North Western Railway - Lines operated and worked

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North Western Railway - Lines operated and worked

- a sub-section of the North Western Railway (NWR) page

The NWR was formed in January 1886 from the merger of the Scinde, Punjaub & Delhi Railway(SP&DR), the Indus Valley State Railway(IVSR), the Punjab Northern State Railway(PNSR), the eastern section of the Sind-Sagar Railway and the southern section of the Sind-Pishin State Railway.

The NWR owned and operated an extensive network of railways of mixed gauge

  • Broad gauge(BG) - 3186 miles/ 5127 km (1905); 4853 miles/ 7810 km (1918); 6861 miles/11,042 km (1947)
  • Narrow gauge(NG) - 373 miles/600 km (1918)

The NWR also managed, worked and maintained a number of BG and NG lines on behalf of other parties.

The listings below are generally based on the “Administration Report on Railways 1918” [1].

NWR Railway System 1937 Map

NWR Commercial Section

Broad Gauge(BG). Total line length, 1918, Commercial Section - 2539 miles(4086km)

Ghaziabad- Lahore Mainline

Lahore-Peshawar Mainline

Lahore-Karachi Mainline

This NWR Mainline connecting Lahore to Karachi , 756 miles(1217km) comprised:-

  • ‘Lahore via Raiwind to Khanewa Section’, 177 miles(285km), originally the Punjaub Railway opened in 1865, merged to form SP&DR 1870, becoming NWR 1886.
    • ‘Raiwind-Bhatinda Branch Line’, 88 miles(141km), a branch from Raiwind via Kasur to Hussainiwala (on the northern bank of the River Sutlej), opened 1883 by SP&DR. The Empress Bridge over the river was completed 1887 by NWR to Ferozepore and extended in 1899 to Bhatinda
  • ‘Khanewal to Lodhran Section’, 56 miles(90km), opened by NWR 1909, reducing the route length by 29 mile(46km) and making the former mainline, which had opened by IVSR in 1865, into the ‘Khanewal-Lodhran (via Sher Shar) Chord Line’ (see below)
    • ‘Khanewal-Lodhran (via Sher Shar) Chord Line’, 85 miles(136km), from Khanewal to Multan, 1865; to Muzaffarabad , 1870; to Lodhran, 1878, formerly the IVSR Mainline, became NWR 1886. Became a NWR Chord Line In 1909 with the opening of the 29 mile shorter ‘Khanewal to Lodhran Section’ of the ‘Ghaziabad- Lahore Mainline’ (see above).
  • ‘Lodhran to Rohri section’, 225 miles(362km), opened 1878 by Indus Valley State Railway(IVSR), which became NWR 1886, via Samasata (with an interchange to the ‘Southern Punjab Railway)
    • ’Sukkur Bandar Branch Line’, 1.5 miles(2.4km), a branch from Sukkur on the ‘Lahore-Karachi Mainline’ to Sukkur Bandar, opened by IVSR in 1878
  • ‘Rohri-Kotri Section’, 189 miles(304km), from Rohri via Hyderabad and Rahoki Junction to Kotri was completed in 1900 with the opening of the Kotri Bridge over the river Indus. This making the former mainline (see below), which had opened in 1886 into the ‘‘Kotri-Rohri (via Ruk) Branch Line
  • ‘Rohri-Kotri (via Ruk) Branch Line’ from Sukkur via Ruk Junction, Larkhana and Sehwan to Kotri, completed in 1878. This line was formerly the mainline until the opening of the Kotri Bridge in 1900 to complete the NWR Mainline ‘Rohri-Kotri Section’ (see above)
    • ‘Phulji Branch Line’, 3 miles(5km), from Phulji to Puranadera, opened as a branch to the ’Kotri-Rohri (via Ruk) Section’ opened by SP&DR in 1882; with short extension by NWR, 1902
  • ’Kotri to Karach Section’, 108 miles(174km), was completed in 1861 by Scinde Railway, which became SP&DR 1870 and NWR 1886

