North Western Railway - Lines operated and worked
North Western Railway - Lines operated and worked
- a sub-section of the North Western Railway (NWR) page
The NWR was formed in January 1886 from the merger of the Scinde, Punjaub & Delhi Railway(SP&DR), the Indus Valley State Railway(IVSR), the Punjab Northern State Railway(PNSR), the eastern section of the Sind-Sagar Railway and the southern section of the Sind-Pishin State Railway.
The NWR owned and operated an extensive network of railways of mixed gauge
- Broad gauge(BG) - 3186 miles/ 5127 km (1905); 4853 miles/ 7810 km (1918); 6861 miles/11,042 km (1947)
- Narrow gauge(NG) - 373 miles/600 km (1918)
The NWR also managed, worked and maintained a number of BG and NG lines on behalf of other parties.
The listings below are generally based on the “Administration Report on Railways 1918” .
NWR Commercial Section
Broad Gauge(BG). Total line length, 1918, Commercial Section - 2539 miles(4086km)
- ‘Ghaziabad to Lahore Section’, 339 miles(546km), was part of the Scinde, Punjaub & Delhi Railway( SP&DR) until amalgamation into NWR in 1886,. The line had been constructed in stages from Lahore to Amritsar in 1862 and via Jullunder, Ludhiana, Ambala, and Meerut to Ghaziabad completed by 1870.
- ‘Lahore to Peshawar Section’, 288 miles (463km), was the Punjab Northern State Railway until amalgamation into NWR in 1886. The first section from Lahore to Jhelum, opened 1873 as metre gauge(MG) and converted to BG, 1878; from Jhelum via Rawalpindi the onward connection to Peshawar, was made in 1883 with the comple spelling correctedtion of the Attock Bridge over the river Indus.
- ‘Tawi Branch Line’, was completed in 1890. The 26 miles(42km) from Wazirabad (a town on the ‘Lahore to Peshawar Section’, to Sialkot, opened 1884 by PNSR . Extended by NWR in 1890 by 9 miles(14km) to the ‘Frontier of Kashmir State’ where the Jammu and Kashmir Railway continued the railway a further 16 miles(26km) to the ‘Left Bank of the Tawi River near Jammu’. The 25 mile(40km)section is in some records referred to as the Jammu-Sialkot Railway. The complete line from Wazirabad to Jammu, a total of 51 miles(82km) was part of the NWR network until partition when the line was severed.
This NWR Mainline connecting Lahore to Karachi , 756 miles(1217km) comprised:-
- ‘Lahore via Raiwind to Khanewa Section’, 177 miles(285km), originally the Punjaub Railway opened in 1865, merged to form SP&DR 1870, becoming NWR 1886.
- ‘Khanewal to Lodhran Section’, 56 miles(90km), opened by NWR 1909, reducing the route length by 29 mile(46km) and making the former mainline, which had opened by IVSR in 1865, into the ‘Khanewal-Lodhran (via Sher Shar) Chord Line’ (see below)
- ‘Khanewal-Lodhran (via Sher Shar) Chord Line’, 85 miles(136km), from Khanewal to Multan, 1865; to Muzaffarabad , 1870; to Lodhran, 1878, formerly the IVSR Mainline, became NWR 1886. Became a NWR Chord Line In 1909 with the opening of the 29 mile shorter ‘Khanewal to Lodhran Section’ of the ‘Ghaziabad- Lahore Mainline’ (see above).
