What's new

History of “Pakistan Railways"

drumstick

FULL MEMBER
Feb 17, 2020
1,037
-18
691
Country
India
Location
India
@ghazi52 i always admire your work.

can you please put following on this post? i think this also must be part of the pakistan railway history.

1609775456910.png



Bhagat Singh was arrested in connection with a bomb explosion at Lahore during Dussehra in 1927, and was imprisoned in Lahore Railway police station.
Original Image credit goes to Indianhistorypics
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Khojak Tunnel, Circa 1905.

1610146256449.png



This postcard shows some of the team that constructed the Khojak Tunnel in Balochistan, one of the great feats of 19th century engineering in the subcontinent. Almost 2.5 miles in length, numerous European engineers helped in its construction.

Another photographer based for many years in Balochistan, Fred Bremner, wrote in his autobiography:

“When I went to visit that part of the country there was at work a party of about thirty British miners, who were helped by hundreds of Indians in the construction of what is known as the Khojak Tunnel, four miles in length, passing through the Khawaja range.

These European miners were being handsomely paid. They were a somewhat rough lot, but from all accounts very kindly disposed. Usually they had on pay day what might be termed a “burst up” – quite jolly and reveling in drinking bottles of beer.”
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Photograph Of The Bolan Pass In Balochistan (After Railway Was Made), Circa 1880.

The Bolan Pass Is Approximately 60 Miles Long (100 km) And Is At An Altitude Of 5,880 Feet (1,792 metres). Due To Its Strategic Location, The Pass Has Traditionally Been Used As A Gateway To India By Traders, Invaders And Nomadic Tribes. The Railroad Cuts Through The Pass En Route To The Afghanistan Frontier.

From The Macnabb Collection (Col James Henry Erskine Reid): Album Of Miscellaneous Views, Taken In The 1880's. The Bolan Pass Is A Gap In The Central Brahui Mountain Range, Balochistan Province, Pakistan.



1610831845827.png
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Karachi to Kotri: The First Railways in Pakistan

Owais Mughal,
Owais Mughal




The first railway line was laid in the in the areas that now comprise Pakistan in the year 1858 in Karachi. Following is the story of this historical event as well as the construction of first railway section of Pakistan which was opened between Karachi City and Kotri in 1861.


Following photo is kind of jumping the gun in our story but it is the earliest photo of railways that I could research for Karachi-Kotri section. The photo is circa 1900 and shows the 0530 a.m. passenger train reaching Frere Road Station (now called Karachi Cantt) from Kotri.








The origin of Railways in Pakistan is quite unusual. The railway here was not built for commercial passenger service but more for the reason of cutting transport time for cargo bound for East. The first line from Karachi to Kotri was constructed primarily to reduce the journey time on the final stage of long haul from Britain to Delhi and Calcutta. Many of the later lines were built for Military purposes.


The Early Planning:


The Railway planning in the areas that comprise Pakistan got an official status when Lord Dalhousie, Governer General of India, gave his approval for laying a 108 miles (173 km) long railway line between Karachi and Kotri in December, 1853 .


Scinde Railway (SR) Company:

The next significant event in the history of Karachi-Kotri section occured in 1855 when Scinde Railway Company was formed in London. In January 1856, a contract was signed between East India Company and Scinde Railway Company to build Karachi-Kotri Railway Line. In 1857, Scinde Railway Company’s scope was increased to laying a railway track between Karachi and Kotri and also between Multan and Amritsar via Lahore.


The Ground Breaking of the First Railway Project:


Sir Bartle Frere, who was the then Commissioner of Scinde (Sindh) did the ground breaking of the project on April 29, 1858. The ceremony included him pushing a wheel-barrow full of construction material at the site of a railway embankment in Karachi.

I can say for sure that first Railway Track in Pakistan was thus laid somewhere between April, 1858 and December, 1859. This is a 16 month long time period but I am unable to research the exact date or a time window any shorter than this.
In 1859, two small stretches of Railway Line were opened in Karachi. One of this track section still exists while the other one has been uprooted.


The First Operational Railway Track:

The First section, which exists to date, ran from the then Karachi port of Kimari to Railway Workshops which were located near the present day ‘kala pul’ just north of Karachi Cantt Station.


