Powayan Steam Tramway Company

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Powayan Steam Tramway Company
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Line of route
Shahjahanpur to Mailani
Gauge / mileage
Narrow (2'6") gauge
17 miles (1890)
38 miles (1904)
1890 First section opened
1894 Line fully opened to traffic
? Branch to
Rosa Sugar Factory Tramway
1904 Line further extended to Mailani
Key locations
Presidency Bengal
Stations Pawayan, Shahjahanpur, Mailani
System agency
1890 Self operated and managed
1900 Rohilkund and Kumaon Railway
c.1904 Renamed Powayan Light Railway
How to interpret this infobox

The Powayan Steam Tramway was a 2ft 6in/762mm narrow gauge(NG) tramway, sometimes described as the Shahjahanpur-Mailani Tramway. The ‘Powayan Steam Tramway Company’ was registered on 22 April 1887 [1] [2].


  • The section from Shahjahanpur via Rosa Junction to Pawayan (see Note), a length of 17 miles(27km) opened in 1890 [1]. The line was constructed by the Powayan Steam Tramway Company and was owned by Carew & Company of Calcutta , who also managed forest land in the marshy jungle foot-hills of the Himalayas. Eric Cambell Geddes, with his railroad and logging experience, was appointed Manager of the estate. As an aid to further jungle clearance he extended the existing light railway and became Manager of the Powayan Steam Tramway [3]
  • The line was finally reached Mailani, a further 21 miles(34km) in 1904 [1].

Rosa Junction is about 3 miles south-east of Shahjahanpur and where there was an interchange with the Rosa Sugar Factory Tramway , it was a private tramway with a length of 3.25miles(5.2km).

Note on spelling

  • Pawayan is the spelling given in the Imperial Gazetteer of India [4] which we take as the definitive spelling of the town.
  • Powayan Steam Tramway is the spelling of the Company in all documents and records


There are no staff records in the India Office Records (IOR) held at the British Library

An on-line search of the IOR records relating to this railway [5] gives 5 references. The most important being:-

  • L/F/8/16/1166 “Rohilkund and Kumaon Railway Company Limited, Agreement for capital expenditure on the Powayan Steam Tramway and acquisition of interests in the Powayan Steam Tramway Limited; 1906"

In addition :-

  • Mss Eur E290/104 "Nineteen photographs of the Pawayan Steam Tramway, Shahjahanpur District, and of bungalows at Rosa, near Shahjahanpur city, presumably inhabited by Europeans employed in the Rosa sugar factory Dated as: c.1880s"

BL Catalogue comment - Sir Edward Bosc Sladen Collection: "Photographs of the route of the Pawayan Steam Tramway, Shahjahanpur District - Collection of prints, somewhat yellowed and faded, mounted on pages from an album, with captions written beneath. The collection consists of views of bungalows at Rosa (presumably for Europeans employed in the Rosa sugar and rum factory), and views of trains on the route of the Powayan Steam Railway between Shahjahanpur and Mailani."

Further Information

See Powayan Light Railway and Rohilkund and Kumaon Railway