- ‘Lodhran to Rohri section’, 225 miles(362km), opened 1878 by Indus Valley State Railway(IVSR), which became NWR 1886, via Samasata (with an interchange to the ‘Southern Punjab Railway)
- ‘Rohri-Kotri Section’, 189 miles(304km), from Rohri via Hyderabad and Rahoki Junction to Kotri was completed in 1900 with the opening of the Kotri Bridge over the river Indus. This making the former mainline (see below), which had opened in 1886 into the ‘‘Kotri-Rohri (via Ruk) Branch Line’
- ‘Rohri-Kotri (via Ruk) Branch Line’ from Sukkur via Ruk Junction, Larkhana and Sehwan to Kotri, completed in 1878. This line was formerly the mainline until the opening of the Kotri Bridge in 1900 to complete the NWR Mainline ‘Rohri-Kotri Section’ (see above)
- ‘Phulji Branch Line’, 3 miles(5km), from Phulji to Puranadera, opened as a branch to the ’Kotri-Rohri (via Ruk) Section’ opened by SP&DR in 1882; with short extension by NWR, 1902
- ’Kotri to Karach Section’, 108 miles(174km), was completed in 1861 by Scinde Railway, which became SP&DR 1870 and NWR 1886
NWR Branch Lines
- ‘Wazirabad-Khanewal Branch Line’, 201 miles(320km), from Wazirabad reaching Lyallpur, 1896; extended to Khanewal, 1900. Surveyed under the name Wazirabad-Multan Railway, 1892; when first section opened 1896 was named the Wazirabad-Lyallpur State Railway and became part of the NWR network.
- ‘Jech Doab Branch Line’, 149 miles(238km), from Malakwal (on the NWR Sind-Sagar Railway) via Sarodha, opened by NWR, 1903 ; extended to Shorkot Road, 1906 to join the ‘Wazirabad-Khanewal Branch Line’
- ‘Shahdara-Sangla Branch Line’, 55 miles( 88km), from Shahdara (6km north of Lahore on Mainline) to Sangla (an intermediate station on the ‘Jech Doab Branch Line’) , opened by NWR, 1907
- ‘’Shorkot Road-Chichoki Mallian Branch Line’, 136 miles(218km), from Shorkot Road (on the ‘Wazirabad-Khanewal Branch Line’ ) via Jaranwala to Chichoki Mallian (an intermediate stop on the ‘Shahdara-Sangla Branch Line’) , under survey and construction 1906-10; opened by NWR, 1909-11
- ‘Hoshiarpur Branch Line’, 23 miles(37km), from Jullundur (on the Ghaziabad- Lahore Mainline) to Hoshiarpur, opened by NWR, 1913
- ‘Havelian Branch Line’, 35 miles(56km) from Sarai Kala (Not identified, thought to be Taxila Junction, 15 km NW of Rawalpindi, on the ‘Lahore-Peshawar Mainline’, to Havelian, opened by NWR, 1913
- ‘Jakhal-Hissar Branch Line’, 50 miles(80km), from Jakhal to Hissar opened 1913 by NWR
- ‘Sirhind-Rupar Railway’, estimated 55 km from Sirhind (on ‘Ghaziabad- Lahore Mainline’ between Ambala and Ludhiana). Constructed by NWR as part of a dam construction project and in operation before 1927
NWR Frontier (Military) Section
- ‘Lala Musa-Sher Shah Mainline’, 342 miles(550km). Lala Musa to Malakwal, following the east bank of Indus River, opened 1880 by Sind-Sagar Railway as metre gauge(MG) converted to BG 1886 on the amalgamation into NWR. The line was extended from Malakwal via Kundian and Bhaakkar and reached Sher Shah in 1900 where it joined the ‘Lahore-Karachi Mainline’.
- ‘Golra-Basal Section Line’, 47 Miles(75km), opened 1881 from Golra (on ‘Lahore-Peshawar Mainline’) to Basal Junction (where it joined the ‘Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway’ )
- ‘Kohat Section Line’, 39 miles(63km), 7 miles(11km) from Jand to Khushalgarh opened 1881 as BG line; the 32 miles(52km) extension to Kohat was first opened 1902 as part of the ‘Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway’ 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG), the section as far Kohat was converted to BG, 1908.