See the map of Karachi from 1893. Find Kimari here which was an island in 1893. From Kimari follow the solid black line towards the ‘green rectangle’ (now Karachi Cantt Station) and onwards to violet rectangle (which was once the Railway Workshop). The precise location of this Railway Workshop, which is not present today is unknown to me.
There are two routes shown between Kimari and Karachi cantt. I will request you to consider the lower one, the one which bypasses the blue rectangle. This was the first ever piece of railway track built in Karachi (and Pakistan) I will also request you to click on the following map to open a much larger and better readable map image.








The Second Operational Railway Track:


The Second Track which became operational in Karachi started from the Railways Workshop near present-day ‘kala pul’ and went east-wards to Gizri bandar (harbor) located in Gizri Creek. This track and the Railway Workshop is not present anymore but my strong guess is the track ran parallel to present-day Korangi Road until it reached Gizri Creek (near Present Day Marina Club in Defense Housing Society). Any confirmation here from our learned readers will be highly appreciated.


This following map shows the location of these very first stretches of Railway Lines which were built in Pakistan. Note the location of present day Kimari, Karachi City Station, Karachi Cantt Station and Ghizree (Gizri) Creek marked on the map. Also note how the English spellings of these places have evolved over time.







Following is the satellite image of present day Karachi with superimposed colored lines to show the two sections which became operational in 1859. While the ‘green’ track is still operational, the history that I have researched so far is silent on when was the ‘yellow’ track uprooted and what was its exact route.







When Karachites saw the First Railway Locomotive:

Among whole of Pakistan, people of Karachi were the first to see a steam locomotive in action and many could not believe what were they seeing.







The locomotive shown above is a 0-6-0 Scindhia Class which was among the first few used on railways in present day Pakistan
As an inaugural run of Railways in Karachi, John Brunton the Chief Engineer of Karachi-Kotri Railway Project, drove in a steam locomotive with Sir Bartle Frere, the Commissioner of Sindh to Kiamari in a railway train. Once again I don’t have the exact date of this travel but it was most likely between 1859 and 1861.



John Brunton wrote following anecdote on this occasion and it sounds so strange today:

The natives of Scinde had never seen a locomotive engine, they had heard of them as dragging great loads on the lines by some hidden power they could not understand, therefore they feared them, supposing that they moved by some diabolical agency, they called them shaitan. When I got out my locomotive for trial the Karachi natives were astounded. I drove the engine myself of course at a slow speed – the natives thronging all round, I was fearful of some accident. At last I thought I should frighten them away, so I blew the engine steam whistle loudly. Instantly they all rushed back from the “Demon” falling over one another much to our amusement.
This completes our capturing of the history of first railway tracks in the city limits of Karachi (and Pakistan). Now let us review the history of Railways North-eastwards of Karachi to Kotri.


Indus Flotilla Company

We promise a detailed post on Indus Flotilla Company only (which I’ve already formatted and we’ll share at ATP soon). Today we’ll just give a brief introduction about it.

Before the advent of Railways, cargo from Karachi harbor was shipped to rest of India via steamers of ‘Indus Flotilla Company’. The steamers took Cargo upto Multan via river Indus and Chenab. This river journey between Karachi and Multan used to take up to 40 days.

Therefore one of the purposes of building Karachi-Kotri railways was to reduce travel times of Indus Flotilla Company. Once Karachi-Kotri railway was completed, Indus Flotilla Company steamers could take cargo from Kotri instead of Karachi and it saved them approx 250 km of circuitous journey through Indus River delta.


Look at the map below. It is from 1865 when Karachi-Kotri and Multan-Lahore-Amritsar Railway line was already built. The reason I want to share this map here is to show how the cargo was moved from Karachi to Delhi via rail and river.









Gauge Selection for Karachi-Kotri Railway Line

The gauge (width) of the railway line was selected as 5′ 6″. It however, narrowly escaped conversion to meter gauge due to high cost of the project.

The reason why the decision was finally made in favor of wider gauge for Karachi-Kotri section was the fact that strong sea breeze blows in this area during monsoon. As there is no natural hindrance, the winds blow with such speed that they pose immense resistance to smaller vehicles. One needs to travel on this route during monsoon to actually feel how strong the winds can be. It has been recorded that strong sea breeze blows on this section on 330 days out of 365 days of a year.



Challenges Faced During the Construction:

As the construction on Karachi – Kotri section began, the engineers had to face extreme problems which do not exist today. There were no motor trucks, cars or trolleys in those days. Boats and bullock carts had to be used for the transport of rails.
Whenever the chief engineer wanted to go on inspections, a whole congregation had to go with him including men, tents and camels. The average distance they could cover was no more than 15 km a day. Little confidence was reposed in the local people and the British officers moved about armed. The chief engineer John Brunton always carried a brace of loaded revolvers in his belt and a sword by his side.

