North Western Railway
|North Western Railway|
|Line of route|
| Karachi to Quetta|
Karachi to Lahore
Lahore to Delhi
Lahore to Peshawar
|Gauge / mileage|
|Broad gauge||3186 miles (1905)|
6861 miles (1947)
|1886||Formed by merger of several railways, viz:|
Sind, Punjab and Delhi Railway
Indus Valley State Railway
Punjab Northern State Railway
|1930||Southern Punjab Railway merged into NWR|
|How to interpret this infobox|
|North Western Railway|
North Western Railway device
|1886||State owned and State worked|
|Constituent companies / lines|
|1886||North Western Railway|
|Dandot Light Railway|
|Jammu and Kashmir Railway|
|Southern Punjab Railway|
|Major Stations||Amritsar, Ferozepore, Hyderabad, Meerut, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Saharanpur, Sibi|
|Successor system / organisation|
|1947||[West] Pakistan Railways|
|1947||Eastern Punjab Railway (Indian Railways)|
|1952||Northern Railway (IR zone)|
|Broad gauge||3890 miles (1905)|
|Narrow (2' 6") gauge||132 miles (1905)|
|Narrow (2' 0") gauge||6 miles (1905)|
|Associated auxiliary force|
|North-Western Railway Battalion|
|How to interpret this infobox|
The North-Western State Railway (NWR) was formed in January 1886 from the merger of the Sind, Punjab and Delhi Railway, the Indus Valley State Railway, the Punjab Northern State Railway, the eastern section of the Sind-Sagar Railway and the southern section of the Sind-Pishin State Railway. 
- 1 History
- 2 NWR Lines, Branches and Extensions
- 3 Railways absorbed into NWR
- 4 Lines worked by NWR at some time
- 5 Railways surveyed by NWR
- 6 NWR Coal Supplies
- 7 NWR Sleeper Supplies
- 8 NWR Quarries
- 9 FIBIS resources
- 10 Records
- 11 Personnel
- 12 Associated Auxiliary Force
- 13 Institutions
- 14 Recommended reading
- 15 External links
- 16 References
The military and strategic concerns of Afghan-Indian border were such that Francis Langford O'Callaghan, was posted from the State Railways as "engineer-in-chief for a number of demanding railway projects, surveys and constructions on the north-west frontier" . These were initially military and strategic projects and became part of the NWR network on formation in 1886. The Bolan Pass Railway Construction was completed in 1886. The Khwaja Amran Railway Survey in 1887 included the Khojak Tunnel and the Chaman Extension Railway. The Khojak Tunnel opened in 1891 and the railway reached Chaman on the Afghan border.
Later renamed the North Western Railway, by 1905 it was the longest railway under one administration and the strategic railway of the north-west frontier. In 1947, one part became the nucleus of Pakistan's railways, with 4976 of the old system's 6861 miles lying within the new state; the part lying in India was reorganised and renamed as Eastern Punjab Railway.
NWR Lines, Branches and Extensions
In addition to the main line sections the following are significant :-
- Khanai-Hindubagh Railway, opened 1921. Part of the NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge, Zhob Valley Railway network; construction commenced 1916.
- Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway. Opened 1903 as a military railway; part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network, extended 1908.
- Lahore & Peshawar Railway, opened c.1882. Main-line section constructed and worked by NWR.
- Mari-Attock Railway, opened 1891. Opened as part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network.
- Mari Indus Railway. Constructed in 1920's as part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network.
- Mushkaf-Bolan Railway. Under construction 1894, in service with NWR 1898; alternative to the Sind-Pishin State Railway route
- Patti-Kasur Railway. In operation 1909-10; extension of NWR's Amritsar-Patti Railway.
- Quetta-Nushki Branch Line, opened on November 15, 1905. An extension NWR Military Section from Quetta to Nushki. The line was extended from 1916 to respond to Military demands – see Trans-Baluchistan Railway for details
- Sirhind-Rupar Railway. Constructed by NWR and in operation before 1927
- Wazirabad-Multan Railway, under survey in 1892 and construction in 1894, becoming part of the NWR broad gauge(BG) main line.
