East Indian Railway - Bridges and Tunnels

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East Indian Railway(EIR)- Bridges and Tunnels

This listing is not complete.


The initial plans were for the many EIR bridges over the Ganges tributaries to be built of bricks: hundreds of millions were needed. Brick-making skills were very limited and often the available clay was found to be unsuitable. Transport by river of suitable clay was difficult. Brick availability became a major problem, so the decision was made to use vast quantities of ironwork – imported from England as India had no iron works at that time. Much ironwork was stolen during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 [1].

1858-59 Report

The following is recorded in “Railways in India for the year 1858-59” for the ‘East Indian Railway’ -‘Bridges’ [2].

  • The most formidable obstacles which occur in the course of the line are the rivers, the chief being the Soane and the Jumna. The others are the Adjai, More, Keeul, Hullohur and Tonse. Some of the districts in Lower Bengal present also difficulties in consequence of the inundations which take place there in certain seasons.
  • There is only one tunnel, and that is 900 feet in length , through a rocky hill of quartz in the neighbourhood of Monghyr
  • The bridges have been constructed chiefly with a brick or stone foundation and a wrought iron superstructure. The difficulty in obtaining a sufficient supply of bricks led to the adoption of this plan, which was recommended on the grounds of economy and expedition by Mr M Rendel, the Consulting Engineer of the ‘East Indian Railway , who also designed the bridges over the Soane and Jumna. The former consists of 28 spans of 150 feet each and will be finished , for a single line as far as the superstructure is concerned, about the end of 1863. The latter consists of 15 spans of 200 feet . The rails will be laid upon the top of the girders, with a space beneath being made available for an ordinary carriage road 11 feet in width. They will form two of the finest structures of the kind in the world. Among the smaller bridges are those over the river:-
    • Adjai, consisting of 32 spans of 50 feet each
    • More, 24 spans of 50 feet each
    • Dwarka, 7 spans of 60 feet each
    • Branimee, 9 spans of 60 feet each
    • Keeul, 9 spans of 150 feet each
    • Hullohur, 4 spans of 150 feet each
    • Poon-Poon, 9 spans of 40 ft each
    • Tonse, 7 spans of 150 feet each

Grace’s Guide

Grace’s Guide gives the following list with Fibis comments added in italics:-