The contractor, by the name of Brav, got a lot of trouble. He ran away after 12 months leaving 12000 workmen unpaid.



Climatic Challenges:

The Karachi-Kotri line had to cross numerous water courses which were normally dry, but became raging ******** in the rainy season. Malir river is a good example that floods and cause havocs every few years to this date. To cut the cost, the engineers did not bridge these water courses and instead laid the railway line on stone filling across the bed of streams. They thought that embankments could be flooded without permanent damage. But the water flow was rapid and the stone dressing was washed away and had to be replaced by bridges.

The climatic features here are quite unique. The average rainfall in this area is approximately 180 mm per year but 90mm of it can fall within a day, therefore flash floods are very common here.



Bridges on Karachi-Kotri Section:

Thirty two
bridges were built on this section to cope with the high rate of flash floods. 25 of these bridges are masonry arched bridges with spans of between 20 feet and 45 feet.

The longest bridge on Karachi-Kotri section is a viaduct of thirty two 45-ft arches across the Bahrun River. Construction on this bridge was started on 5 March 1859 and completed on 26 January 1861.

Another major bridge on this section is the bridge over Malir River which connects Malir and Landhi localities of Karachi.
Locally quarried limestone is used in the masonry of bridges and station buildings on this section.
 
Last edited:

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Cost of Karachi Kotri Railway Section in 1861

All the problems listed above kept raising the cost of Karachi – Kotri railway line and when the project was complete the cost of this railway line came out to Rupees 250,000 per mile. Imagine this cost 148 years ago!

The Inauguration Date:


The project was finally completed in 3 years and the 173 km long Karachi-Kotri section was opened for rail traffic on May 13, 1861

Salient Features:


Today, the Karachi-Kotri portion of railway line is still one of the fastest speed track in Pakistan with passenger train speeds reaching 120 kmph. This portion of railway line also holds the distinction of having the biggest railway yard in Pakistan with 80 railway tracks running parallel to each other near Pakistan Steel Mills.

The gradient on some portion of the Karachi-Kotri track is 1 in 200 feet. The curves are no sharper than 43 chains radius.


The Original Fencing of Track – It still exists after 148 Years!

The Railway track for its entire length was fenced or walled on both sides and the locomotives were not equipped with cow-catchers. The amazing thing is the portions of this wall built 148 years ago can still be seen on both sides of the track between Karachi and Kotri. Of course at many places it is completely gone but at several places it is pretty intact in the form of limestone wall which is now just couple of feet or less high from the ground.


First Locomotives Used on Karachi-Kotri Section:


The first locomotives to be used in and around Karachi and on Karachi-Kotri route were four 2-4-0 tender engines made by Kitson and Co of Leeds in 1858. They had inside cylinders of dimensions 16″ x 24″ and coupled wheels of 5′ 1 1/2″.

Seven locomotives which were 2-2-2 ‘singles’ with cylinder dimensions of 15″ x 22″ and 6 ft driving wheels were supplied by Sharp Stewart & Co in 1859

In the same year (1859) Sharp Stewart & Co also supplied thirteen more locomotives which were 0-6-0 Goods engines with cylinder dimensions of 16″ x 24″ and 5-ft coupled wheels.

These engines burned coal. In addition to Karachi and Kotri, water was taken by these engines at Jungshahi (km 91) and Jhimpir (km 124).


Karachi – Kotri Railway Map – 1861


Following is the map of Karachi-Kotri track as it opened for rail traffic in 1861. This is a very interesting map. Please take a moment to appreciate the details on this map. Note the ‘dotted’ hill road shown between Karachi and Kotri is the same alignment as used by the Karachi-Jamshoro Super Highway and future’s Motorway M9.

The ‘dotted’ roan shown as lower road to Jeeruk (now called Jhirk) is present day alignment of Karachi-Torkham N5 highway. Also note the location of present day Manghopir given as Mugger Pir.
Also note the spellings of names of various places which are now pronounced a bit differently.







The Building of Karachi Cantt Station

Karachi cantonment station when built was called Frere Road Station and served the elite’ residential areas of Karachi. Frere road that used to connect Cantonment Station to saddar is nowadays called ‘Dr Daud Pota’ road. The present building of Karachi Cantt station was completed in 1898 and currently it has been declared a ‘Protected Heritage’ by the Government of Sindh.

