Great Southern of India Railway
|Great Southern of India Railway|
|Line of route|
|Negapatam to Erode|
|Gauge / mileage|
|1858||Formed as Guaranteed railway|
|1872||Merged to form South Indian Railway and later(1875) converted to metre gauge|
|How to interpret this infobox|
The Great Southern of India Railway (GSIR) was formed in 1858 for "the construction and working of a railway from Negapatam to Trichinopoly, with branches to Salem and Tuticorin - total, about 300 miles. Capital 500,000l. (for the works at present authorized to be proceeded with, - viz., the line from Negapatam to Trichinopoly). Rate of Interest Guaranteed - 5 per cent." 
Much of this information extracted from "Marvels of the South Indian Railway 1859-1951" , with page numbers indicated #p.
The construction of the line from Negapatam via Tiruvallur to Tanjore (48 miles/77km) started in April 1859 to broad gauge(BG) standards and the was opened to traffic by December 1861 . The headquarters were at Negapatam with the Agent, Chief Engineer, Locomotive Superintendent and Traffic Superintendent and Workshops . The line reached Trichinopoly in 1862  #p.2,3,6,7.
In 1865 new 'beautiful and unique' offices were constructed at Trichinopoly and the Chief Engineer, Chief Traffic Superintendent, Chief Accounts Officer, Audit Officer etc moved over, thus leaving at Negapatam the Agent's office and the Locomotive Workshops. #p.8,9.
In 1868, the GSIR line reached Erode, connecting to the Madras Railway and David Logan was reappointed as Chief Engineer. "The GSIR was at that time a 5-foot 6-inch gauge line, extending from Negapatam to Erode. Its subsequent development into the system now known as the South Indian Railway, about 1,100 miles in length, was carried out under Mr. Logan's direction.".
The “1870-71 Annual Report for Indian Railways for the Great Southern of India Railway “ gives:- ‘Broad Gauge (BG) Line sanctioned 378 miles(608km), with total Line length 168 miles(270km) and 210 miles(338km) to be finished’. The Report also details the ‘progress of the railway and the commercial summery’ - see separate pages for Report details.
On 1st July 1874 the Great Southern of India Railway Company and the Carnatic Railway, were amalgamated under the title of the South Indian Railway (SIR).
These broad gauge(BG) lines were later(1875) converted to metre gauge(MG) to become part of the SIR Madras-Tuticorin Mainline MG network - see separate page.
Refer to FIBIS Fact File #4: “Research sources for Indian Railways, 1845-1947” - available from the Fibis shop. This Fact File contains invaluable advice on 'Researching ancestors in the UK records of Indian Railways' with particular reference to the India Office Records (IOR) held at the British Library
An on-line search of the IOR records relating to this railway  gives 46 references. The most important being:-
- L /AG/46/13 “Records of the Great Southern of India Railway Company; 1859-1874”
The only GSIR personnel that have been identified so far are as follows:-'
- George Barclay Bruce was the Consulting Engineer, from 1856, based in London, first to GSIR and then to the sucessor South Indian Railway for a period of 50 years .
- William Smith Betts was the first Agent of the Great Southern of India Railway  #p.210,214.
- Mark William Carr Chief Engineer, appointed in 1858 .
- David Logan was Resident Engineer on the construction from 1858 until 1863, when he succeeded Mark William Carr as Chief Engineer, a position he held until resigning in 1866 to superintend the reclamation work at Back Bay, Bombay . He was re-appointed in 1868 as Chief Engineer 1868 .
- Charles Edwin Crighton , Resident Engineer and Locomotive Superintendent  , he continued in this post with South Indian Railway (SIR) after amalgamated in 1874.
- Frederick Lewis Dibblee, 1864-68, District Engineer, GSIR for a year and a half, then became Chief Engineer, a position he continued to hold until August 1868 .
- "Money Market and City Intelligence", The Times, Wednesday, 15 June 1859, #23333, 7a.
- Southern Railway Heritage Centre "Marvels of the South Indian Railway 1859-1951". With page numbers indicated #p.
- Grace’s Guide "David Logan"; Retrieved on 19 Jun 2016
- British Library “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 18 Jun 2016
- Grace's Guide "George Barclay Bruce"; Retrieved 18 June 2016
- Grace's Guide "Mark William Carr"; Retrieved 18 June 2016
- Institute of Civil Engineers "Obituary David Logan"; Retrieved 17 June 2016
- Grace's Guide "Charles Edwin Crighton"; Retrieved 23 Jul 2016
- https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Frederick_Lewis_Dibblee Grace’s Guide ‘Frederick Lewis Dibblee’]; Retrieved 22 Apr 2020