Great Indian Peninsula Railway
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
The Bombay-Poona Mail in full flight about 1910
|Line of route|
| Bombay to Raichur (SE Division}|
Bombay to Jubbulpore (NE Division))
Bhusawal to Delhi
Bhusawal to Nagpur
|Gauge / mileage|
|Broad gauge||1562 miles (1905)|
|1853||First section of line open to traffic|
|1871||Through trains to Calcutta via Jubbulpore|
|Dhond-Manmad State Railway absorbed|
|1900||Line acquired by State|
|Stations||Kalyan, Poona, Hotgi, Wadi, Ahmadnagar, Akola, Chanda, Khandwa, Itarsi, Narsinghpur|
|Worked by Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
|How to interpret this infobox|
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
Great Indian Peninsula Railway device
|1900||Company re-formed to work State line|
|1925||Government takes over working of system|
|Constituent companies / lines|
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway|
|Agra-Delhi Chord Railway|
|Gwalior Light Railway|
|1900||Indian Midland Railway|
|Major Stations||Agra, Ahmadnagar, Akola, Amraoti, Banda, Bhopal, Bhusawal, Cawnpore, Chanda, Delhi, Dholpur, Gwalior, Hotgi, Itarsi, Jhansi, Jubbulpore, Khandwa, Muttra, Nagpur, Narsinghpue, Poona, Raichur, Saugor, Wadi|
|Successor system / organisation|
|1951||Central Railway (IR zone)|
|Broad gauge||2988 miles (1905)|
3363 miles (1943)
|2' 0" NG||183 miles (1905)|
202 miles (1943)
|Associated auxiliary force|
|Great Indian Peninsula Railway Regiment|
|How to interpret this infobox|
|See our interactive map of|
the North East Division
locations and routes on Google Maps
Like most of the early railways in India, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway (GIPR) was a British company, registered in London, privately owned and financed, operating under licence and guarantee from the (British) Board of Control in India and the East India Company (EIC). The GIPR was India's and Asia's first railway.
The principal economic benefit of the GIPR was the opening up of the interior to Port and City of Bombay. The narrow coastal plain of India's west side is separated from the Deccan plateau by a mountain range, the Western Ghats which rises to 3,900 feet(1200m) and which has always restricted internal communication with the Arabian Sea.
The challenge was to create two lines through the Western Ghats, one to the north-east and one to the south-east, these were fully open by 1865 in time for cotton from the Deccan to be exported from Bombay to Manchester thus filling the trade gap created by the American Civil War. The lines were exteded to link Bombay to Calcutta and Madras by 1870.
- 1845. Registered as a company in 1845, with its head office in London, the Great Indian Peninsula railway initially proposed a length of 1300 miles, to connect Bombay with the interior of the Indian peninsula and to a major port on the east coast. It was meant for the purpose of increasing the export of cotton, silk, opium, sugar and spices .
- 1849, at the urging of the Governor, Lord Dalhousie, the East Indian Company(EIC) sanctioned the construction of a broad gauge(BG) railway eastward from Bombay and the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company was incorporated on August 1, 1849 by an act of the British Parliament. It had a share capital of 50,000 pounds. On August 17, 1849 it entered into a formal contract with the EIC for the construction and operation of an experimental line, 35 miles(56 km) long. The Court of Directors of the EIC appointed James John Berkeley as Chief Resident Engineer and Charles Buchanan Ker and Robert W Graham as his assistants .
- 1859, GIPR was tasked with "the construction and working of the following lines, all of which terminate at Bombay, - viz. from Bombay, via Callian, to Jubbulpore, to meet the East Indian Railway Company's line from Allahabad, with branches to Mahim and Nagpore - 870 miles; and from Callian, via Poonah and Sholapore, to the opposite side of the river Kristna, to meet the line, via Bellary, from Madras - 366 miles - total, 1,236 miles. Capital 10,000,000ll. Rate of Interest Guaranteed - 5 per cent. on 8,000,000l. capital, and 4½ per cent. on 333,000l. debentures, the balance to be raised upon arrangements to be hereafter made."  .
Bombay - Callian - 33.5 miles(54km)
- 1850-51, the first sod was turned on 31 October 1850 and the first locomotive was used in construction on 22 December 1851
- 1853 April 16. A train, with 14 railway carriages and 400 guests, left Bombay bound for Thane, hauled by three locomotives: Sindh, Sultan, and Sahib. The 21 mile(34km) journey took an hour and fifteen minutes, it was the first section of the GIPR to be opened and the first railway for passenger service in India.
- 1853-54, the continuation of the line from Thane to Callian (later named Kalyan) was the first contact awarded to Messrs. Wythes and Jackson . This section of the line involved a railway bridge over the Thane creek and the two-line Tannah Viaduct over the estuary and two tunnels. This viaduct was the first substantial railway bridge to be constructed in India and connected Bombay Island to the mainland and opened and on 1 May 1854.