Following are 3 photos of Karachi Cantt station from 1900 to 1930.



Karachi Cantt Station in 1900




Karachi Cantt Station in 1910






Karachi Cantt Station in 1930






The Railway Station List on Karachi-Kotri Route


Kimari: 0 km point on Pakistan’s Main Line that runs from Karachi to Peshawar.

Karachi City: 5 km
D.C.O.S (Halt): 7 km
Karachi Cantt: 9 km
Chanesar Goth (Halt):
xx
Departure Yard: xx
Karsaz (Halt): xx – station now closed
Air Force (Halt): xx – station now closed
Drigh Road Jn: 19 km – Junction for Karachi Circular Railway loop
Drigh Colony Jn: 21 km – Junction for Karachi Circular Railway Loop
Malir Colony Jn: 24 km – Junction for Malir Cantt via Matapan & Model Colony
Airport (Halt): 25 km
Malir: 26 km
Landhi Jn: 29 km
– junction for Karachi Circular Railway line to Korangi
Jumma Goth: 35 km
Bin Qasim: 43 km
(previously called Pipri)
Badal Nala: xx
Marshalling Yard Pipri: xx
Gaddar: xx
Dabheji: 61 km (Last Station of Karachi City Limits)
Ran Pethani: 79 km
Jung Shahi: 91 km
Braudabad: 108 km
Jhimpir: 124 km
Meting: 143 km
Bholari: 164 km
Kotri Jn: 174 km
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States

Karachi Railway Map 2009


The following map only shows mainline track and does not cover the Karachi Circular Railway Track. Clicking on the map below will take you to a larger and better readable image of this map. I will alos point our readers to note the land reclamation differences between the 2009 Karachi map below and the 1893 Karachi map shown above in the post.

Note how Kimari has been converted from an island to an integral part of Karachi mainland now by choking the fresh water inlet of Chinna Creek. The whole present day Clifton beach is actually built on reclaimed earth.

 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Chronology of Karachi Kotri Railway:


Following satellite image of Karachi with superimposed colored lines show the years when different sections of railway tracks were inaugurated.






December 1853: Lord Dalhousie, the then Governer General of India, gives his approval for the Karachi – Kotri Railway Line Project.

1855: Scinde Railway Company was formed in London to build Karachi – Kotri Railway Line.

1856: The charter of Scinde Railway Company was increased to build Karachi-Kotri as well as Multan-Lahore-Amritsar line too.

April 29, 1858: Sir Bartle Frere, the then Commissioner of Sindh inaugurates the first ever Railway Project (Karachi-Kotri) line in the territories which later became Pakistan.

1859: Two small stretches of Railway line become functional in Karachi City limits. One is from Kimari to Railway Workshops near present day Karachi Cantt station and other from Railway Workshops to Gizree Harbor.

March 5, 1859: Work starts on the construction of bridge over Bahrun River. This bridge is the longest on this section of Railway.

January 26, 1861: Work on Bahrun River bridge is completed.

May 13, 1861: 104.9 miles (169.93 km) long Karachi City to Kotri track is inaugurateed.

May 15, 1861: 2.3 miles (3.73 km) long double track is inaugurated between Karachi City and Karachi Cantt stations.


1863: Charter of Scinde Railway was increased up to Delhi by adding the Amritsar-Delhi part of track to the project and the company was renamed as Scinde, Punjab and Delhi Railway (SPDR). Photo to the right shows the crest of SPDR.

June 16, 1889: 3.06 miles (4.96 km) long track is opened between Karachi City and Kimari via Native Jetty Railway Bridge on China Creek (near present day PNSC building). This bridge connects Karachi mainland to Kimari island.


June 20, 1897: 20.78 miles (33.67 km) long double track between Karachi Cantt and Pipri (now called Bin Qasim) is opened.


June 30, 1897: 3.06 miles (4.96 km) long double track is opened between Karachi City and Kimari via a parallel railway bridge to famous Native Jetty road bridge on Chinna Creek.









May 3, 1898: 81.82 miles (132.55 km) long double track between Pipri (now Bin Qasim) and Kotri is inaugurated.

1898: Present building of Karachi Cantt station (then called Frere Road Station) is completed.



Accidents on Karachi-Kotri Section:

1) In 1957,
29 tankers of an oil train derailed between Meting and Bholari Stations. The fire caused by burning oil remained lit for three days.

