Rajputana State Railway

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Rajputana State Railway


The ’Rajputana State Railway’(RSR), the first Imperial State Railway, was formed tin 1869 by the joining the proposed ‘Rajputana - Agra District Railway’ and the ‘Rajputana - Delhi District Railway’ and was placed under the control of the Government of the North-West Provinces. It was divided into two districts; the Agra District from Agra to Ajmer and the Delhi District from Delhi to a point of junction of the two districts (chosen later at Bandikui). Each District was supervised by a Superintending Engineer.

The survey of the Delhi-Rewari line began in May 1869 and the project was sanctioned by the autumn. The earth work on this line based on 5 feet 6 inch broad gauge(BG) alignment began in April 1870 and was done departmentally. In January 1871, it was determined that all new railways should be constructed as metre gauge(MG) and the estimates were revised accordingly. Major F. S. Stanton was appointed at this stage to head the Delhi Division.

The “1870-71 Annual Report for Indian Railways uses the title ‘Rajpootana Railway’ with 370 miles (595km) metre gauge(MG) sanctioned for construction.

In 1871 the Government resolved for the RSR to undertake the construction of metre-gauge railways in Rajputana, to facilitate the supply of salt from the Great Salt Lake at Sambhar to the North-West Provinces, and to get rid of the vexatious salt-customs barrier. Captain Stanton was selected to take charge of the construction [1]. The RSR mainline from Delhi opened to Rewari, together with the ‘Farukhnagar Salt Branch Railway’, in Feb 1873 and extended to Bandakui in Dec 1874 [2].

In 1875, the line had extended as far as Ajmer with the aim to reach Ahmadabad and to connect to the Broad Gauge (BG) of the ‘Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway’(BB&CIR).

The RSR further extended their line from Ajmer as far as Beawur, 32 miles(51km) which opened in May 1878,[2].

At Beawur the line became the ‘Western Rajputana State Railway’ (shown in blue on map and see separate page) which reached Ahmadabad, a distance from Beawur of 272 miles(438km), in 1879.

In 1879, the RSR was again authorised to build new metre gauge(MG) lines:-

Later History

In 1881-82, the ‘Rajputana-Malwa State Railway- see separate page' (RMSR) was created amalgamating, under single management, existing State Railways:-

  • ‘Rajputana State Railway’(RSR)
  • Holkar State Railway’, which had opened 1874 from Khandwa reaching Indore, 1876.
  • Scindia-Neemuch Railway’ from Indore to Nimach, including a branch line from Indore to Ujjain opened in August 1876 . The entire line was completed in 1879-80
  • Neemuch Nasirabad State Railway’, Neemuch to Ajmer, the construction was started in 1879, and the work completed in March 1881

All these State railways were worked by Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway(BB&CIR).
In 1900 the RMSR was merged into the ‘Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway’ (BB&CIR), becoming the latter's metre gauge(MG) section; known as Ratlam Division of BB&CIR.


An on-line search of the India Office Records (IOR) records held at the British Library relating to this railway [3] gives the following:-

  • V/24/3587; “India. Public Works Department: Administration report of the Rajputana State Railway, 1871/72-1874/75”
  • R/V/24/3590; "Public Works Department: Railways" which includes "Administration report on the Rajputana State Railway, 1878/79”

Personnel Records

The following is in approximate chronological order:-

The Administration Report for the RSR for 1878-79 [13] records that:-

    • Major Dowden, R. E., was in charge of the management of the lrailway throughout the year.
    • Captain Haines joined as Assistant Manager in the forenoon of the 1 March 1878 and left sick on the 26 June 1878.
    • Mr Maxwell R. E. Assistant Engineer, who was attached to the Railway to learn Revenue work succeeded him in June 1878 and was transferred as Deputy Consulting Engineer for Railways, Lucknow, on the 5 August 1878.
    • Mr Home, a young Cooper’s Hill Assistant Engineer, was transferred from the Engineering Department to fill the post on 9 August 1878, and left on 26 November 1878 for the Neemuch and Nusseerabad survey.
    • Mr. Mathew returned from leave on 12 November 1878 and left again to act as Traffic Superintendent of Indus Valley on 5 June 1879, and was succeeded by
    • Mr Rutherford who was the only officer on the spot at the time and immediately available is still keeping on his duly of Assistant of the Telegraph Department, in addition to performing that of Assistant to the Manager, and is hoping to be employed someday in the Traffic Department.
    • Mr Finch, the Store-keeper,on the 20 December 1878 was transferred to the Nizams Railway and
    • Mr. Edwards was appointed to take his place.
  • Bagot William Blood, 1879, Superintendent of Way and Works for RSR [14]
  • William Richard Sumption Jones, 1880-93, posted to RSR to take charge of the completion and equipment of the Central Workshops at Ajmir as Carriage and Wagon Superintendent, which by amalgamation of other lines in 1883 became the Rajputana-Malwa State Railway(RMSR) [15].
  • Frederick Nicholas Gutersloh, 1880-91, RSR Locomotive Superintendent, which by amalgamation of other lines in 1883 became the Rajputana-Malwa State Railway(RMSR) [16].
  • Willoughby Verner Constable, 1882, RSR Assistant Manager [17].
  1. Numbered list item

Further Information


  1. "Grace's Guide - Frederick Smith Stanton”; Retrieved on 18 May 2019
  2. 2.0 2.1 “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 22 (pdf31); Retrieved 18 May 2019
  3. “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 11 Apr 2016
  4. Institution of Civil Engineers "Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers in Great Britain and Ireland - Furnivall, Willoughby Charles"; Retrieved on 21 Jul 2016
  5. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 499 (pdf page 462) Retrieved on 307 May 2016
  6. Grace's Guide - "Frederick Smith Stanton”; Retrieved on 21 Apr 2016
  7. Grace's Guide "James Rhind" Retrieved on 25 Jul 2016
  8. Grace's Guide "Trevredyn Rashleigh Wynne" Retrieved on 30 May 2016
  9. Google Books "India List and India Office List, 1905" page 640 (pdf page 603) Retrieved on 30 May 2016
  10. "Grace's Guide - Horace Bell”; Retrieved on 30 May 2016
  11. Google Books "India Office List 1905" page 420,pdf page 457 Retrieved on 25 Jul 2016
  12. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 442 Retrieved on 19 Feb 2018
  13. British Library ‘India Office Records’ V/24/3590 “Administration Report of the Rajputana State Railway fpr the year 1878-79” paras 1 and 19
  14. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 443 (pdf page 406) Retrieved on 30 May 2016
  15. Steam Index, Overseas Engineers - Jones, William Richard Sumption; Retrieved 19 Jul 2016
  16. Google Books "India List and India Office List -1905" page 510; Retrieved on 19 Aug 2016
  17. Google Books " India List and India Office List, 1905" page 466 (pdf page 429) Retrieved on 30 May 2016