- 1857-61, Callian (later named Kalyan) to Kasara section constructed, a further 42 miles(68 km) rising to an altitude of 948 feet(289m) above sea level at Kasara at the approach to the Thal Ghat. Opened in 1861.
- 1857 Aug, Messrs. Wythes and Jackson were awarded the contract for the Thal Ghat Railway Construction
- 1857-65. The Thal Ghat Railway was a major project to take the GIPR mainline across the Western Ghats towards Jubbulpore. The Kasara to Igatpuri section was 9.5 miles(15km) and within that distance the line had to rise to 1,918 feet(585m). The construction required 13 tunnels, 6 viaducts, including the Ehagaon Viaduct; cuttings; embankments; 15 bridges and culverts and the Reversing Station .
- c.1859-65, Messrs. Wythes and Jackson were awarded a further contact to construct a further section of the GIPR north-eastern line from Igatpuri at the end of the Thal Ghat, this was opened in stages reaching Chalisgaon in 1861, Jalgaon in 1863 and Bhusawal in 1865, a total of 191.24 miles(307km).
- 1861-65, Igatpuri-Jalgaon-Bhusawal progressivly opened.
- 1863-67, GIPR Nagpur Branch from Bhusawal was built by Messrs. Lee, Watson and Ayton, Construction Contractors.
- 1865, with completion of Thal Ghat the mainline from Bombay reached Khandwar.
- 1868 July, Robert Maitland Brereton, GIPR Chief Engineer was given responsibility for completing the connection between Bhusawal and Jubbulpore which he completed many months ahead of schedule .
- 1870 March 8. The Alfred Viaduct was inaugurated and named after the Duke of Edinburgh (Alfred Ernest Albert) who was visiting India and travelled by East Indian Railway from Calcutta. The Viceroy and the Governor of Bombay, Sir Fitzgerald Seymour had come from Bombay. With the opening of the GIPR North-Eastern Line the connection at Jubbulpore to the East Indian Railway (EIR) completed Dalhousie’s dream of a Bombay-Calcutta route.
- 1856 May, the line was extended to the villages of Palasdhari(Padusdhurree) and to Khopoli(Campoolie)  at the approach to the Bhor Ghat. The
- 1856-63. The Bhore Ghat Railway Construction was a major engineering challenge to take the GIPR mainline across the Western Ghats towards Madras. The construction with GIPR Chief Engineer James John Berkeley in charge involved an incline length of 15 miles(24km), 26 tunnels (totalling 2.25 miles(3.6km) in length), and 8 viaducts of masonry construction.
- 1858, the line from Khandala to Poona section was opened to traffic  , this section included the Dapoorie Viaduct
- 1858-63, during this period, the 21 km gap to Khandala was covered by palanquin, pony or cart through the village of Campoolie .
- 1863, Bhor Ghat completed the mainline was through to Poona(now called Pune) and Sholapore(Solapur).
- 1870, the Kisna Viaduct was opened and Raichur was reached in May 1871  where it joined the Madras Railway to link to Madras .
Progress from 1870
- With the completion of the GIPR mainlines the three Presidency Capitals of Bombay, Madras and Calcutta were linked. The length of the route opened was then 1483 miles/2388 km .
- 1900 June 30, the assets of the GIPR were purchased by the GoI and merged with those of the Indian Midland Railway into a "new" GIPR, managed by the old company.
- The GIPR continued to expand its network with the addition of 'Branch Lines', 'Absorbsion' of certain railways and 'Working Agreements' on other railways (see lists that follow).
- 1918 Administration Report on Indian Railways gives the GIPR broad gauge(BG) line length as 2668 miles(4293km); and including 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) lines, a total of 3441 miles(5331km) .
- 1925 Jan 1, the GoI took over direct control of the GIPR and transferred the Allahabad to Jubbulpore branch of the EIR to the GIPR.
- 1951. The GIPR combined with the Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway, the Dholpur State Railway and the Scindia State Railway to become Central Railway, a zone of Indian Railways.
Bombay's Victoria Terminus was both the principal station and GIPR's HQ; designed by architect Frederick William Stevens. Victoria Terminus Construction commenced in 1878, it opened on Queen Victoria's 1887 Golden Jubilee and completed in 1888.
The GIPR had a collection of sidings spurring off to the docks in the east Bombay. There were numerous spurs to:
- Victoria Dock 1891
- Princes Dock 1888
- Carnac Basin
- Malet Basin
- Frere Basin
- Clerk Basin
GIPR Branch Lines and extensions - chronological order
This information from the “Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"
- Khopoli Branch, SE line; Palasdhari(Padusdhurree) to Khopoli(Campoolie) 1856: 7.24 miles. This section became a branch line on the opening of the Bhor Ghat in 1863.