2) August 21, 2005:
The upcountry Super Parcels Express jumped the rails while crossing the Malir Bridge near Landhi in the Karachi Division. Eight bogies were substantially damaged when an axle broke due to over loading .

3) The Washout of 2006

Below is the damage that happened to a Railway Bridge on Karachi-Kotri route near Ran Pethani in August 2006. The bridge got washed away in the flash flood of monsoon season. This bridge collapse kept Karachi cut off from rest of the country by railways for more than 2 weeks.

 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
History and architectural character of the Lahore Railway Station


1. Introduction

The industrial revolution, with all its technological advancements, introduced rail roads as a new mode of transportation. In the first quarter of the 19th century, the emergence of steam engine gained extraordinary importance due to its revolutionary transformation in transport structure and introduction of new technologies. The first railway was opened in Stockton & Darlington Railway, UK in 1825 (Acharya, 2000).

“The British never really conquered India. But the railways did” (Christian, 2017). Imagining Pakistan (India at that time) without the contribution of railway networks is difficult.

The arrival of the British was the most fascinating change. Rail roads largely impacted the urban growth patterns, technology, building techniques, architectural design, and the economic development of the country. Railways were introduced in India through the steam boat by Rowland MacDonald Stephenson, who was a young employee of the first Steam Navigation Company; he was later acknowledged as the “Father of the Indian Railways” (Berridge, 1969).

In 1845, he persuaded the directors of the East India Company to establish railways in India/Pakistan. In 1849, Lord Dalhousie contributed his best to accelerate the establishment of this new era of rail networks. Tracks of more than 23,000 miles were laid, and railways became the most costly project undertaken by the British.

In Pakistan, the first railway track of 105 miles between Karachi City and Kotri City was opened for public traffic on May 13, 1861. A double line of 21 miles was later built between Karachi City and the Karachi cantonment. The railway network gradually spread in the country and connected the whole country similar to a web. The network soon became the symbol of power and identity of the British.

The selection of the Lahore railway station for studying history and design development has many reasons. Lahore was an important historical city long before the Mughals. Mughal emperors attracted the commerce and residents by making the city a provincial capital from the 16th to 18th century. They gave the city a grandeur in the form of beautiful architecture. Sikh followed their footsteps, and the city remained the central attention of Punjab as political and commercial capital of Ranjeet Singh Kingdom (1801–1849).

The British ruled Lahore as the last foreign invaders from 1849 to 1947. They built many buildings incorporating their ideologies and styles of construction. They soon realized the historical and geographical importance of Lahore and established the rail network in the city. The Lahore railway station was one of the earliest built railway stations in Pakistan. It was the junction (worked by the Sindh, Punjab, and Delhi Railway Company) and the headquarter of North Western railways.

This system enhanced the importance of the city and the railway station. Given that the system was built shortly after the war of independence in 1857, it incorporates the features of a train station and a defensible post. The railway system was established in Punjab as Punjab Railway Company in 1862, and the Lahore railway station housed all the administrative setup.

An extensive study has been conducted since the beginning of railways (in 1853) to explore different aspects of British Indian railways, its history, engineering, associated infrastructure, railroad construction, and administrative setup. One of the key descriptions of the development and expansion of railways in Pakistan was that by Malik (Malik, 1962). It includes data about the history, track lengths, development, and income and expenditure with reference to years. Some other books also have significant contribution toward the British Raj and the development of colonial India. Kerr in his book (Kerr, 2007) explained the initiation, pioneering decades, and expansion of railways in India (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh) and how it marked the social improvement and advancement. Christian Wolman is a popular railway historian and described the creation, influence, and legacy of Indian railways in his latest volume.

The book covers present Indian cities; thus, the architectural history of the Lahore railway station remained a neglected part (Christian, 2017). An excellent effort was also done by Berridge (1969), who served North Western railways for 20 years. He explained the opening and construction of various lines in Punjab and discussed steel bridges and long-span structures. Railways of the Raj have also been discussed in the historical development of railways in India (Satow and Desmond, 1980). Railways were the single most costly project by the British in India.

The current study mainly aims to understand the historical importance and visual character of one of the most important railway stations of the colonial period in India. No comprehensive study is available at present to introduce the tangible and intangible qualities to communicate the architectural significance of the Lahore railway station among practitioners and researchers. Architects and historians should not only preserve but also document the heritage buildings that have stored a rich architectural history of their existence.

