Indian Railway Conference Association

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Indian Railway Conference Association


The ‘Railway Conference’ was first established in 1879. The periodic meetings of the Conference brought senior railway officials together to formulate policies and procedures that would enhance inter-line cooperation and coordination [1]. This by developing rules and regulations for booking of traffic and interchange of trains between railways; also to act as a consultative Committee and as a Board of Arbitration [2].

The 'Indian Railway Conference Association' (IRCA) came into existence in the year 1902. At that time railway network in India consisted of 19 privately owned separate railways systems covering a total of 8,475 miles (13,640 km). Each company had formulated its own rules and regulations regarding charging, booking and carriage of Passengers and Goods. Due to multiplicity of rules the user was very much inconvenienced. IRCA was formed to overcome the difficulties in regard to different rules and regulations and to frame rules regarding movement of wagons of one railway system over the other [2].

Subsequently the Committees for prescribing common standards for wagon maintenance and Classification were formed and by 1926 it was decided to have permanent Committees and Technical sections covering all spheres of Railway working under IRCA [2], consisting of the following:-

  • Mechanical Engineering Committee.
  • Electrical Engineers Committee
  • Civil Engineering Committee
  • Signal Engineering Committee
  • Metallurgical & Chemical Engineering Committee.

Conference Photographic Records

  • Photographs - we have detailed the delegates from Left to Right and with back row mentioned first, leaving the front row to be the last mentioned (thus corresponding to the photograph).
  • Names - delegate surmames are stated with either 'Mr' or first name(s) as initial(s). Wherever it has been possible we have given the first name(s) in full and linked to the Notable Railway Person page where available.
  • Railway Companies, Government Departments - where we have been able to identify we have used the appropriate ‎Railway System Abbreviations.

IRCA Locomotive and Carriage & Wagon Superintendents’ Committee, Lahore, 1892 [3]

1892 Conference, Lahore - 'Locomotive Superintendents and Carriage & Wagon Superintendents’ Committee'

The "Locomotive Magazine and Railway Carriage and Wagon Review -Indian locomotive superintendents of the nineties", scan provided by ‘The Steam Index’ webmaster Kevin Jones with grateful thanks, Aug 2016 [3]

'Photograph taken in cold weather of 1892 at Conference of held in Lahore' with the list of delegates :-

1898 Conference, Simla British Library IOR Shelfmark Photo 1082/13(1)[4] :-

Photo "1082/13(1) Group portrait of delegates, identified as follows on mount":-

Indian Railway Conference Association 1911 Sept

1911 September, Conference - 'Railway Board Meeting'

Photograph courtesey Mike Muirhead June 2016 :-

  • 4th row (standing on step): 5 delegates - names to be identified

  • 3rd row (standing): 12 delegates - names to be identified 9th from Left Alexander Muirhead(SIR Agent)

  • 2nd row (seated): 10 delegates -names to be identified

  • 1st row (cross legged sitting): 4 delegates - names to be identified

IRCA Locomotive and Carriage & Wagon Superintendents’ Committee, Lucknow, 1923
List of delegates 1923

1923 Conference, Lucknow - 'Locomotive Superintendents and Carriage & Wagon Superintendents’ Committee'

"Scan from 'The Locomotive' 1923 May 15, number 369, page 151 provided by ‘The Steam Index’ webmaster Kevin Jones with grateful thanks, Aug 2016"

  • Back row standing: Shorthand Clerk; C.J.Spurgeon (NWR Deputy Locomotive Supt.), B.Lawrence (GLR Manager), J.M.D.Wrench (GIPR Chief Mechanical Engineer), E.C.Daubeny (GBSR Locomotive Supt.), W.G.Hornett (BNR Carriage & Wagon Supt.), W.A.Thorpe (M&SMR Actg. Locomotive and Carriage Supt), T.D.McIntosh (BB&CIR District Locomotive Supt. and Conference Secretary),Shorthand Clerk
  • Middle row seated: N.Marryat (BB&CIR/BG Actg. Locomotive Supt.), C.G.H.Danby (EIR Carriage & Wagon Supt.), Major A.F.Hosken (NGSR Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Supt.), A.M.Bell (GIPR Carriage & Wagon Supt. and Conference Chairman), W.J.Tomes (EIR Locomotive Supt.), A.R.Hill (BNR Actg. Chief Mechanical Engineer), A.E.Pearce (O&RR Locomotive, Carriage & Wagon Supt.)
  • Front row sitting on ground: H.Armitage (BB&CIR/MG Carriage & Wagon Supt.), F.S.Tweedie (SIR Actg. Locomotive and Carriage Supt.), H.J.Charlton(NWSR Carriage & Wagon Supt.)

1925 Conference, Simla British Library IOR Mss Eur F196/153 "Contains photograph of Conference Delegates" [5].

British Library IOR Mss Eur F196/153 "Speeches and proceedings of the Indian Railway Conference Association meeting at Simla over which Lloyd Jones presided; with photograph of conference delegates, 1925" - not assessed, pending research.