NWR Branch Lines

  • ‘Wazirabad-Khanewal Branch Line’, 201 miles(320km), from Wazirabad reaching Lyallpur, 1896; extended to Khanewal, 1900. Surveyed under the name Wazirabad-Multan Railway, 1892; when first section opened 1896 was named the Wazirabad-Lyallpur State Railway and became part of the NWR network.
  • ‘Jech Doab Branch Line’, 149 miles(238km), from Malakwal (on the NWR Sind-Sagar Railway) via Sarodha, opened by NWR, 1903 ; extended to Shorkot Road, 1906 to join the ‘Wazirabad-Khanewal Branch Line’
  • ‘Shahdara-Sangla Branch Line’, 55 miles( 88km), from Shahdara (6km north of Lahore on Mainline) to Sangla (an intermediate station on the ‘Jech Doab Branch Line’) , opened by NWR, 1907
    • ’Shorkot Road-Chichoki Mallian Branch Line’, 136 miles(218km), from Shorkot Road (on the ‘Wazirabad-Khanewal Branch Line’ ) via Jaranwala to Chichoki Mallian (an intermediate stop on the ‘Shahdara-Sangla Branch Line’) , under survey and construction 1906-10; opened by NWR, 1909-11
  • ‘Hoshiarpur Branch Line’, 23 miles(37km), from Jullundur (on the Ghaziabad- Lahore Mainline) to Hoshiarpur, opened by NWR, 1913
  • ‘Havelian Branch Line’, 35 miles(56km) from Sarai Kala (Not identified, thought to be Taxila Junction, 15 km NW of Rawalpindi, on the ‘Lahore-Peshawar Mainline’, to Havelian, opened by NWR, 1913
  • ‘Jakhal-Hissar Branch Line’, 50 miles(80km), from Jakhal to Hissar opened 1913 by NWR
  • Sirhind-Rupar Railway’, estimated 55 km from Sirhind (on ‘Ghaziabad- Lahore Mainline’ between Ambala and Ludhiana). Constructed by NWR as part of a dam construction project and in operation before 1927

NWR Frontier (Military) Section

Broad Gauge(BG). Total line length, 1918, Military Section - 1151 miles(1852km)
Based on information from the 1918 “Administration Report for Railways” pages 106 and 107[1]

Sind-Sagar Mainline

  • ‘Lala Musa-Sher Shah Mainline’, 342 miles(550km). Lala Musa to Malakwal, following the east bank of Indus River, opened 1880 by Sind-Sagar Railway as metre gauge(MG) converted to BG 1886 on the amalgamation into NWR. The line was extended from Malakwal via Kundian and Bhaakkar and reached Sher Shah in 1900 where it joined the ‘Lahore-Karachi Mainline’.
    • ‘Golra-Basal Section Line’, 47 Miles(75km), opened 1881 from Golra (on ‘Lahore-Peshawar Mainline’) to Basal Junction (where it joined the ‘Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway’ )
    • ‘Kohat Section Line’, 39 miles(63km), 7 miles(11km) from Jand to Khushalgarh opened 1881 as BG line; the 32 miles(52km) extension to Kohat was first opened 1902 as part of the ‘Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway’ 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG), the section as far Kohat was converted to BG, 1908.
    • ‘Bhara Branch Line’, 18 Miles(km) from Malakwal via Miani to Bhera, opened 1880-82 as a metre gauge(MG) line; converted to BG 1887
    • ‘Bhaganwala Branch Line’, 11 miles(18km) from Haranpur to Bhaganwala, opened 1895
    • ‘Warcha Quarry Branch Line’, 8 miles(13km) from Gunjyal to Warcha, opened 1918
    • Dandot Branch Line’, 8.5 miles(13.6km) from Chalisa Junction via Khewra Salt Mines to Dandot, opened 1888 as a metre gauge(MG) line; converted to BG 1887-89
    • ‘Kundian-Campbellpur Section’, 119 miles(191km) from Kundian via Daud Khel to Jand opened 1892-99; Jald to Basal opened 1881 and extended to Campbellpur 1899
    • ‘Mari Branch Line’, 6.2 miles(10km), opened 1892 from Daud Khel to Mari
    • ‘Ghazi Ghat Branch Line’ 10 miles(16km), opened 1887 from Mahmud Kot to Ghazi Ghat
    • ‘Peshawar-Jamrud Branch Line’, 11 miles(18km), opened 1901 from Peshawar to Jamrud

Sind-Pishin Mainline

NWR Narrow Gauge Northern Frontier Network

In approximate chronological order

  • Mari-Attock Railway’, NG, opened 1891. Opened as part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network.
  • Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway’, NG, opened 1903 as a military railway; part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network, extended 1908.
  • Khanai-Hindubagh Railway’, NG, opened 1921. Part of the NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge, Zhob Valley Railway network; construction commenced 1916.
  • Mari Indus Railway’, NG, constructed in 1920's as part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network.
  • Zhob Valley Railway’, NG, opened 1921. Part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network; finally extended from Boston to Zhob , 1929

Lines worked by NWR at some time

In approximate chronological order

Railways surveyed by NWR

  • Bannu Railway Survey’. Under Survey in 1909 (ref 1909 India List) by NWR on behalf of Government of India(GoI), but no evidence that it was constructed

References