This research is based on the documentation and analysis of the history of Lahore railway station design. The main objective here is to describe the importance of station design at that period and the factors to consider to ensure functional and secure buildings. To achieve the objectives, qualitative methods are used including several other approaches, namely, literature review, archival data collection, analysis of photographs, and study of architectural drawings and old maps. First, this study uses primary and secondary data to describe the history of the Lahore railway station from its inception to final execution.

Second, it explores the criteria adopted by the British for its site selection to make the station a defensible post. The research finding includes the visual features that enhanced the architectural character of the building. The Lahore railway station is also compared with other railway stations of Punjab to have a clear picture of that region where Lahore is considered the most important city that must be defensible.


2. Significance of architectural character

Buildings are unique due to their identity and distinguished architectural character. Many aspects make historical buildings significant. Character, including shape, materials, decoration, craftsmanship, site, and environment (Nelson, 1988), defines the physical and visual appearance of buildings. Identifying the architectural characteristics of buildings and learning the lessons are important. Skills, expertise, and knowledge of traditional builders can keep the local identity alive and contribute to the growth of highly sustainable environment (Asquith and Vellinga, 2006). Buildings tell many stories and can embody the past in the form of memory and feelings associated with events and people. Buildings are never alone and achieve their meaning through context. Site selection is important for defining the character of buildings, particularly historical ones. Given that building location is important for the Lahore railway station, we highlight the history, site selection, and character that define the aspects of the station building.


3. Construction of the lahore railway station

The walled city of Lahore was irregular trapezium in shape with its longest side toward the north. The north-west side of the city was at a right angle to the Ravi River flowing nearby, as shown in Fig. 1. During the Mughal period, the city gained considerable attention and many tombs, mosques, and other building were constructed in the suburbs of the walled city. The Sikh nobility following their footsteps built gardens mostly on the eastern side; however, they misused the Mughal buildings and took away the precious gems and stones. The decayed and ruinous suburbs were described by the travelers during the Ranjeet Singh reign (Glover, 2008, Qadeer, 1983).



Fig. 1



Fig. 1. Lahore (1839), red color showing walled city with river Ravi flowing on the western side and suburbs with ruins of Mughal gardens (rendered by the author).


The British took control of the city and made it the capital of the province because of its historical importance. The houses and offices of the first British residents were confined to the neighborhood of the old cantonments, which occupied a strip of alluvial soil to the south of the city and running parallel with an old bed of the Ravi.

However, as the European population increased in numbers, their station gradually spread eastward. The map of Lahore in Fig. 2 clearly shows no village or garden on the north or west side of the Ravi River because this area may be subject to flooding. The civil station and the Anarkulli cantonment were already established on the south side. Anarkulli was abandoned as a cantonment in the period of 1851–1852 due to the terrible morality among the troops stationed there.

The cantonments of Meean Meer was established on the east of the civil station at about 3 miles distance due to the unhealthiness of the former cantonments at Anarkulli (Gazetteer, 1883–1884). As a result, the east side was finalized for the development and expansion of the railway. An additional advantage of the present site is its location near the Ravi River, which can be used as an alternate transportation route. Initially, the purpose of the railway station was to accommodate the staff, store goods, and facilitate passengers moving to and from the city.

Although the site has a drawback due to the presence of ruins of the old city, laying the foundations on firm soil is difficult. However, the above-mentioned convincing advantages make the local administration and railway company bear all the difficulties and high cost of construction.


Fig. 2



Fig. 2. Plan of the city and environs of Lahore (1867), showing Civil Station, Anarkulli, Cantonment and Railway Station. Source: Mapping Lahore tracing geography of city through maps. Rendering and illustration by the author.


The first evidence about the introduction of railways in Lahore was found in Lahore Chronicle published in June 1852. The article encouraged the idea of rail transport between two cities as it will support the commercial activities, which will be beneficial for the government. However, the first step for the development of railway lines from Lahore to Amritsar was taken when a letter was written from the civil engineer's office on February 3, 1853.

According to the letter, “To lay a single line of Rails on one side of the Grand Trunk Road from Lahore to Amritsar leaving the remaining width of the road for the ordinary traffic … which after deduction of cost of maintenance will secure a surplus income of 267,9325 rupees …, length of the line would be 36miles” (Punjab Government Civil Secretariat, 1853). It took few years for the finalization of the project and on July 15, 1857.