- Zhob Valley Railway, opened 1921. Part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network; finally extended from Boston to Zhob , 1929
Railways absorbed into NWR
- Amritsar-Pathankot Railway, opened 1883-84. Merged into NWR c.1892
- Hoshiarpur Doab Railway(HDR), opened 1915. Private Co; first section opened 1915; network of lines all worked and apparantly finally absorbed by NWR
- Jammu and Kashmir Railway, opened 1897. Part of NWR from 1891; 16 mile section opened 1897
- Jammu-Sialkot Railway, opened 1897 as part of NWR network
- Kandahar State Railway, opened c.1881, ran only to Rindli never to Kandhar, merged into NWR, 1886
- Quetta Link Railway. A strategic line constructed by Scinde, Punjaub & Delhi Railway(SP&DR) from 1880 and opened 1887 when merged with NWR.
- Shahdara-Narowal Railway, opened 1926. Opened as part of NWR network
- Shorekot Road-Chichoki Railway. Survey & Construction 1906-10; opened as part of NWR
- Sialkot-Narowal Railway, opened in 1915 as part of NWR network
- Southern Punjab Railway, opened 1897. Worked by NWR; line aquired by State and merged into NWR, 1930
- Suchetgarh-Jammu Railway. Opened 1890 as a Kashir Durbar line, worked by NWR and incorporated into Jammu-Sialkot Railway
- Sutlej Valley Railway, opened 1910. Merged into SPR, 1917-18; aquired by State and merged into NWR, 1930
- Trans Indus (Kalabagh-Bannu) Railway. Opened 1913; extended 1916-22; worked and finally merged into NWR
- Trans-Baluchistan Railway, opened 1905. Strategic Military line between India and Persia (now Iran); worked by NWR
Lines worked by NWR at some time
- Aden Railway, opened 1915-16. Constructed as a military railway, worked by NWR under designated 'Engineer-in-charge'. Closed 1929
- Amritsar-Patti Railway, opened 1906. Private Co formed 1905; Worked by NWR
- Bahawalnagar-Fort Abbas Railway, opened 1928. A Durbar line financed by princely state of Bahawalpur; worked by NWR
- Dandot Light Railway, opened 1905. Short Narrow Gauge(NG) colliary Branch, worked by NWR
- Jacobabad-Kashmore Railway, opened 1911; worked by NWR; purchased by GoI,1945
- Jind-Panipat Railway, Indian State Section, opened 1916-17. Originally worked by EIR; later by North Western Railway
- Kalka-Simla Railway, opened 1902. Narrow Gauge(NG) railway built and worked by private company; taken over by Government of India(GoI), 1906 and worked by NWR
- Kangra Valley Railway, opened 1929. Narrow Gauge(NG) mountain railway; worked by NWR; one section closed in 1942 (reopened 1954).
- Khanpur-Chachran Railway, opened 1911. Owned by Bahawalpur Durbar; worked by NWR; also with Bahawalnagar-Fort Abbas Railway
- Khyber Railway, opened 1925. A strategic line from India to Afganistan via Khyber Pass; worked by NWR
- Larkana-Jacobabad (Sind) Light Railway, opened 1921, worked by NWR
- Ludhiana-Dhuri-Jakhal Railway, opened 1901; owned by Jind & Kotia Durbar; constructed and worked by NWR
- Mandra Bhaun Railway, opened in 1915 and worked by NWR
- Nowshera-Durgai Railway, opened 1901, worked by NWR
- Rajpura-Bhatinda Railway, opened 1884. Owned by Patalia Durbar; worked by NWR; formerly Rajpura-Pattiala Railway
Railways surveyed by NWR
- Bannu Railway Survey. Under Survey in 1909 (ref 1909 India List) by NWR on behalf of Government of India(GoI), but no evidence that it was constructed
NWR Coal Supplies
From an early daate the NWR estabished their own collieries to supply coal for their operations.See separate pages for more information:-
- Khost Colliery - owned and worked by NWR, opened in 1877 and closed on unknown date.
- Dandot Colliery - owned and worked by NWR, opened in 1894 and closed 1911.
