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Imperial Gazetteer of India, v. 20, p. 325.


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COMMUNICATIONS
325
Peshawar to Calcutta and Bombay established. Meanwhile Amritsar
and Rewari had been linked with Delhi in 1870 and 1873 respectively;
and, though no farther extensions were made till 1883, progress was
rapid after that year. In 1891 the Province contained 2,189 miles of
railway, which increased to 3,086 in igoi and 3,325 miles in 1904.
In the latest year the total was distributed under-broad gauge,
2,757 miles; metre gauge, 380; and narrow gauge, 198 miles.
The greater portion of the railways in the Punjab is worked by
the North-Western State Railway, which included 2,585 miles on
the broad gauge, and 138 on narrow gauges in 1904. In January,
1886, when the contract of the Sind, Punjab, and Delhi Railway
Company expired, Government took over that line and amalgamated
it with the Indus Valley, the Punjab Northern State Railways, and
the Sind-Sagar branch into one imperial system called the North-
Western State Railway. The Amritsar-Pathankot Railway, which
originally belonged to the Local Government, was transferred to the
North-Western Railway in 1892. The Rajpura-Bhatinda, Ludhiana-
Dhuri-Jakhal, and Jammu-Kashmir Railways were built respectively
by the Patiala, the Maler Kotla and Jind, and the Kashmir States,
but are worked by the North-Western Railway, with which has also
been amalgamated the Southern Punjab Railway. The management
of the Kalka-Simla Railway was taken over by the North-Western
Railway on January 1, 1907.
The railways in the Punjab may be classed under two heads, com-
mercial and military. The commercial section of the North-Western
Railway cost on an average Rs. 1,32,000 per mile to construct, inclusive
of the worked lines and the Amritsar-Pathankot Railway. The worked
lines cost on an average Rs. 55,000 per mile to construct, and the
Amritsar-Pathankot Railway Rs. 82,000 per mile. In 1904 the Punjab
had one mile of rail to every 40 square miles of territory. The only
Districts not yet traversed by a railway are Dera Ghazi Khan, Kangra,
and Hoshiarpur. The strategical value of the railway system lies
chiefly in the facilities it offers for the transport of troops to the
north-west frontier of India; the commercial value lies mainly in
the export of cotton, grain (especially wheat), and oilseeds to Karachi.
Combined with the canals the railways have revolutionized economic
conditions, the former inducing the production of wheat on a vast
scale, and the latter placing it on the world's markets. Further, their
combined effect renders the Province, as a whole, secure from serious
food-famines. In 1899-i9oo the canal-irrigated tracts formed a granary,
whence grain was distributed by the railways. The railways also tend
to equalize prices in all parts of the Province and from year to year,
but it may be doubted whether by themselves they have raised prices
generally. It is, however, true that they are tending to erase local
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