- ‘Bhara Branch Line’, 18 Miles(km) from Malakwal via Miani to Bhera, opened 1880-82 as a metre gauge(MG) line; converted to BG 1887
- ‘Bhaganwala Branch Line’, 11 miles(18km) from Haranpur to Bhaganwala, opened 1895
- ‘Warcha Quarry Branch Line’, 8 miles(13km) from Gunjyal to Warcha, opened 1918
- ‘Dandot Branch Line’, 8.5 miles(13.6km) from Chalisa Junction via Khewra Salt Mines to Dandot, opened 1888 as a metre gauge(MG) line; converted to BG 1887-89
- ‘Kundian-Campbellpur Section’, 119 miles(191km) from Kundian via Daud Khel to Jand opened 1892-99; Jald to Basal opened 1881 and extended to Campbellpur 1899
- ‘Mari Branch Line’, 6.2 miles(10km), opened 1892 from Daud Khel to Mari
- ‘Ghazi Ghat Branch Line’ 10 miles(16km), opened 1887 from Mahmud Kot to Ghazi Ghat
- ‘Peshawar-Jamrud Branch Line’, 11 miles(18km), opened 1901 from Peshawar to Jamrud
- ‘Ruk-Chaman Mainline’, 387 miles(622km). The Quetta Link Railway was order by the British Government in 1876 as a strategic railway. The section from Ruk]Junction to Sibi opened 1880 was constructed by the SP&DR and named the Kandahar State Railway, merged into NWR 1886; extended from Sibi via Mushkaf and Bostan 1887; to Lila Abdulla, 1888; reaching Chaman 1892 . The section from Muskaf through the Bolan Pass was a major challenge as described in the Bolan Pass Railway Construction the track was twice washed away and finally opened after reconstruction in 1887
- ‘Quetta-Nushki Branch Line’, 88 miles(141km),opened on November 15, 1905. An extension NWR Military Section from Spezand Junction, Quetta to Nushki. The line was extended from 1916 to respond to Military demands – see Trans-Baluchistan Railway for details
- ‘Sibi-Bostan Loop Line’, 109 mile(175km), from Sibi to Quetta, opened 1882 and 1887, dismantled and realigned 1897; extended to Bostan, 1887; Bostan Chord opened 1898
NWR Narrow Gauge Northern Frontier Network
In approximate chronological order
- ‘Mari-Attock Railway’, NG, opened 1891. Opened as part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network.
- ‘Khushalgarh-Kohat-Thal Railway’, NG, opened 1903 as a military railway; part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network, extended 1908.
- ‘Khanai-Hindubagh Railway’, NG, opened 1921. Part of the NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge, Zhob Valley Railway network; construction commenced 1916.
- ‘Mari Indus Railway’, NG, constructed in 1920's as part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network.
- ‘Zhob Valley Railway’, NG, opened 1921. Part of NWR Northern Frontier narrow gauge network; finally extended from Boston to Zhob , 1929
Lines worked by NWR at some time
In approximate chronological order
- ‘Rajpura-Bhatinda Railway’, BG, 108 miles(173km) total, opened 1884 from Rajpura to Patiala as the ‘Rajpura-Pattiala Railway’, extended to Bhatinda 1889. Owned by Patiala Durbar, worked by NWR
- ‘Southern Punjab Railway’(SPR), BG, private company,several sections opened from 1897 onwards. Total 502 miles(808km) in 1905, 995 miles(1601km) in 1918. Private Co., worked as part of the NWR system; lines acquired by State and merged into NWR, 1930. With following sections:-
- ‘Delhi-Samasata Mainline’, BG,opened 1897 by SPR. Delhi via Narwana, Jakhal, Bhatinda to Samasata; 426 miles(685km) including branches:-
- Jullundur-Doab Railway, BG, opened 1912-14 by SPR, 130 miles(209km) comprising the ‘Jullunder-Ferozepore Mainline'; ‘Phillaur Branch Line’ and the ‘Jullundur-Nakodar Chord Railway'
- Ludhiana Extension Railway, BG, opened 1905-06 by SPR, 152 miles(244km) comprising the ‘Ludhiana-Ferozepore Line’ and ‘Ferozepore-MacLeod Ganj Line’
- ’Sutlej Valley Extension Railway’ also named ‘[Kasur-Lodhran Railway]]’, BG, opened 1910 by SPR, 208 miles(335km). Line closed and dismantled 1917-18,
- ‘Ludhiana-Dhuri-Jakhal Railway’BG, opened 1901, 79 miles(127km). Managed, maintained and worked by North Western Railway (NWR) under an Agreement with the Princely Maler Kotla State]Durbar and the Jhind State Durbars. The line was used by SPR linking the ’Delhi-Samasata Mainline’ at Jakhal with 'Ludhiana Extension Railway' at Ludhiana.
