Quetta Link Railway

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Quetta Link Railway

A strategic line constructed by Sind, Punjab and Delhi Railway(SP&DR) from 1880 and opened 1887

Quetta was always considered as an important strategic destination during British Raj. Britain always considered Russians as a threat to its rule in the Indian sub-continent that they might advance from Afghanistan into Quetta and thereby threatening its rule in India. [1]

It was the year 1857 when the idea was suggested by William Andrew (Chairman of Scinde, Punjab and Delhi Railway) that the railways to the Bolan Pass would have strategic role in responding to any threat by Russia. During the second Afghan War (1878–80) between Britain and Afghanistan, a new urgency was needed to construct a Railway line up to Quetta in order to get easier access to the frontier. On 18 September 1879, under the orders of Viceroy council, work begun on laying the railway tracks and after four months the first 134 miles (215 km) of line from Ruk was completed and become operational in January 1880 reaching Sibi on 2 May 1880 [2].

Beyond Sibi the terrain was very difficult and involved the Bolan Pass Railway Construction.

After immense difficulties and harsh weather conditions, it was March 1887 when the railway line of over 200 miles (320 km) long finally reached [[Quetta] becoming the Quetta Link Railway of the North Western Railway(NWR). By this time the SP&DR had been amalgamated into NWR (1886).

In 1890 orders were issued for laying an all season track through the Pass. This new track was inaugurated on April 15, 1897 and named the Mushkaf-Bolan Railway as part of the NWR ‘Frontier Section (Military)' network [2]

Further Information

See Bolan Pass Railway Construction