Southern Punjab Railway

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Southern Punjab Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Delhi to Samasata
McLeod Ganj to Ludhiana
Narwana to Kaithal (branch)
Gauge / mileage
Broad gauge 502 miles (1905)
1897 Delhi to Samasata line opened to traffic
1930 Line acquired by State and merged into NWR
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
Stations Bahawalpur, Bhatinda, Fazilka, Ferozepore, Jakhai, Rohtak
System agency
Worked by North Western Railway
How to interpret this infobox
Southern Punjab Railway Map 1909

The Southern Punjab Railway(SPR) was a broad gauge(BG) line built to provide a more direct connection from Karachi to Delhi by linking to the original Indus Valley line at Samasata and avoiding the North Western Railway loop via Lahore. [1]


The Southern Punjab Railway(SPR) Company was formed in 1895 with Bradford Leslie as Chairman. Under contract with the Secretary of State for India, Leslie and his partners formed the company to build a BG Railway from Delhi to Samasata about 400 miles to the west.

Horace Bell was the Consulting Engineer for SPR in London for the construction.,

The main line ran north west from Delhi to Bhatinda then south west through Bahawalpur State to Samasata, a total distance of 402 miles(643km). Several extension lines (Jullunder, Sutlej Valley etc.) extended the length to 502 miles(803km) in 1905.

The railway was worked by the North Western State(NWR) Railway (see "Records L/AG/46/34").

Purchased by Government in 1930.

SPR Network of Lines including Lines Managed and Worked

The listings below are generally based on the “Administration Report on Railways 1918” [2] with page numbers (and pdf pages) noted at the end of each entry.

SPR Mainline and branches BG Total line length 426 miles(685km). Page 121(pdf 130)

Jullundur-Doab Extension Railway BG Total line length 130 miles(209km). Page 123(pdf132)

  • ’Jullunder-Ferozepore Mainline', Jullunder via Karpurthala, Sultanpur Lodi, Lohian Khas, Gidarpind, Makhu to Ferozepore Cantonment, opened 1912-14, 73 miles(117km)

Ludhiana Extension Railway BG Total line length 152 miles(244km). Page 123(pdf132)

  • ’Ludhiana-Ferozepore Line’, Ludhiana to Ferozepore, opened 1905, 77 miles(124km)
  • ’Ferozepore-MacLeod Ganj Line’, Ferozepore to McLeod Ganj (a suburb of Dharamsala), opened 1906, 75 miles(120km)

Sutlej Valley Extension Railway BG Total line length 208 miles(335km). Pages 124-5(pdf135-6)

Ludhiana-Dhuri-Jakhal Railway BG Total line length 79 miles(127km). Page 115(pdf124)


Refer to FIBIS Fact File #4: “Research sources for Indian Railways, 1845-1947” - available from the Fibis shop. This Fact File contains invaluable advice on 'Researching ancestors in the UK records of Indian Railways' with particular reference to the India Office Records (IOR) held at the British Library

An on-line search of the IOR records relating to this railway [3] gives many references. The most important being:-

  • L/AG/46/39 “Records of the India Office relating to the Southern Punjab Railway Company; 1895-1914".'
  • L/F/7/2607-2615 “Collection 401: Southern Punjab Railway, date unspecified"

also concerning the working of the Southern Punjab Railway by NWR.

  • L/AG/46/34 “ Records of the India Office relating to the North Western State Railway",