West of India Portuguese Railway

From FIBIwiki
Jump to: navigation, search
West of India Portuguese Railway
[[Image:|150px| ]]
Line of route
Marmagao to Londa
Gauge / mileage
Metre gauge 51 miles (1905)
Timeline
1888 Opened to traffic
Key locations
Presidency Bombay
Stations Castle Rock, Londa, Marmagao
System agency
1902 Southern Mahratta Railway
How to interpret this infobox

The West of India Portuguese Railway (WIPR) was a metre gauge(MG) line linking the port of Marmagao/Mormugao (in the Portuguese enclave of Goa) via Castle Rock to Londa junction of the Southern Mahratta Railway (SMR).

West of India Portuguese Railway

The line from Marmagoa Harbour to Sonaulin, 41 miles(66km) opened in Jan 1887 and extended to the ‘British Frontier’ in Feb 1888, giving a total of 51 miles(82km), where it joined the ‘SMR Metre Gauge Main Line’ to Castle Rock [1].

History

  • 1876-77 Annual Report on Railways [2] states:- “A proposition has been made, by parties who have obtained from the Portuguese Government a long lease of the port and harbour of Marmagoa, to extend a line from Goa to Bellary. The line of railway, which they have agreed to make from that port to the frontier, to Bellary through Dharwar, New Hooblee, Judduck, and Copal.”
  • 1878-79 Annual Report on Railways [3] states:-“By a Treaty of commerce which has recently been entered into between this country and Portugal ... it has been agreed that ... a joint stock Company for the construction and maintenance, within the Portuguese territory, of a railway from the port of Marmagaurn † (Mormugao) towards the town of New Hubli †(Hubli), and that measures will be taken for rendering that port safe and suitable for purposes of commerce, the Government of India will .... enter into a contract with the said Company for the grant of the necessary land for the portion of the line lying within British territory : for affording all facilities for the making and working of the line: for the conveyance of mails by the Company: for the construction of telegraphs ... .”
  • 1880-81 Annual Report [4] states:- “Describes the proposal as the ‘Marmagao-Hubli Railway’ which raises the issue of ‘ Complications .. as to the control of a line in British India by a Company under the control of a foreign power... the Indian Government will therefore make arrangements for the extension of the Portugese line on to Hubli... .”
  • 1881.Contract, dated 18 Apr 1881, between the Portuguese Government and ‘The West of India Portuguese Railway Company’, as to the construction of a harbour at the Port of Marmagoa and a railway from Marmagoa to the Portuguese frontier [1].
  • After 1884, although the line was sanctioned construction was delayed.
  • 1888, Feb 3, line fully opened
  • 1892. Contract, dated 19 Dec1892 between the Portuguese Government and ‘The West of India Portuguese Railway Company’,providing for the guarantee of interest on the Companiy’s capital in consequence of the cessation of the annual subsidy of Rs 4,00,000 which was formerly paid by the British to the Portugese Government and hypotherated by the latter to the Company [1].
  • 1898 The Records “Further Correspondence as to proposed working of West of India Portuguese Guaranteed Railway by the Southern Railway Company, and also as to the re-adjustment of rates (5th January 1898 to 23rd July 1898)” [5] shows the arguments and counter-arguments that were taking place concerning the rates for carriage of goods. The complaint of different rates being levied on the WIPR compared with the SMR involved the Portuguese Legation in London, British Foreign Office in London and Lisbon and the British Government Government. The exchange of letters show that “Up to the 1st March 1896 the West of India Portuguese was treated exactly the same as any other Indian Railway. The long-distance rates over the Southern Mahratta Railway applied to it exactly the same as they did to the Great Indian Peninsula Railway or any other line”. The final decision was “that the Southern Mahratta Railway Company should afford facilities for through traffic to Marmagao equal to those that are afforded by the Company in conjunction with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway Company for through traffic to Bombay.”
  • 1902, with the metre gauge line on the verge of bankruptcy; the Portuguese leased the railway to the SMR which set up the WIPR to manage it. [6]. This arrangement was confirmed in the Agreement, dated the 21st Aug 1902, between the South Mahratta Railway Company and the West of India Portuguese Railway Company, as to the maintenance and working [1].
  • 1908. Contract, dated 21 Apr 1908, between the Secretary of State and the (newly formed) Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Company as to the continuance of the existing Contracts and Agreement
  • 1947. With Independence, operation of the WIPR passed to Indian Railways and, in 1951, to Southern Railway. Between 1955 and 1961, the lines within the enclave reverted to Portuguese control. In 1963, the railway was once more taken over by Indian Railways' Southern Railway [7].

Records

An on-line search of the India Office Records (IOR) records held at the British Library relating to this railway [8] gives several entries, the most relevant as follows: -

  • L/AG/46/19; “Records of the West of India Portuguese Guaranteed Railway Company”; 1881-1951
  • L/F/7/2177; “Collection 370/22: Railways: Miscellaneous: West of India Portuguese Railway, workings of by the Madras and South Mahratta Railway Company”; 1897-1926
  • L/F/7/1515; “Collection 266/3: Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway: Contracts with the West of India Portuguese Railway and Portuguese Government (also transit tax in Goa)”; 1926-29
  • L/F/7/1516; “Collection 266/4: Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway Company: Renewal of agreement for working the West of India Portuguese Railway; transfer of working to the Madras and Southern Mahratta State Railway on 1 Apr 1944” 1927-45.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 “Administration Report on Railways 1918” Pages 94-95 (pdf102); Retrieved 24 Nov 2018
  2. Google Books “Railways in India for the year 1876-77” by Juland Danvers , Government Director of the Indian Railways - presented to both Houses of Parliament’ by HM Command. Para 22 pages 5-6 ; Retrieved 24 Nov 2018
  3. British Library ‘India Office Records L/PARL/2/100 “Railways in India for the year 1878-79” by Juland Danvers , Government Director of the Indian Railways’-– presented to both Houses of Parliament’ by HM Command. Para 15, pages 5-6
  4. (‘Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics’ Administration Report on the Railways in India for 1881-82 by W.S Trevor; Railway Department, Government of India. Page 23; Retrieved 24 Nov 2018
  5. British Library IOR/L/F/7/2177, “Collection 370/22: Railways: Miscellaneous: West of India Portuguese Railway, workings of by the Madras and South Mahratta Railway Company”; 1897-1926
  6. "A Portuguese-British deal," The New York Times, Thursday, 16 October 1902, p1 (digital image, The New York Times Archives’’: accessed 25 November 2008)
  7. "Landmark events of the past seventy years", Mormugao Port Trust (accessed 25 November 2008)
  8. “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 15 Apr 2016