Kumaon Iron Works Tramway

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In 1856 a proposal to provide a Tramway to connect to the Iron Mines at Kumaon was put forward by the North of India Tramway Company Limited. The project did not proceed - see seperate page for details.

A later proposal in 1859 for the Kumaon Iron Works Tramway was put forward to survey and construct a railroad or tramway, to connect the ironworks in Kumaon with the trunk line of the railway in the Upper Provinces [1].

It is not known if this tramway was ever constructed; but in any event the Iron Works closed in 1864.


The Kumaon Iron Works was formally launched in 1856, it had been known for at least 30 years before that date that Kumaon had indigenous ore and smelting using the plentiful wood fuel. In 1856 the Government, with the help of private capital, supported two small smelting workshops already working in the area and in 1862 formed the ‘North of India Kumaon Iron Works Company’ The enterprise could see the potential demand for iron from the railways. But it faced an insurmountable obstacle in accessing and transporting wood as a fuel source [2]

In 1862 the Secretary of State ordered to lay down the Tramway line near Khurja station. ‘Kumaon Iron Works’ in hope that the iron would be taken from it for the rails produced iron of good quantity, but suddenly the Government dropped the idea of laying the line itself and gave a contract to the Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway Company (formerly called the Indian Branch Railway Company) [3]

The ‘Iron Works Company’ had ceased to work in 1864 [3]


  1. British Library IOR/F/8/6(544), page 1 “Contract of Mr William Dent on his providing the East Indies as a civil engineer to assist in their conduct of operations connected with the Kumaon Tramway”. Dent signed a contract to act as an assistant to W Hardy Wells. To conduct operations to survey and construct a railroad or tramway, to connect the ironworks in Kumaon with the trunk line at the railway in the upper provinces
  2. “India in the World Economy: From Antiquity to the Present” page 154 by Tirthankar Roy; Retrieved 5 Mar 2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 “British Administration in Kumaon Himalayas: A Historical Study, 1815-1947” pages 205-6, by Arun K. Mittal; Retrieved 5 Mar 2017