Balaghat District Manganese Mines Railways

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Balaghat District Manganese Mines Railways

A manganese mining operation originally founded in 1896 as the 'Central Provinces Prospecting Syndicate'. It was renamed in 1924 as the 'Central Provinces Manganese Ore Company' and nationalised after independence [1]. The company operated several mines, most in this District and two in Bhandara District and several in Nagpur District.

The pre-1947 information on railways in this District is as follows:-


Balaghat Mine
Balaghat was a station on the Bengal-Nagpur Railway(BNR) 'Jubbulpore-Gondia Extension' which was a 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) line that opened in January 1903 connecting at Gondia to the BNR broad gauge(BG) mainline [2].The Balaghat Mine, first working in 1901, located north of Balaghat and connected by 3.5km branch to join the BNR NG line 3 km north of Balaghat station.
The records show that the mine operated 2ft 0in(610mm) NG and 1ft 6in(457mm) track, locomotives and tubs [1]


Tirodi Mines
Tirodi is about 65 km south-west of Balaghat and is is a major open-cast manganese source and still mined at the present time [3]. The Tumsar-Tirodi Light Railway, a 2ft/610mm narrow gauge(NG) line constructed for the 'Central India Mining Company' was purchased by Government and opened 1 April 1916 and worked as a branch of the BNR network [4] connected to the BNR broad gauge(BG) mainline at Tumsar Road.
The records show there were three mining sites. The East and West Tirodi Mines Records show they had BG sidings in 1929. It is therefore assumed that the Tumsar-Tirodi Light Railway was upgraded to a BG line before this date [5]. The North Tirodi Mine records show similar equipment from before 1932 [6].


Sitapatore Mine
Sitapatore is about 8km west from Tirodi and is another open-cast manganese source still in use today [3].
The records show 2¾ miles(4.4km) of track with a BG siding and the provision of many different types to tub wagons being at the mine from 1936 onwards [7]. It is assumed that this mine was connected to the BG line at 'Tirodi Mine' mentioned above.


Ramara Mine
The Ramara Mine , is given in the records, however the location has not been identified.
The records show that 1,046 yards(950 metres) of 2 ft 0in(610mm) NG track, together with track fittings and tub wagons were being used at the mine , but the date is not known [8].


South Tirodi Mine and Jamrapani Mine.
Jamrapani is 2km south of Tirodi and these two mines are included together and for 1927-28 included:-
a BG sidings, ore depot (presumably connected to the BNR BG line at Tirodi;
3.78 miles(6km) of 2ft 6in(762mm) NG tram track dating from 1917 plus extensions thereafter, plus track equipment, tub wagons;
2ft 0in(610mm) NG track equipment and tub wagons [9].


Ukwa Mine.
Ukwa is about 45km north-east of Balaghat
From 1939 onwards the records show that 2ft0in(610mm) NG track, tub wagons and track equipment were operating at this mine [10].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 “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 MP03 page ....
  2. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 6 (pdf14); Retrieved 4 Mar 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wikipedia "Manganese Company of India Ltd"; Retrieved 4 Mar 2017
  4. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 11 (pdf19); Retrieved 4 Mar 2017
  5. “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Entry MP04
  6. “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Entry MP05
  7. “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Entry MP07
  8. “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Entry MP06
  9. “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Entry MP08
  10. “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Entry MP09