- Nagpur Branch, NE line; Bhusaval to Baderna 1863-65, to Nagpur 1867: 243.25 miles
- Khamgaon Branch, NE line; Jalamb to Khamgaon 1870: 7.97 miles
- Amraoti Branch, NE line; Baderna to Amraoti 1871: 5.49 miles
- Mohpani Branch, NE line; Gadarvada to Mohpani 1872; extended to Goitoria 1896 and to new coal-fields 1900: 13.68 miles
- Manmad Branch, SE line; Dhond to Manmad: 145.44 miles
- Jalagon-Alalner Branch, NE line; Jalagon to Alalner 1900: 34.26 miles
- Chalisgaon-Dhulia Branch, NE line; Chalisgaon to Dhulia 1900: 34.95miles
- Bombay Harbour Branch, NE line; 1910: 6.19 miles
- Itsari-Nagpur Branch, NE line; Itsari to Parasia; 1913-15: 134.42 miles; finally extended to Nagpur 1923-24 as part of Bhopal-Itsari Railway
- Mahim Chord, NE line; Ravali to Mahim, 1914
Railways absorbed into GIPR
- Agra-Delhi Chord Railway, opened 1904. Constructed to provide extra capacity between Agra and Delhi; worked by GIPR
- Allahabad-Jubbulpore line, opened 1867. Built by East Indian Railway(EIR); transferred to GIPR, 1925
- Amraoti State Railway, opened 1871. Branch railway to Baderna on GIPR. Worked by GIPR and finally taken over.
- Bina-Goona-Baran Railway, opened 1895. Owned by State of Gwalior and Udaipur Durbar; worked by Indian Midland Railway(IMR); amalgamated into GIPR , 1900
- Dhond-Manmad State Railway; opened 1878. A 'chord' line connecting the GIPR south-eastern main line to Madras with the GIPR north-eastern main line to Allahabad, passed to GIPR 1880.
- Indian Midland Railway(IMR). State agency formed 1882 to work several branch lines centred on Jhansi, amalgamated into GIPR, 1900
- Agra-Gwalior Railway, opened 1881; Indian State line, owned by Gwallior Durbar, known as Scindia State Railway, working taken over by IMR 1885; then in 1900 becoming part of GIPR 'Midland Section Mainline'.
- Cawnpore-Kalpi-Jhansi Railway, opened 1886. Line completed 1888 by IMR.
- Bhopal State Railway, opened 1884. Indian State line, initially worked by IMR as Bhopal-Itarsi (Indian State Section).
- Bhopal-Itarsi Railway, opened 1882. State(British) Section; worked by IMR, 1885.
- Bhopal-Ujjain Railway, opened c.1895. Indian State line worked by IMR.
- Bina-Katni Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Dhond-Manmad State Railway, opened 1878. A 'chord' line connecting GIPR main lines; constructed by GoI and handed to GIPR, 1880.
- Jhansi-Bina Bhopal Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Jhansi-Gwallior and Katni Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Jhansi-Konch-Kalpi Railway, opened 1886. Part of IMR.
- Jhansi-Manikpore State Railway, opened 1889. Part of IMR.
- Kunch- Madhggarh Railway. Project in 1906 by IMR/GIPR as extension to Ait-Kunch Branch Railway
Lines worked by GIPR at some time - alphabetical order
- Ait-Kunch Branch Railway, opened 189?. Indian State line initially worked by Indian Midland Railway(IMR); then worked by GIPR
- Ambaji-Taranga Light Railway, opened 1919-20. Unassisted Company formed 1917; apparantly worked by GIPR
- Baran-Kotah Railway, opened 1908. Worked by GIPR , 1909
- Cawnpore-Banda Railway, opened 1913-14. Worked by GIPR , 1914
- Central Provinces Railway Co Ltd(CPR). A British owned company, formed 1910, operating a group of NG lines; all worked by GIPR ; under GoI management, 1925
- Darwha-Pusad Railway, opened 1931. Part of CPR
- Dhond-Baramati Railway, opened 1914-15. Part of CPR
- Ellichpur-Murtazapur-Yeotmal Railway, opened first section opened as Yavatmal Murtijapur Railway 1903, extended to Ellichpur 1913 . Known informally as Shakuntala Railway. Part of CPR
- Pachora-Jamner Light Railway, opened 1919. Part of CPR
- Pulgaon-Arvi Railway, opened 1917-18. Part of CPR
- Gwalior Light Railway, opened 1899. Owned by State of Gwalior; worked by GIPR; renamed Scindia State Railway 1944
- Khamagaon-Jalna Railway. The date of opening of the railway is not known; the railway was under consideration in 1906.
