Arthur William Forde

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Arthur William Forde (1821-1886)
for his career development in Ireland prior to 1855 see Grace’s Guide ‘Arthur William Forde’

Railway Achievements in India

The following based on Grace’s Guide [1].

  • 1855: ‘Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway’ (BB&CIR), Chief Engineer and henceforward India was his home.
  • 1858-60: ‘Taptee Bridge’, the first engineer in India to employ the Warren girders in bridge construction, as he had already done in Ireland.
  • 1860: He left the employ of the BB&CIR and went into private practice up country.
  • 1860: ‘Gaekwar's Dabhoi Railway’ engaged in constructing 20 miles(32km) of a 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) railway for the Gaekwar of Baroda and promoted a company in London for branch railways in India, obtaining favourable concessions from the British Government. He was by some credited with being an out-and-out advocate of the narrow-gauge. This is not altogether correct. He was in favour of the narrow-gauge system, but only where it would have been too expensive to employ the broad gauge, and he was never an advocate for break of gauge.’ He was a conscientious labourer and did most of his work, even as to details, with his own hands.
  • 1864: He settled and practised as an engineer in Bombay with marked ability and success with some Railway projects and ‘Other Activities ’ as listed.
  • 1872: ‘Veraval-Junagadh-Dhoraji Railway’. A line was proposed from Veraval to Junagadh and Dhoraji and was surveyed by ‘Arthur William Forde’, but the cost was beyond the means of Junagadh Durbar. This proposal came to nothing'[2].
  • 1877: ‘‘Bhavnagar-Gondal Railway ’. In June 1877 that steps were taken to begin the Bhavnagar-Gondal line, a distance of 201 miles using funds supplied by Bhavnagar and Gondal States under British Management. The joint Administrators of Bhavnagar State for the line in their Territory and Gondal State employed ‘Arthur William Forde’ to survey an extension to Dhoraji. The Government of Bombay commissioned Henry James Bennett Hargrave of BB&CIR, to survey from Bhavnagar to Wadhwan. Labouring under restrictions as to the route the proposals were broadly followed, except the Gondal section which was modified’[2].

Other Activities in India

  • 1864: He settled and practised as an engineer in Bombay with marked ability and success. Mr. Forde began the work undertaken by the Frere Land Reclamation, and was for some years connected with the joint-stock company bearing that name. He also designed and built the Sassoon Dock, the first wet dock in Bombay. He reclaimed a large tract of land near Nowsaree, covering about 7,000 acres, which was named the Seaforde Land Reclamation, after his family seat in County Down, Ireland. A considerable portion of this land has already been brought into cultivation.
  • 1878: Appointed Consulting Engineer to the Bombay Municipality for Drainage and Waterworks, and held the appointment to the time of his death in 1886.