Changa Manga Forest Tramway

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Changa Manga Forest Tramway

The 'Changa Manga Forest' was a man made forest planted by the Punjab Forest Department in the Kasur District. The timber was for use as railway sleepers and firewood for the local population [1]
Wikipedia gives a clear history of this forestry project from the outset in 1864 through to the present day. In 1864, the North Western Railway(NWR) found itself starved of resources, vital in running services on its network. It was then that Dr John Lindsay Stewart, the first Conservator of Forests of Punjab, recommended the allocation of a block of land for each railway district where forest plantations should be cultivated to cater for such growing demands. Such a block of land was allocated for the Kasur district on the NWR Lahore-Karachi railway line [2].

16-inch gauge Tramway

'Decauville Portable Tramway System' - (see separate page for details) with a gauge of 16-inch(406mm) was in use by May 1884. By 1902 there were 4 miles(6.4km) of track and had 39 trucks. The trucks were bullock hauled and when all the trucks were in use 13 pairs of bullocks were used. Between 1907 and 1915 there was no mention of the Tramway in the Department's Annual Reports [1].

The 1915-16 Report states that a new 2ft/610mm narrow gauge(NG) tramway was required as the 16-inch Tramway was time expired. A new area of trees was maturing and the 16-inch gauge Tramway could not cope withg the output. It was suggested that steam haulage should replace the bullocks on the new line as, if any cattle disease broke out in the area it w<as likely to cause a firewood famine in the Lahore and Amritsar areas [1].

2-foot gauge Tramway

The construction of the new tramway began in 1919 and by 1920-21 there was 3 miles(4.8km) of track with two steam locomotives. The tramway in March 1923 had 13 miles(21km) of line in use. By 1923-24 further expansion increased the line to 21 miles(34km) of permanent track and 4 miles(6.41km) of temporary track. Over the years the amount of permanent/temporary track varied greatly, for example 1924-25 32 miles total; Lahore1931-32 10 miles permanent and 23 miles temporary [1].

Changa Manga Forestry Depot

In 1933-34 the Report states that Tramway sidings at Changa Manga were extended, as were the broad gauge(BG) sidings. This work was undertaken 'to avoid congestion of stocks and firewood in the depot' [1].
Changa Manga was a station on the NWR mainline from Lahore to Multan. It can be presumed that this station had been used from the beginning to enable the output of railway sleepers to be transferred from the Trawmay to the NWR.

Chichawatni Forestry Depot

In 1933-34 a BG siding was also constructed at Chichawatni, 135 km nearer to Multan on the same NWR mainline. However due to financial constraints the planned Tramway from the forest areas did not proceed [1].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 “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 PP26 page ....
  2. Wikipedia "Changa Manga History"; Retrieved 29 Nov 2017