Northern and Eastern Railway

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Northern and Eastern Railway Company also with the alternative names ‘Bogwangolah Railway’ and ‘Great Northern and Eastern Railway Company’

The ‘Great Northern and Eastern Railway Company’ was formed in Calcutta in about 1845 by a Mr D C Aylwyn to try to get the approval for the the ‘Bogwangolah Railway’ from Calcutta towards the North Western Provinces (Delhi) by keeping on the left (eastern) bank of the Hoogly River from Calcutta. This was turned down by Government. Instead the ‘Great Western Bengal Railway Company’ were given the approval for the railway on the right(western) bank – they amalgamated into East India Railway(EIR) at a date between 1846 and October 1847 [1].

The Company did not proceed to construct any railways as can be seen from the following:-

The following is recorded in the ‘Calcutta Review of 1846 [2]

In this Review of Mr Alwyn is described as:-

“... a buyer and seller of lacerated garments .... who was afterwards adroit enough to persuade a considerable number .... to purchase shares in a projected railway from Calcutta to Bogwangolah(Bhagwangola) , with a branch to Jessore and an extension to Dinapore and ultimately to Darjeeling

It goes on:-

“It is utterly inconceivable how ... he .. could have persuaded the sober ditchers of Calcutta could have subscribed to a single share. But the railway mania was then at its height. Mr Aylwin had the name of George Hudson in his list of directors. He waited on the most influential members of society in Calcutta, official and non-official offering for their acceptance maps of Bengal beautifully taped and glazed to shew the directions of his line.”

The Review continues:-

“He gave out that the whole capital was already guaranteed by London millionaires, and that no assistance was required by Government.... By these and other contrivances he managed to dispose of a large number of shares and realize a pretty round sum in the shape of deposits”. “He then gave a railway dinner in the Town Hall at which Thomas Turton, the Vice president of the ‘Northern and Eastern Railway Company’ as it was called, filled the chair; and shortly after took his departure for England”. “But though 12 months have now elapsed .... not a word has been heard of the Bogwangolah Northern and Eastern”


  1. British Library IOR E/4/794 dispatch No26 13th October 1847 Page 55 paragraph 12. “Great Western Bengal Railway Co., amalgamation of with East Indian Railway Company and terms of contract with Government”; 1846-1849
  2. ‘The Calcutta Review’, Volume 7 Article VI – “A pamphlet on the Salt Trade of India” by D C Aylwin of Calcutta, 1846. Pages 560-562; Retrieved 7 Mar 2018