- Khamgaon Branch Railway. Short branchline of 12km between Jalamb and Khamgaon; worked by GIPR. The date of opening of the railway is not known.
- Salsette Trombay Railway, opened 1928. Operated by GIPR, closed 1934
- Nizam's Railway, opened 1874. Worked by GIPR until 1878; then by GoI; became Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway, 1886
- Pench Valley Coalfield Railway, opened 1913. Private Branch Line to Itarsi-Nagpur Railway; worked by GIPR
- Wardha Valley Railway, opened 1874. Worked by GIPR, also called Wardha Coal Railway
- Wardha-Warora Railway, opened. Opened in 1877, managed by GIPR by 1905
- L /AG/46/12 “Records of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company; 1845-1926”
- L/AG/46/12A “Records of the Great Indian Peninsula Extension Railway Company; 1863-1869”
IOR Records The following India Office Records (IOR) are relevant :-
- L/AG/46/12/86 : GIPR Lists of appointments (officers 1849-1885; workmen 1852-1880)
- L/AG/46/12/88 : GIPR Contracts of employment (officers 1886-1925; workmen 1881-1925)
- Z/L/AG/46 : Index to UK Appointments to Indian Railways (1849-1925)
- Mss Eur D1184/14 : Letters to Arthur A West from G L Clowser Nov 1860-Nov
Great Indian Peninsula Railway Personnel gives details of GIPR staff from several other sources:-
- Grace's Guide
- Wikipedia and many other sources.
- Great Indian Peninsula Railway Wikipedia
- GIPR picture gallery Science & Society Picture Library.
- "Guaranteed Railways in India" Hansard 1803-2005 (accessed 04 December 2008)
- History (of Central Railway) Central Railway (Indian Railways). (now an archived site)
- Victoria Terminus, (GIPR HQ & station [Bombay]) Wikipedia (now known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus)
- "Mumbai Multiplex : The line starts here" by Supriya Nair 4 January 2013. livemint.com "The ‘heritage wing’ of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a railway enthusiast’s dream"
- "Mumbai: Over 100 documents of Great Indian Peninsula Railway to be digitized" by Neha Kulkarni, July 12, 2016 The Indian Express.
Historical photographs online
- Hawkes collection of Indian Railway Photographs (Y3022S) Royal Commonwealth Society Library/ University of Cambridge Digital Library. The description states "An album containing albumen prints of various sizes by R. Phillips of Darjeeling, Samuel Bourne and others. The name of F.A. Hawkes, who was an engineer... appears frequently in it".
- Once inside the digital file, click on Contents for image titles. includes photographs whose titles include GIPR 1868-1869.
Historical books online
- The Cotton and Commerce of India: considered in relation to the interests of Great Britain; with remarks on Railway Communication in the Bombay Presidency by John Chapman, founder and late manager of the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company 1851 Google Books. Contents-Railway Chapters page xix.
- Paper on the (GIPR) Thul Ghaut Railway incline by James John Berkley: GIPR Chief Engineer, Bombay, 1860.
- Reminicences of an old English Civil Engineer 1858 -1908 by Robert Maitland Brereton 1908 Archive.org. Includes Appendix: India page 49. Brereton's account of working on the GIPR 1857-1870. He became Chief Engineer.
- Grace's Guide " GIPR 1945 Company Registration Retrieved on 3 Jul 2016
- Grace's Guide "Great Indian Peninsula Railway" Retrieved on 3 Jul 2016
- "Money Market and City Intelligence", The Times, Wednesday, 15 June 1859, #23333, 7a.
- H.M. Government “Statute Law Repeals: Nineteenth Report : Draft Statute Law (Repeals) Bill; April 2012"; pages 128-130 paragraphs 3.57 - 3.64 Retrieved on 3 Jul 2016
- Grace's Guide "Wythes and Jackson"; Retrieved 6 Jul 2016
- Graces Guide "Great Indian Peninsula Railway - 1865"; Retrieved 3 Jul 2016
- Google Books "Paper on the (GIPR) Thul Ghaut Railway" incline delivered to the Bombay Mechancs Institution in December 1860 by the GIPR Chief Engineer James John Berkeley, page 20. Retrieved on 2 Jul 2016
- " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; pages 64-68, pdf pages 73-77; Retrieved 6 Jun 2016
- The Statesman, New Delhi "The opening of the Mumbai to Kolkata railway by Michael Sandford, May 9 2016; Retrieved 3 Jul 2016
- Wikipedia “Great Indian Peninsula Railway”; Retrieved 25 June 2016
- " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; pages 64-68, pdf pages 73-77; Retrieved 23 Jul 2016
- British Library “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 22 Jan 2016
- “Grace’s Guide”; Retrieved 3 Jul 2016