Chambal Rail Bridge

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The Chambal Rail Bridge formed part of the broad gauge(BG) Sindia State Railway system linking Gwalior to Agra which opened in 1881.

The Dholpur Quarry Railway was opened near Dholpur to convey the red sandstone for the ‘Chambal River Bridge’ and 'Messrs Glover and Company' were appointed as contractors for the construction in February 1876. They undertook to complete the line to Dholpur by the end of June 1878 and the complete line by the end October 1880 [1].

The single track bridge opened on 15 May 1881 completing the ‘Hetampur-Dholpu’ section linking Gwalior to Agra; the ‘Gwalior–Hetampur’ section having opened in Dec 1879 and the ‘Dholpur-Agra’ section in Jan 1879 [2].

The Sindia State Railway was from 1885 worked by the Indian Midland Railway, which had a comparatively brief existence before being amalgamated in 1900 with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway(GIPR). This Gwalior-Agra line became part of the GIPR ‘Midland Section Mainline’ between Bhopal and Agra

The ‘Chambal Rail Bridge’ bridge is still in use today, a second bridge has been constructed adjacent to the original bridge. These bridges can be clearly seen in the photograph showing the original bridge on brick piers in the foreground with the modern bridge behind [3].

Construction

An 1878-79 report states that the Chambal bridge 'will be one of the most remarkable railway structures in India. It will consist of 12 spans of 200 feet centre to centre of piers, flanked at each end by two land-spans of 150 feet. The piers will be 108 feet high above low water level to underside of girder bed. The total length of the bridge over abutments will be 2,714 feet, or rather over half a mile, and the greatest height of bridge 145 feet.' [4].

Further Information

See Sindia State Railway for period up to 1885

then Indian Midland Railway 1885-90

and Great Indian Peninsula Railway thereafter.

References

  1. British Library ‘India Office Records’ V/24/3590 “Sindia State Railway Administration Report” 1878-79
  2. “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 65 (pdf73) ; Retrieved 27 Jan 2018
  3. Photograph from Panoramio “Railway Bridges on Chambal River, on Agra-Gwalior track”; Retrieved 27 Jan 2018
  4. British Library ‘India Office Records’ V/24/3590 “Sindia State Railway Administration Report” 1878-79