Following an experimental railway track at Chintadripet, in 1835, the battle for India's first railroad was fought bitterly between John Chapman's Great Indian Peninsular Railway and Rowland MacDonald Stephenson's East India Railway Company, which was merged with Dwarkanauth Tagore's Great Western of Bengal Railway. Even at the height of the Mutiny of 1857, Bahadur Shah Zafar promised Indian owned railway tracks for native merchants if Badshahi rule was restored in Delhi. From Jules Verne to Rudyard Kipling to Mark Twain to Rabindranath Tagore to Nirad C. Chaudhuri to R.K. Narayan and Ruskin Bond-the aura of Indian trains and railway stations have enchanted many writers and poets. With iconic cinematography from The Apu Trilogy, Aradhana, Sonar Kella, Sholay, Gandhi, Dil Se, Parineeta, Barfi, Gangs of Wasseypur, and numerous others, Indian cinema has paved the way for mythical railroads in the national psyche. The Great Indian Railways takes us on a historic adventure through many junctions of India's hidden railway legends, for the first time in a book replete with anecdotes from imperial politics, European and Indian accounts, the battlefronts of the Indian nationalist movement, Indian cinema, songs, advertisements, and much more, in an ever-expanding cultural biography of the Great Indian Railways. Dubbed as 'one of a kind' this awe-inspiring saga is 'compulsive reading.' 'In this fascinating cultural history, Arup K Chatterjee charts the extraordinary journey of the Indian Railways, from the laying of the very first sleeper to the first post-Independence bogey. It evokes our collective accumulation of those innumerable memories of platform chai and rail-gaadi stories, bringing alive through myriad voices and tales the biography of one of India's defining public institutions.' – Shashi Tharoor, Author, M.P., Lok Sabha 'The Great Indian Railways is a fascinating and well-researched cultural biography of the Indian Railways-those intricate arteries of the soul of India, as have been experienced, written, filmed, and dreamed. We cannot all travel by rail to know India, as Gandhiji did, but we can and should read this book!' – Tabish Khair, Author, Professor
Bridges are inseparable part of Indian Railways. They span raging rivers and deep gorges. Among the innumerable railway bridges, many of them are iconic in one or the other aspect. The book contains historical and technical information about 34 iconic bridges of Indian Railways. These selected bridges are located all over India. The book is of equal interest to the engineers, designers, railwaymen and tourists as they will find in it various details from the anecdotes connected with these bridges to the information about their substructure and superstructure. The photographs taken by the author make the reading much more interesting. This is perhaps for the first time that such information is being made available which is expected to encourage the curiosity of the reader about the heritage and greatness of Indian Railways.
The railways did more than link India - they brought its people together, changing histories, forging destinies, and leaving a lasting legacy. This sumptuously illustrated ebook traces that history from the early plans of the 1830s - from the laying of the first line, and the expansion of the train network into the heart of the country, to the role of the railways in India's momentous freedom movement and the high-speed Diamond Quadrilateral project. Indian Railways does more than celebrate the awe-inspiring bridges, stations, tunnels, and locomotives of the railway system. It traces the development of technology, explores the operational and commercial aspects of train travel, and documents the railways' transition from a colonial tool of expansion and trade to an intricate system with a distinct national identity. Most of all, it tells the story of the people who built and planned the railways and the locomotives that ran on them - their vision, their triumphs and tragedies, and their legacy.
The Indian railway network began as a liberal experiment to promote trade and commerce, the distribution of food and military mobility. Sweeney's study focuses on Britain's largest overseas investment project during the nineteenth century, offering a new perspective on the Anglo-Indian experience.