BB&CIR Railway Workshops

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BB&CIR Railway Workshops
The Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CIR) original railway workshop was at Parel, Bombay, opened 1870-76. Further workshops were later developed.

Lower Parel Railway Workshop.
The workshop was originally a Locomotive repair workshop during the British period and opened between the year 1870-76. The workshop was set up by the BB&CIR as a centralised workshop for broad gauge(BG) locomotives, carriages and wagon stock [1].

Mahalaxmi Railway Workshop
Later, as the repair activities were expanded with progressive increases in the holding of locomotives, coaches and wagons, a separate wagon repair workshop was set up at Mahalaxmi in 1910 as a Railway Workshopn extension to this workshop under its administrative setup [1].

Dahod Railway Workshop
With the increase in the train services, Lower Parel workshop was not able to cope with the arising of all the three types of rolling stock. Therefore, it was decided to shift locomotive activity from Lower Parel to Dahod [2].
Dahod was selected for construction of workshop for steam locomotive fleet because of its pleasant weather, availability of cheap land and sincere workforce. Dahod was also ideally situated mid-way between Bombay and Delhi, the main route of BB&CI Railway broad gauge system. Initially trained staff was transferred from Parel to Dahod. A full fledged colony was constructed for 41 accommodating full strength of staff. Mr Hendree Freeland (see note) established the colony that is named after him as Freelandganj. The foundation of Locomotive workshop, Dahod was laid by Sir Clement Hindley , then Chief Commissioner of Railways (India), on 14th January 1926. It took about 4 years to complete the construction of the workshop and a steam powerhouse attached to the workshop, the office complex and staff amenities like colony, main hospital, area health units, railway institutes etc. Scarcity of water was one of the daunting problems faced during construction as well as later for use in the workshop, colony and railway station etc. An earthen dam was constructed across the Kali river, about 11 kms. from Dahod Railway station to store the rainwater. A self-contained electrical workshop was also set up along with the main mechanical workshop for undertaking repairs to motors, transformers, refrigerators, air-conditioners and pump sets etc. not only for Dahod but for whole of the then BB&CI Railway’s broad gauge area. Finally, the workshop started functioning in the year 1931 [2]

Note: The above account gives the name Mr Hendree Freeland . This should read Henry Freeland, Maj.- Gen. Sir , Member of the Indian Railway Board, General Manager and Director Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway(BB&CIR)[3].