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The Cutch State Railway or Kutch State Railway was an isolated Indian, 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railway in Princely State of Cutch.

The railway ran north from the port of Tuna towards Anjar in the Kutch. The railway was financed by the Maharao Khengarji Bawa of Cutch, and the initial section to Anjar was opened in 1905. At the time Cutch was a princely state within British India. An extension from Anjar to the state capital of Bhuj was later made and lines opened in 1908, giving a total length of 36.25 miles. Further lines were later added east of Anjar.[1]

The 1909 map of Bombay Presidency shows Cutch State Railway line linking Bhuj to Tuna via Anjar. Other additions to Railway, made later, are obviously, not there.

In 1940 the railway carried 300,000 passengers, while the main freight traffic was cotton, grain and sugar. The railway used four small 4-4-0 type locomotives, later supplemented by three 25 ton 4-6-0 locomotives. The Maharao owned a petrol railcar designed by E. R. Calthrop, which the Maharao Khengarji III used as a shooting car on his hunting expeditions.[1]

The railway was owned, managed and also operated by Princely State of Cutch. The narrow gauge lines of Cutch State Railway were laid by Mistris of Kutch, of course, services of British Engineers were also employed.[2][3]

The laying of first rails started in 1900-01, from Tuna to Anjar, which became operational in 1905. The works for lines from Anjar to Bhuj started in 1901-02 and completed in 1908. Further addition of 32 miles were done in 1912 from Varsamedi ( near Anjar ) to Bhachau and further extension of 15 miles up to Kandla was started in end of 1930 and completed in 1932. All these lines were laid by members of Mistris of Kutch, who were expert in this field in those years.[2][3][4]

The Cutch State Railways continued to operate as separate system ( even after independence of India & merger of Princely State of Cutch ) from 15 August 1947 till the railway was merged into the Western Railway on 5 November 1951, at which time the total length was 72 miles.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hughes, Hugh 1994 Indian Locomotives Pt. 3, Narrow Gauge 1863-1940. Continental Railway Circle.
  2. ^ a b Nanji Bapa Ni Nondh-pothi by Dharshi Taunk. (1999) Published from Vadodara. Pg. 90 Cutch State Railway Contracts done by Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya or Mistris of Kutch : Details : Tuna to Anjar in 1900-01 (lines opened in 1905), Anjar to Bhuj in 1901-02 lines opened in 1908), Varsamedi to Bhachua (line opened in 1912) & to Kandla in 1930 (lines opened in 1932) with names of Mistri Contractors.
  3. ^ a b Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj: A brief History and Glory of our fore-fathers: by Raja Pawan Jethwa. (2007). Published from Calcutta. Section II: Mileage wise available Details of Railway lines laid. Pages:54-60
  4. ^ Transportaion History of Kutch. Want to know more about it, http://bhujbolechhe.org/en/blog/tarunkant-chhaya/kcchnaa-vaahn-vyavhaarno-itihaas
  5. ^ http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/FinanceCode/ADMIN_FINANCE/AdminFinanceCh1_Data.htm
  6. ^ With effect from 5th November, 1951, ...and Kutch State Railways to form Western Railway Statistical abstract, India, Issue 11 published by India. Office of the Economic Adviser, India. Central Statistical, Organisation, 1962. Page No. 316.

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