Gwalior Light Railway

Gwalior Light Railway (GLR) or Maharaja Railway[3] was a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge railway network in Gwalior. It was set up for Gwalior State during the times of British India.[4] Until its closure in 2020, the railway was the longest 2 ft (610 mm) gauge railway in the world.[3]

Gwalior Light Railway
Gwalior Light Railway, June 2017.jpg
GLR at Gwalior Railway Station, 2017
Overview
OwnerNorth Central Railway, Gwalior
LocaleMadhya Pradesh, India
Termini
Service
Operator(s)North Central Railway, Gwalior
History
Opened1899
Closed2020[1][2]
Technical
Line length199 km (124 mi)
Track gaugegauge conversion to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Route map

Gwalior Junction Parking
Gosipura
Motijheel
Milaoli
Bamour Gaon
Ambikeshwar
Sumaoli
Thara
Jora Alapur
Sikroda
Bhatpura
Kailaras
Semai
Pipalwali Chowk
Sabalgarh
Rampahari
Bajaipur Road
Kaimarkalan
Birpur
Sillipur
Ikdori
Tarrakalan
Seroni Road
Khojeepura
Durgapuri
Girdharpur
Dantarda Kalan
Sheopur Kalan

HistoryEdit

 
Logo from 1942 until 1947
 
Train at Gwalior Station in 1904
 
Gwalior in 1914 with the Gwalior Light Railway highlighted in red

The Gwalior Light Railway was built by the Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia of the Gwalior State.[5] It was originally a 14-mile long private tramway.[6] Construction began in 1895 of the 53 mile GwaliorBhind line.[7] By 1897 it was 34 miles long and was used to bring in supplies to relieve the famine.[6] Both this section and the Gwalior–Shivpuri section opened on 2 December 1899 by Lord Curzon the Viceroy of India.[6] The Gwalior-Joura branch opened on 1 January 1904 and on 12 January 1904 the extension to Sabalgarh was opened. A further extension to Birpur opened on 1 November 1908 and the full line to Sheopur opened on 15 June 1909.[7] In October 1900, the Indian Midland Railway Company agreed to operate the railway on behalf of the Maharaja.[8]

In 1942, the Gwalior Light Railway was renamed the Scindia State Railway. In 1951, the system was purchased by the Central Railway.[9]

The railway was initially worked with steam locomotives, but later diesel locomotives were used. There was a plan to electrify the railway in the 1920s from a generating station below the Nanakura Dam, but this scheme was abandoned.[10]

Permanent wayEdit

The track was 30 lb/yd (15 kg/m) flat-bottomed steel rails laid on a mix of Sal wood and iron sleepers. The minimum radius curve on the line was 955 feet (291 m) and the steepest gradient was 1 in 40.[11]

LocomotivesEdit

Number Builder Works number Image Wheel arrangement Date built Date scrapped Notes
Kerr, Stuart and Company   0-4-2T 1893 The railway's original locomotive[5]
1 Kerr, Stuart and Company   0-6-4T [5]
2 Kerr, Stuart and Company 0-6-4T [5]
3 Kerr, Stuart and Company 0-6-4T [5]
4 Kerr, Stuart and Company 0-6-4T [5]
5 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1904 [5]
6 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1904 [5]
7 Kerr, Stuart and Company   4-6-0 1904 [5]
8 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1904 [5]
9 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1904 [5]
10 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1904 [5]
11 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1904 [5]
12 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1904 [5]
18 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4-6-0 1915 [12]
Kerr, Stuart and Company   2-8-2 1917 [13]
26 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4400 2-8-2 1928 [14]
27 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4401 2-8-2 1928 [14]
28 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4402 2-8-2 1928 [14]
29 Kerr, Stuart and Company 4403 2-8-2 1928 [14]
34 W. G. Bagnall 2453 4-6-2 1931 [15]
35 W. G. Bagnall 2454 4-6-2 1931 [15]
36 W. G. Bagnall 2455 4-6-2 1931 [15]
37 W. G. Bagnall 2456 4-6-2 1931 [15]
38 W. G. Bagnall 2457 4-6-2 1931 [15]Preserved on the Vale of Rheidol Light Railway[16]
39 W. G. Bagnall 2458 4-6-2 1931 [15]
40 W. G. Bagnall 2459 4-6-2 1931 [15]
41 W. G. Bagnall 2460 4-6-2 1931 [15]Preserved on the Vale of Rheidol Light Railway[16]
42 Baldwin Locomotive Works 74071 2-8-2 1948 1995 [17]NH/4 class
43 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-8-2 1948 [17]NH/4 class. Preserved.
44 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-8-2 1948 1995 [17]NH/4 class
45 Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-8-2 1948 1995 [17]NH/4 class
Nippon Sharyo 2-8-2 1959 NH/5 class
Nippon Sharyo 2-8-2 1959 NH/5 class
Nippon Sharyo 2-8-2 1959 NH/5 class
Nippon Sharyo 2-8-2 1959 NH/5 class