Chief Engineer William Brunton presented the architectural drawings of the Lahore railway station to the Scinde Railway Company (Khan, 2013). He also wrote a report on the selection of the site. The report indicated that generating revenue through the railway transport was the motivation of the British. According to the report, “I have consulted the wants of the Meean Meer cantonment and have allotted a station at each end of their lines. The stations at Lahore, Umritsir, and Mooltan, I have placed more especially with a view to native passenger traffic, which will be the main source of revenue from passengers: they are also in suitable positions for the delivery and reception of goods” (Andrew, 1857).

In the period of 1857–1858, Indian troops rebelled against the British for using animal grease in guns that was religiously forbidden for Muslims and Hindus. That rebellion was known by several names as Indian Mutiny, revolt of 1857, and the war of independence by the natives. They not only occupied British quarters and institutions but also killed many Europeans. The blood shed during the war send shock waves to the Colonial Britain, and the British did not consider it a safe place to live.

Given that the project of the Lahore railway station was already delayed, this fear of natives greatly influenced the design of the railway station; they designed it more similar to a fortress. Now, the foremost concern of the government was securing the British troops and civilian against any native uprising. Thus, along with the availability of land, the location, and damage from flood, the safety from any future revolt was the top priority. The station meant to be grand and imposing.

In 1854, the station was located within the cantonment, but Brunton forwarded the case and argued that it should be defensible in every aspect. Thus, the final location of railway stations that was previously based on population density and nature of land had a new factor added; after the mutiny in 1857, strategic location and defensible design were considered (Satow and Desmond, 1980).

In 1859, the foundation stone was laid by Sir (afterwards Lord) John Lawrence, who was the Late Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, with the trowel inscribed with Latin motto “tam bello, quam pace,” which means both war to peace (Talbot, 1988). It described the façade of the station. The Lahore railway station was constructed by the late Mohamed Sultan, who was the contractor to the Public Works Department. In 1860, the first train from Lahore to Amritsar ran for public traffic. The whole building was castellated and one of the finest and the most substantial specimens of modern brick work in the country that costed half a million rupees. By the end of l86l, l09 ¾ miles of the line were constructed. The chronological order for construction dates of the Lahore railway station is shown in Table 1.


Table 1. Events in the construction of the Lahore railway station in chronological order.

Year185218571857–185818591860



Events
Proposal of the projectPresentation of the architectural drawingProject delayed due to the mutiny in 1857Foundation stone laidFirst train ran from the Lahore railway station
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
4. Historical character of the station


Along with the style of construction and material, other tangible elements embody the significance of buildings. These elements are those events and memories of the people associated with the building to give it a historical importance. Many official reports and comments proved that the Lahore railway station was a debated topic during its time of construction. Many officials and travelers visited it later and mentioned the building in their reports and writings.

In 1863, the Principal Thomson College narrated the location and fort-like appearance of the building. “The Lahore Railway Terminus is about 400 yards distant from the Delhi Gate of the city, on the site of the old Sikh Cantonment of Nolukha, among the ruins of the ancient city. In designing the Passenger Station, it was thought advisable to give it a defensive character, as far as possible, and to arrange the defenses to require but a small garrison hence the Fort-like appearance of the present structure” (Medley, 1865).

The British wants to have a building that would be frightening for the natives by its appearance. Burton was successful in achieving that goal and remarked about the appearance of the station, “The face these stations presented to the outside world was grim: high walls, rounded corners that would deflect shot, battlemented towers and firing slits” (Burton, 1996). Fig. 3 portrays the appearance of the station that was also explained by I.J. Kerr as, “The ‘fortified main station at Lahore’ looked more like a medieval castle than a welcoming entrance to a key transport network. It was not just stations:

The Rebellion led to the concern, at times an obsession, that was to last for decades among the authorities, namely ensuring the military security of the railway lines, bridges, tunnels and stations” (Kerr, 1995). The manager of the North Western railway system, Lieutenant Colonel Boughey, R.E, also described the building as, “It has connection with all the railways and all the principal places of India. It is therefore a busy center and the building itself (a castellated structure) is a fine piece of modern brick-work” (Walker, 2006).

William J glover explained the building as, “The Lahore station, built during a time when securing British civilians and troops against a future ‘native’ uprising was foremost in the government's mind, looked like a fortified medieval castle, complete with turrets and crenellated towers, battered flanking walls, and loopholes for directing rifle and canon fire along the main avenues of approach from the city” (Glover, 2008), as shown in Fig. 4.