- Sharigh Colliery - owned and worked by NWR, opened in 1894 and closed on unknown date.
- Bhaganwala Colliery - owned and worked by NWR, opened in 1894 and closed 1899.
NWR Sleeper Supplies
See separate pages for further information
- Changa Manga Forest Operation. By 1884 the NWR found itself starved of sleepers that were vital in running services on its network. This operation had been established in 1864 and started supply of sleepers in 1884
- Marala Sleeper Works, opened 1917, closed and transferred 1922-23
- Dhilwan Sleeper Works, opened 1923
- Paikhel Quarry Railway, owned by NWR, in use 1939-42
See separate pages for more information:-
- FIBIS Gallery Album Railways/NWR/H V O WATERS Collection He served as a travelling Inspector of Coaching and Goods Accounts, NWR 1907-1917. Includes a
- map of the railway network. To enlarge, click on the icon at the top left hand corner of the map.
- L/AG/46/34; “Records of the India Office relating to the North Western State Railway”; 1893-1924
- L/F/8/18/1419; “North Western Railway, Book of contracts relating to lines worked by the NorthWestern Railway Office of the Chief Examiner of Accounts”; date unspecified
North Western Railway Personnel gives details of NWR staff from several sources:-
- “India Civil List 1890”  and the " India List and India Office List, 1905"  for Public Works Department Railway Branch or State Railways personnel deployed to NWR gives a number of entries. The most notable of these have been listed.
- "Grace's Guide ” for notable personnel 
- "National Archives from the RAIL collection” 
Associated Auxiliary Force
- North-Western Railway Battalion. Includes mention of armoured trains
- North Western Railway School, Fairlawn, Mussoorie.
- Picture of the teachers and students of St. Andrew School, Pakistan Railways (then NWR) at Lahore, set up in the late 19th century panoramio.com, now archived.
- Berridge, Percy Stuart Attwood. Couplings to the Khyber: the story of the North Western Railway. Newton Abbot: David & Charles, 1969.
Good coverage of the largest Indian railway system, especially from a civil engineering perspective. Lacks a bibliography and poorly annotated. [Slides of the photographs used form a collection deposited at the Cambridge South Asian Archive together with copies of the North Western Railway Magazine, the monthly staff magazine edited by the author.]
- North Western Railway Magazine.
Monthly staff magazine. Some editorial content published in Urdu . No BL holdings. 2 copies (November 1942, December 1945) are held in the Berridge Papers, Cambridge South Asian Archive.
- Terry Case, North Western Railway. Includes a section about Hal Waters (refer photograph album above)
- "History of Northern Railway", Northern Railway.
- Quetta to Lahore by Rail 1925 All Things Pakistan, now an archived website
- "Breakup of the North Western Railway and the Anglo-Indian community" by Kenneth Hugh Staynor. indiaofthepast.org
- Images of British Steam Locomotives used by North Western Railways Ghilzai:panoramio.com, now archived.
- An old photograph of a Railway Inspection trolley with removeable sailboard used on NWR Hyderabad-Kotri, Sindh, Pakistan. Ghilzai:panoramio.com, now archived.
- Photograph of Troops travelling by train taken by Private J W Linley of the 2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment compiled whilst serving in India 1923-1938. flickr.com/photos/northampton_museum
Historical books online
- Some railway personnel in 1898. Page 179 Quarterly Civil List for the Punjab: Corrected up to 1st October 1898 Archive.org
- " Administration Report on the Railways in India – corrected up to 31st March 1918"; Superintendent of Government Printing, Calcutta; page 106; Retrieved 20 Dec 2015
- Institution of Civil Engineers "Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland - O'Callaghan, Francis Langford "; Retrieved on 9 Jul 2016
- "The Imperial Gazetteer of India" v. 21, p. 14.; Retrieved on 13 Jul 2016
- “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 30 May 2016
- Fibis Records, scans of original ”
- " India List and India Office List, 1905" Retrieved on 30 May 2016
- “Grace’s Guide”; Retrieved 30 May 2016
- “National Archives” ”; Retrieved 30 May 2016