Mussoorie Railway Connection Proposals

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Mussoorie Railway Connection Proposals

Three attempts have been made to provide a railway link from Mussoorie, a hill station, situated in the Dehra Dun District of United Provinces during the British period. Hill resorts like Darjeeling (with the Darjeeling-Himalayan Railway completed in 1881) and Simla (with the Kalka-Simla Railway completed in 1903) had railway links, however a railway to Mussoorie has never been constructed [1] [2].

Spelling Note – Hardwar is the spelling at the time, the modern spelling is Haridwar.

Hardwar-Rajpur-Mussoorie Railway Proposal.
This was proposed in 1896 to construct a railway line to run from Hardwar, a station on the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway (O&RR) to the hill station of Mussoorie via Harrawala and Rajpur, bypassing Dehra Dun, a distance of about 90 miles(143km). Owing to opposition from the administration and business men from Dehra Dun, it was decided to first link Hardwar and Dehra Dun.
The proposal to link Mussoorie with Hardwar was shelved and subsequently a rail track between Hardwar and Dehra Dun was sanctioned on November 18, 1896 [1]. This rail line was subsequently opened on March 1, 1900 and became was named the Hardwar-Dehra Railway – see separate page for further information

Mussoorie Municipal Board Railway Proposal.
Records suggest that the then Municipal Board of Mussoorie reinitiated the plan for a rail line around 1912 and subsequently availability of funds for construction and electricity for operating the railway were explored. But the proposal received a setback due to the outbreak of the World War One [2].

Raipur-Mussoorie Electric Tramway Proposal.
Finally, in 1921 efforts were made to set up an electric tramway between Rajpur and Mussoorie and a public limited company was floated. The proposal was to connect Raipur to Mussoorie via Jharipani and Barlow Ganj, a length of about 35km.
The ‘Dehradun-Mussoorie Electric Tramway Company Ltd’ was formed with a share capital of Rs 36 lakh, the firm was promoted by a businessman called Belti Shah Gilani and a large number of people invested money in it. Maharaja Ripudaman Singh of Nabha (Punjab) reportedly had an investment of Rs 10 lakh and the Maharaja of Jindh was also a major stakeholder. The two hours journey was to have a station at Oak Grove School and a final stop at the popular Himalaya Club Hotel in Mussoorie. The power was to be drawn from Galogi plant. In fact, the line was supposed to be operational by 1925. But the tunnel at Jharipani is supposed to have caved in, killing a few workers. This combined with political unrest and the alleged embezzlement of funds by company officials, eventually leading to the project being abandoned. Belti Shah was called "Galti (fault) Shah" and the Maharaja of Jindh had to sell his Rolls Royce because of the losses he suffered in the project.. A case in this regard went on for years in the Calcutta High Court and a search on Google still shows up some of its details [1].