Bombay Back Bay Reclamation Scheme Railway

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Bombay Back Bay Reclamation Scheme Railway

History

1864-1865
The 'Bombay Reclamation Company' was set up in 1864 with the intention of reclaiming the area of Bombay known as 'Back Bay'. Que to the ecomomic depression the company went into liquidation in 1865[1].

1866-1870
The narrow strip of land that had been reclaimed was obtained by the Government and given to Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway(BB&CIR) to enable them to lay a line from the Churchgate to Colaba. From 1866 until 1869 David Logan, the former Great Southern of India Railway(GSIR) Chief Engineer [2] was in charge of this project. This broad gauge(BG) BB&CIR 'Mainline' section opened on 18 Jan 1870 [3].
The records show the BG locomotives that were allocated to the project [1].

1913-1929
The continuation of the reclamation works was raised in 1913, and in 1917 a syndicate of prominent local citizens formed a private company to reclaim 1,145 acres(465ha). It took until 19922 to get agreement from Government; work was also delayed by the decision to relocate the BB&CIR from Colaba to its present location at Bombay (now known as Mumbai Central. The partnership of 'C S Meik & Buchanan' carried out the work [4].
Work began in 1922 but the financial depession affected the progess, by 1926 it was estimated that at the rate of working the project would not be completed until 1945 at four times the original estimted cost. A Government enquiry established that there were financial irregularities and the sanction from Government hads been granted on an incomplete presentation of the facts. It found the dredging craft were inefficient, the construction of the sea wall was inadequate and concluded that the advising engineer, Sir George Buchanan, was resposible. It was decided that only three blocks should be completed and the project became known as 'Lloyds Folly' after Sir George Lloyd, the Governor of Bombay.
Finally Buchanan was dropped and a new partnership 'C S Meik & Halcrow' completed four blocks with an area of 440 acres(178ha) and the project was terminated in 1929. Of these 235 acres(95ha) were sold to the military and 16.6 acres(6.7ha) were incorporated into Marind Drive and its sea wall [4].
The records show nine BG locomotives were allocated to the project dating from 1921 to 1923 together with five 2ft 0in NG locomotives [4].

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 MH33 page ....
  2. Institute of Civil Engineers "Obituary David Logan"; Retrieved 13 Mar 2017
  3. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 13 (pdf22); Retrieved 13 Mar 2017
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 “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 MH35 page ....