Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway

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Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Khushalgarh to Thal
Gauge / mileage
Narrow (2' 6") gauge 92 miles (1905)
Broad (5' 6") gauge 101 miles (1918)
Timeline
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
Stations Kohat
System agency
Worked by North Western Railway
How to interpret this infobox

The Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway(KKTR) was a military railway which ran close to the border with Afghanistan linking Khushalgarh to Kohat to Thal.

History

Khushalgarh had been connected in 1881 by a short 7 miles(11km) BG spur line to Jand on the North Western Railway BG mainline [1].

The Khushalgarh-Kohat Section was first surveyed as a BG line in April 1899. A decision was made in March 1901 that no bridge would be built over the Indus river at Khushalgarh and that instead a ropeway would be built over the river. As a consequence it was decided that a BG line would not be built and a 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) would be constructed from the right bank of the Indus facing Khushalgarh to Kohat, a distance of about 30 miles(48km) and opened in May 1902 [1]. This section was converted to BG and re-opened in 1908 (see below).

The Kohat-Thal Section 2ft 6in/762mm NG extension of 62 miles(100km) from Kohat through the Kohat Pass up the Miranzai Vallet to Thal near the Afghan border was opened in stages from Mar 1901.

Prior to this, in March 1900, an order had been placed on the UK for 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) for locomotives, trucks and track to create the ‘Light Military Reserve Railway’, strategic reserve of railway equipment. On delivery in Sept 1901 much of this equipment was consigned to Kohat to enable the onward extension and operation of the line. (Light Military Reserve Railway - see separate page for further information).

The railway reached Thal in Apr 1903 [2]. This section was converted to BG and re-opened in 1908 (see below).

In 1903 an accident closed the ropeway over the Indus River and a boat bridge replaced it. Eventually the decision was made to construct the Khushal Garh Bridge crossing the Indus river and at the same time to convert entire line to Thal from NG to broad gauge(BG).

The BG line was opened in 1908 thus connecting from Jand on the NWR mainine through to Kohat as the ‘NWR Frontier Kohat Section’ , 39 miles(63km) [1] and the ‘Kohat-Thal Section’, 62 miles(100km) to Thal, the entire line was merged into NWR proper[2] .

Haulage Experiments

In March 1902 haulage experiments were carried out on the unopened part of the NG line with a section of 'John Fowler' portable tramway using a passenger carriage and two wagons hauled by both a mule and a pair of bullocks [3]. The purpose and outcome of these experiments is not known.

Records

An on-line search of the India Office Records (IOR) records held at the British Library relating to this railway [4] gives several entries, the most relevant as follows: - gives the following:-

  • L/MIL/7/14848; "Collection 335/15 Railway construction: Loi Shilman, Kohat-Thal, Thal-Parachinar lines."; 1908

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 107; Retrieved 9 Mar 2017
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 128; Retrieved 9 Mar 2017
  3. “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 IA03 page ....
  4. “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 3 Apr 2016