- ‘Ludhiana-Dhuri-Jakhal Railway’, BG, opened 1901; owned by Jind & Kotia Darbar; constructed and worked by NWR
- ‘Nowshera-Durgai Railway’, NG, opened 1901, 40 miles(64km), owned by State, worked as part of NWR
- ‘Kalka-Simla Railway’, Narrow Gauge(NG) opened 1903 , 59 miles(95km). Built and worked by private company; taken over by Government of India(GoI), 1906 and worked by NWR from 1907.
- ‘Trans-Baluchistan Railway’, opened 1905. Strategic Military line between India and Persia (now Iran); worked by NWR
- ‘Amritsar-Patti Railway’, BG, 37 miles(59km), opened 1906 from Amritsar to Patti, extended to Kasur, a further 27 miles(43km), 1910. Private Co. formed 1905, worked by NWR
- ‘Khanpur-Chachran Railway’, BG, opened 1911, 22 miles(35km). Owned by Bahawalpur Durbar; worked by NWR.
- ‘Trans Indus (Kalabagh-Bannu) Railway’, NG, 136 miles(218km), opened 1913 and extended 1916; worked and finally merged into NWR
- ‘Jacobabad-Kashmore Railway’, NG, opened 1914, 77 miles(123km) from Jacobad to Kashmor. Private Co., worked by NWR; purchased by GoI, 1945
- “Hoshiarpur Doab Railway’(HDR), BG, Private Co., three sections opened 1915-17, total 90 miles(144km). Network of lines all worked and apparantly finally absorbed into NWR
- ‘Sialkot-Narowal Railway,’ BG, opened 1915-16, 38 miles(61km) from Sialkot to Narowal. Private Co., worked by NWR
- ‘Mandra Bhaun Railway’, BG, 46 miles(83km), opened in 1915-16 from Mandra to Bhaun. Private Co. formed 1913, worked by NWR
- ‘Jind-Panipat Railway’, BG, opened 1916-17, 26 miles(41km). Owned by Jind State Durbar. Originally worked by EIR; later apparently by NWR
- ‘Larkana-Jacobabad (Sind) Light Railway’, NG, Private Co., opened 1921, worked by NWR
- ‘Khyber Railway, opened 1925 as a BG line strategic line from India to Afganistan via Khyber Pass; worked by NWR
- ‘Delhi-Umballa-Kalka Railway’, formed 1889 as private company, Delhi to Kalka, line opened 1891, 162 miles(259km), worked and maintained by East Indian Railway(EIR). Page 60 (pdf68) Until 1925, then by North Western Railway(NWR).
- ‘Shahdara-Narowal Railway’, BG, opened 1926 as further extension of NWR from Narowal to Shahdara.
- Bahawalnagar-Fort Abbas Railway’, BG, 70 miles(112km), opened 1928. A Durbar line financed by princely state of Bahawalpur; worked by NWR
- ‘Kangra Valley Railway,’ Narrow Gauge(NG) mountain railway, opened 1929, worked by NWR; one section closed in 1942 (reopened 1954).
- ‘Aden Railway’, MG, opened 1915-16. Constructed as a military railway, worked by NWR under designated 'Engineer-in-charge'. Closed 1929, dismantled 1930
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
- “Administration Report for Railways” pages 106-7 (pdf115-6) ; Retrieved 4 Apr 2020