Sone Canal Construction Railway/Tramway

From FIBIwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sone Canal Construction Railway/Tramway

The Sone Canal was an irrigation canal from the Soan River (see Spelling Note) and constructed between 1868 and 1874 in the Rohtas District [1].

The records of the Bengal Presidency Public Works Department record that the following was ordered for the project based on the non-standard 4 ft 0in gauge (see Gauge Note) :- four locomotives, 200 4ft gauge wagons, 60 miles of contractors rail and 30 sets of points and crossings [1].

An 1871 report describes the line as running from the quarries to Baroon on the east side of the river. A 1913 report for the Dehri-Rohtas Light Railway mentions that it crossed a seven mile long 4ft 0in gauge bullock hauled tramway operated by the Public Works Department. It is thought this could be the remnant of the construction railway [1].

Spelling Note - River Sone

The spelling used is as given in the various contemporary reports. However there are variants:-

  • “History of the East Indian Railway", Huddlestone, 1906", states ‘River Soane’ [2]
  • "Grace’s Guide", quoting a 1856 report, uses the spelling ‘River Soane’ [3]
  • "Imperial Gazetteer of India" names the river as The ‘River Son’ as a tributary of the River Ganges [4]. We normally take the Imperial Gazetteer of India as the definitive spelling but, in this instance, it is clear that other contemporary sources are more representative.
  • ”Wikipedia” uses the spelling ‘Son River’ with alternative ‘Sone River’ [5].

Gauge Note

The 4ft 0in Gauge specified is most unusual and we have classfied this as a Unique Rail Gauge. The only other example of this gauge is the Nalhati-Azimganj Railway, the original name for the Indian Branch Railway.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compliled by Simon Darvill. Published by ‘The Industrial Railway Society’ 2013. ISBN 978 1 901556 82-7. Available at Reference: Entry BR19 page 118-119
  2. "History of the East Indian Railway ..." by George Huddlestone, page 35, pdf page 57; Retrieved 6 Feb 2017
  3. Grace’s Guide “Soane Bridge” ; Retrieved 6 Feb 2017
  4. Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 20, p. 54. ; Retrieved 6 Feb 2017
  5. Wikipedia “Son River”. ; Retrieved 6 Feb 2017