Rolling stockEdit

In 1936, the company owned 28 locomotives, 90 coaches and 363 goods wagons.[18]

ClassificationEdit

It was labeled as a Class III railway according to Indian Railway Classification System of 1926.[19][20]

Conversion to broad gaugeEdit

The GwaliorBhind section and the GwaliorShivpuri section were converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge in the early 2010s. The GwaliorSheopur Kalan section is under conversion to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge as of 2020.[21][22]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Heritage narrow gauge rail track to chug into history
  2. ^ Western Railway is killing off the last of its 'toy trains'
  3. ^ a b Poornima, M. (3 September 2015). "MP's heritage railway track to fade away into history". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  4. ^ "From the heats of Gwalior, Gwalior Light Railway". Gwalior Plus. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Locomotives working the Gwalior Light Railways". Locomotive, Railway Carriage and Wagon Review. 15 September 1905. pp. 153–155.
  6. ^ a b c "Viceroy tiger shooting". Bromyard News. 7 December 1899.
  7. ^ a b Commonwealth Shipping Committee (1913). Appendix 9: History of railways constructed and in progress. Report for 1920/22. p. 172.
  8. ^ Report on Indian Railway. Delhi: Manager of Publications. 1902. p. 331.
  9. ^ Bhandari, R.R. "Gwalior Lines". Indian Railways Fan Club.
  10. ^ Shiv Narayan (1922). The Parbati River Project. Hydro-electric installations of India. p. 182.
  11. ^ The railway year book. London: Railway Publishing Co., Ltd. 1903. p. 261.
  12. ^ "2-8-2 Locomotives, Gwalior Light Railway". Locomotive Magazine. Vol. XXII. 15 August 1916. pp. 153–154.
  13. ^ "An Indian Light Railway Locomotive". The Railway Magazine. Vol. 41. 1917.
  14. ^ a b c d "Locomotive for the Gwalior Light Railways". The Railway Gazette. 19 April 1929.
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h "Two-Foot Gauge Locomotive for India". The Engineer. Vol. 153, no. 6. 5 February 1932. pp. 164–165.
  16. ^ a b "Vale of Rheidol Railway Museum Collection". Vale of Rheidol Railway. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d "Vital statistics of locomotive No. 43 built by Baldwin Locomotive Works (NH/4 757) for Scindia State Railway (later Gwalior Light Railway)". Indian Railways Fan Club.
  18. ^ World Survey of Foreign Railways. Transportation Division, Bureau of foreign and domestic commerce, Washington D.C. 1936. p. 226.
  19. ^ "Indian Railway Classification". Retrieved 10 November 2022.
  20. ^ World Survey of Foreign Railways. Transportation Division, Bureau of foreign and domestic commerce, Washington D.C. 1936. p. 223–226d.
  21. ^ Heritage narrow gauge rail track to chug into history
  22. ^ Western Railway is killing off the last of its 'toy trains'