Karachi Port Trust Railways

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Karachi Port Trust Railways

Karachi Port

Karachi by 1852, Karachi was an established city with a population of about 14,000 with a prosperous trade in over-seas markets. The Port started taking shape in 1854, when the dredging the main navigable channel and the construction of a mole or causeway joining the main harbor with the rest of the city were undertaken. From 1869 to 1974 the Manora Breakwater, Keamari Groyne, the Napier Mole Bridge, Native Jetty and the Chinna Creek were started which gave initial shape to the port. The construction of the wharves started in 1882, and by 1914 the East Wharves and the Napier Mole Boat Wharf had been completed. During the period between 1927 and 1944, the West Wharves of the Port, the lighterage berths and the ship-repairing berths were constructed. [1].

From 1880 the 'Karachi Harbour Board' administered the port until 1886 when the 'Karachi Port Trust' was established [2]. .


The following have been identified [2]:-

  • 1869-74. 'Manora Breakwater Construction'. A broad gauge(BG) locomotive, platform trucks and 4 miles(6.4km) of track and travelling crane was used during this construction.
  • 1882. A map shows a railway on Manora Island and is recorded as having run from the 'High Water Pier' through the 'Port Trust Worksops' and on to the Telegraph, Port and Military Departments and further to the lighthouse on the southern end of the island. It is thought that this line was used for supplying these locations and may have been used for the construction of the 1889 lighthouse. This was a 2ft/610mm narrow gauge(NG) line which also also shows on the 1909 and 1932 maps and used

It is thought that Karachi, unlike other Ports in India, did not use its own locomotives within the port but used locomotives from North Western Railway. In 1919 the 'Railway Board' suggested that the Port Trust should consider obtaining its own locomotives for internal traffic

  • 1920's. Maps shows a railway serving a block-making yard in the West Wharf. It is thought this was a broad gauge(BG) line used to convey blocks for maintenance of the Port rather than for internal traffic


  1. Wikipedia "Karachi Port Trust"; Retrieved 1 Dec 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Published by ‘The Industrial Railway Society’ 2013. ISBN 978 1 901556 82-7. Available at http://irsshop.co.uk/India. Reference: Entry SD06 page ....