of passengers. The driver while on duty will be supplied with a whistle or bell to be sounded as a warning when necessary. The carriage design will be approved by the Governor with safe access to and from them, protection from the wheels, each carriage will be fitted an efficient break able to be operated from either end. The tramway will be open to inspection of the Government of Bombay. Any Carriage, Engine or track that does not meet the inspection shall be taken out of service. Failure to adhere to this gives a fine of Rs200
Page 1729. Once repaired a further inspection is required before the track or rolling stock can be reused. The government can give 6 months’ notice to take over the company.

Later Development In June 2004, government approval was given for a 13-station elevated line between Ghatkopar, Andheri and Versova [2].

In June 2006, the Government of Maharashtra awarded the rail-based Mumbai Metro Line-1 Project to Mumbai Metro One Private Limited, formed by a consortium of Reliance Infrastructure Limited, the MMRDA and Veolia Transport SA. The original concession was granted by the Goverenment of Madras under the Indian Tramways Act, 1886 for a tramway along the 11.40 kilometres long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor on a public private partnership basis. The concession was not taken up at the time [3]. Construction work began in February 2008. A successful trial run was conducted in May 2013, and the system's first line entered operation in June 2014 [2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 British Library IOR/l/F/8/17 (1370) quoting from “The Bombay Government Gazette” August 9 1914 Pages 1726 -1729
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wikipedia “Public Transport in Madras”; Retrieved 30 Dec 2016
  3. Infrastructure Today “The legal aspects of Mumbai Metro...” , by Legalese Oct 2015”; Retrieved 30 Dec 2016