Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway

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Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Jetalsar to Rajkot
Gauge / mileage
Metre gauge 46 miles (1905)
Timeline
1893 Opened to traffic
Key locations
Presidency Bombay
Stations Gondal, Jetalsar, Rajkot
System agency
1893 Bhavnagar-Gondal-Junagad-Porbandar Railway
1911 Gondal-Porbandar Railway
How to interpret this infobox

The Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway was a short (but important in the context of the railways of the Kathiawar peninsula) metre gauge(MG) line. The line of 46 miles(72km) connected Jetalsar to Rajkot and opened in 1893. [1]

The line was worked by the Bhavnagar-Gondal-Junagad-Porbandar Railway(BGJPR) until the breakup of that coalition in 1911; then by the administration of the Gondal-Porbandar Railway(GPSR )[1]

History

The line from Jetalsar to Rajkot was proposed by the Government in 1891. The Gondal State had spent most of its reserves on the Porbandar State Railway which reached the port of Porbandar in 1890. Various meetings were called by the Political Agent and an agreement was reached in 1891. Junagadh State had already started the line as far as Navagad. Under the agreement when the line was continued to Gondal it would be handed over at cost to Gondal. The financing states agreed to have the Bhavnagar-Gondal-Junagad-Porbandar Railway(BGJPR) as the operating company. The capital was split between Gondal and Junagadh with 3/8 each and Rajkot and a reluctant Jetalsar 1/8 each. Raising a total of Rs1,600,000. The line opened in 1893 [2].

The operation of the line ran smoothly until the dissolution of the BGJPR. The agreement stated that the Railway Board would decide who the operator of the Railway would be. They granted this to Gondal in 1911 [2].

In 1913 the Annual report from Rajkot stated that “The large increase in profits on the Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway is due to the J-R being an integral Railway since 1911. The split of the BGJP Railway has contributed to the securing on the hire its legitimate share of traffic” [3].

With the inclusions of the Kathiawar Ports into the 'Customs Union of British India' – see separate page [4] at about the same time, a growth of lines connecting the various ports started. The ‘Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway’ was an important link for north-south traffic and the Railway Board specified the proportion of traffic to and from the various State Ports. [5].

Seeing a threat to its income Bhavnagar approached Jetalsar in 1910 about buying its share in the ‘Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway’ this started a bidding war with both Junagadh and Gondal claiming that Jetalsar had sold its share to them. The relationship between Gondal and Junagadh deteriorated with complaints from Junagadh to the Railway Board of mismanagement, which were dismissed by the Railway Board on investigation. As the two States fought for control. Gondal made a number of pleas to obtain Jetalsar’s share with no success as the Bombay, Indian and British Governments tried to maintain a status quo. During this period a price war broke out and this also lead to a disagreement with Porbandar and the separation of the Gondal-Porbandar Railway in 1916[2].

The relationship between Gondal and Junagadh deteriorated with complaints from Junagadh to the Railway Board of mismanagement, which were dismissed by the Railway Board on investigation. As the two States fought for control. Gondal made a number of pleas to obtain Jetalsar’s share with no success as the Bombay, Indian and British Governments tried to maintain a status quo. In the end all such proposals were turned down by the Railway Board[5].

The indications are that the line continued to operate under Gondal State, feeding both the Junagadh and Porbandar State Railways until Nationalisation in 1947.

Further Information

Kathiawar Peninsula Railway and Tramway Systems gives a map, timeline and relates this railway to others in the Kathiawar Peninsula.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 181; Retrieved 7 Feb 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 British Library ‘India Office Records’ L/PS/11/126; P 3748: ‘Memorial from the Thakur Sahib of Gondal regarding his proposal to purchase the Jetpur interest in the Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway’
  3. British Library ‘India Office Record’ V/10/1811 “Rajkot Administrative Reports 1909/10-1927/28” - 1913 Annual Report
  4. “Kathiawar Economics” by A. B. Trivedi Bombay 1943 Page 202; Retrieved 24 Sept 2017
  5. 5.0 5.1 British Library ‘India Office Records’ R/1/1/14784(1) “Proposed takeover of the management of the Jetalsar-Rajkot Railway by the Junagadh State Railway from Gondal Railway” Gondal’s reply P1, 1935