John Pitt Kennedy

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John Pitt Kennedy Lieut.-Colonel Royal Engineers(1796-1879)

Railway Achievements

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  • 1852; Baroda to Tankaria Bunda Railway He was introduced in London to Lieutenant-Colonel French, who had been Acting Resident at the Court of the Guicowar of Baroda, who wanted to create a company to construct a line of railway from Baroda to Tankaria Bunda, in the gulf of Cambay, a distance of about 45 miles. Colonel Kennedy joined him, but instead of the original line proposed, they projected what became the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway.
  • 1853; Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway Company(BB&CIR) formed with Colonel Kennedy as consulting engineer and managing director. A staff of engineers was sent to Bombay, and during the cold season of 1853, comparative surveys, sufficient to lay a well-considered scheme before the Government, were made.
  • 1854; The Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie, sanctioned Broach, and Baroda, to Ahmedabad, leaving the remainder of the scheme for future decision, and the work to be commenced at Bombay. The Home Government, however, decided that the work should be commenced at Surat.
  • 1855; Construction of the Surat to Baroda section commenced, followed by the construction on the Surat to Bombay section. Although on flat country, this line had to traverse some of the mightiest rivers and water channels in the country. These had to be bridged and two of the most magnificent bridges were built over the Narmada near Baruch spanning the Bassein Creek. Kennedy thus came to be known as one of the greatest builders of bridges, not only in India but also in other parts of the world.
  • 1871; By the time Kennedy completed his tenure with the BB&CI in 1871, the railway had been completed from Bombay to Viramgam.