1937 Conference British Library IOR Shelfmark 1082/13(8) [6]:-

Photo "1082/13(8) Group portrait of delegates, identified as follows on mount":-

  • 5th row: H.J. Crane(SIR), C.A. Crawford(EIR), P. Govindaraja Pillai(SIR), G.H.A. Wood(JSR), M. Robertson(EIR), F.R. Hawkes(NWR), T. Stephenson(M&SMR), R.G. Manson(ABR), P.R. Leigh-Bennett(BNR), E.M. Cory(GIPR).
  • 4th row: G. St G. Higginson(BNR), T.K. Soundararaja Ayyangar(SIR), T. Christian(IRCA), Khan Saheb M.A. Rashid(GBSR), Major G.F. Evans (JSR), J. Fearfield (BSR), W.T. Aldous (BB&CIR), P. Hales-Coleman (B&NWR);
  • 3rd row: N.M. Irvine (CPR), R.P. Bould (GIPR), O.G. Edwards (GIPR), S.R. Phansey (DhSR), R.S. Girdharlal D. Mehta (J&DR), K.V. Iyer(M&MSR), G.D. Laurie(B&NWR), J.A. Smith(B&NWR), J.R. Izat(R&KR), H.J. Nash(BB&CIR), B. Lawrence(IRCA);
  • 2nd row: Lieutenant Colonel E.F. Johnston(MLR), G.W.N. Rose(JSR), R.W.F. Butterfield(BB&CIR), L.W. van Someren(EBR), R. de K. Maynard(M&SMR), B. Moody(NWR), N.R. Green(MRWR), M.H. Irens(UCR), F.H. Bibra(B.S. Railway), S.S. Stubbs(IRCA);
  • 1st row, seated: J.W. Gordon(JSR), A. Duncan(BNR), C.A. Muirhead(SIR), A.F. Harvey(EBR), H.N. Colam(M&SMR), Sir Maurice Brayshay(President, IRCA), L. Wilson(GIPR), Lieutenant Colonel C.F. Carson(NWR), J.D. Westwood(B&NWR), G.E. Cuffe(ABR), Major E.W. Slaughter(NGSR);

Indian Railway Conference Association 1938 Sept

1938 Conference

Photograph courtesey Mike Muirhead June 2016:-

  • 4th row standing: A W Watts(NSR), R H Nailer(NSR), T Christian(IRCA), H G Rawlins(JSR), P Ramsay-Brown(BkSR), J F C Reynolds(SIR), H J Allinson(EBR), P Govindaraja Pillai(SIR), H J Crane(SIR), P Hales-Coleman(B&NWR), G S Pelly(BNR)
  • 3rd row standing: C F White(GIPR), A C Austin(BNR), W H H Young(EIR), G W N Rose(JSR), B Moody(NWR), R de K Maynard(M&SMR), S R Phansey(DhSR), Y K Ramachandra Rau(MSR), R S Girharlal(J&DR), D Mehta(J&DR), R S Vipan(ABR), H G Carpenter(M&SMR), F T Castells(BNR), R D Harrison(BB&CIR), G D Laurie(B&NWR and R&KR)
  • 2nd row standing: G St.G Higginson(BNR), E J Austen Capt.(BB&CIR), L F Jackson(JPSR), J Fearfield(BkSR), E F Johnston Lt.Col.(MLR), E J Hope(GLR), G T Simpson(JSR), N R Green(MRWR), F H Bibra(BSR), J C Rose(EIR), W T Aldous(BB&CIR), V L Thompson(ABR), T K Soundara Rajan(SIR), G E Berkley(GIPR), B Lawrence(IRCA Gen. Secretary)
  • 1st row sitting: L W van Someren(EBR), E W Slaughter Maj.(NSR), G E Cuffe(ABR), C G W Cordon(M&SMR), J D Westwood(B&NWR), Charles Alexander Muirhead(SIR), A F Harvey(IRCA President), C F Carson(NWR), J A Bell(EIR), A Duncan(BNR), G C Laughton(BB&CIR), J H F Rapper(GIPR), A J Dyer(R&KR)

1939 Conference - Engineering Section IOR Shelfmark 1082/13(9) [7]

Photo "1082/13(9) Group portrait of delegates, identified as follows on mount":-

  • 2nd row, standing: Rai Bahadur Ram Kishan (GBSR), J.N. Nanda (NGSR), J.R. Izat (B&NWR and Kumaon and Railways), F.J. Salberg (ABR), C. Middleton (SIR), F.J.C. Hanson (M&SMR), B. Lawrence (General Secretary, IRCA), M.R. Pandya (J&DR)
  • 1st row, seated: R.W. Taylor (EBR), E.R. Casement (EIR), L.G.W. Hill (BNR), E.E.V. Temperley (JSR, Chairman), E.M. Cory (GIPR), E.B.N. Taylor (NWR), L.A. Hill (BB&CIR)