Fig. 3





Fig. 3. The picture of Lahore Railway Station taken in 1880's depicting the fort like appearance. Source: city History.



Fig. 4



Fig. 4. Lahore Railway Station with crenellated towers and loop holes that were used for gun shooting.
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
In 1875, the Prince of Wales (later known as King Edward VII) came to Lahore. He was welcomed with banners and triumphal arch fixed near the railway station, as shown in Fig. 5. It was a great reception by many rulers of the Punjab.

The event highlighted the importance of the station as an entrance to the city. It was the first purpose-built building by the British at 400 yards distance from the Delhi gate. It served as a gate to the city designed by the British according to their ideas of a modern city and changed the urban life of Lahore (Ali and Qi, 2019).


Fig. 5



Fig. 5. The archway built near railway station to welcome prince of whales in 1875. Source: Royal collection trust.

The Lahore railway station had always played its part since its construction. One of the important shares was contributed during the Anglo–Afghan war in 1878. The station facilitated 75 trains of troops and soldiers in every 24 h. It also supported the transportation of goods in the 1980s, which resulted in the form of Karachi as a major port.

Another significant role was during the partition in 1947, when each train carried around 4000 passengers. However, the train reached the station with only handful of survivors. The building also acted as a refuge for those who want to leave the country. People hide in the railway station while they waited for the train to take them across the border. This historical character of the building is still alive in the minds and memories of the people due to the mega partition and the loss of many lives.


5. architectural character: identifying visual features of the Lahore railway station


Rail stations can be best described as the “face of public transport” due to their role in the overall experience of the journey (Hale, 2013). Initially, only the train sheds were provided and covered the railway tracks and platforms. Train sheds alone cannot fulfil all the functions.

Provision of other facilities, such as waiting area, protections from weather, and access to the rail through other modes of transportation (such as horse and cart), was also essential (Edwards, 2013, Griffin, 2004, Meeks, 1995). Thus, railway stations were developed. More than 150 years ago, the first railway station was built, and no guidance on either function or design of the railway station was provided. “Every solution had to be invented” (Carroll, 1956).

The architectural character of the Lahore railway station is analyzed here according to four main features: station plan, elevation, masonry, and roof design. Designing for a large number of people that can cater the entrance and exit of passengers at the same time is difficult for architects. Previous churches and theatres used to cater to a large number of people at one time, but their design was not helpful for architects.

In those buildings, same entrance and exit can be used because worshipers and audience have fixed time to enter or move out. Here, the plan of the Lahore railway station building is categorized according to the very first and basic classification published by the editor of the Rel'lte Generate de l'Architectllre in 1846 (Ching, 2014).

He established an important criterion for the identification of station and categorized four types, namely, one-sided, two-sided, head type, and L type, as shown in Fig. 6. The basis for this division is the circulation routes of the arriving and departing passengers and the linkage between the form and function of buildings and the tracks.



Fig. 6



Fig. 6. Four types of stations based on circulation (a) the one sided, (b) the two-sided, (c) the head type, (d) the Type. Drawn by the author according to the classification published by Daly in 1846.
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
In the early years of railway development, the stations were simple and mostly one-sided. With the advancement of railways, the number of tracks increased, and the stations had to cater to more passengers at a time. Later, two-sided stations were constructed to facilitate the departure and arrival of passengers through separate buildings.

The first Euston Station in London in 1839 is an example of a two-sided station. The Lahore railway station was designed according to head house concept, where the passenger walkways and concourses were designed in the center and other facilities were on the sides. The head house and concourse proved to be the most significant feature of railway architecture because it provided a pragmatic solution to the volumes of train and passenger traffic (Sheppard, 1996).

Functionally, they allowed arriving and departing passengers to gather at a same area. After entering through the portico, a concourse was situated, as shown in Fig. 7. The concourse also acted as a main circulation area between the entrance and destination zones, “where passengers stop to consider their next action” (Ross, 2000).


Fig. 7



Fig. 7. Plan of the Lahore Railway Station drawn by the author. Green color shows the concourse.


The building was oriented in the North–South direction. It was rectangular with two symmetrical blocks parallel to each other. Initially, there were four railway tracks and two platforms that were 519’ long, as shown in Fig. 8.

Later, with the change in size of track gauge, two tracks were replaced with one track. The interior was spacious with arrival and departure platforms. The station was well planned to handle any emergency. Huge gates were situated at the entrance and exit, and heavy sliding door was imbedded across the track to seal the station (Davidson, 1868). In the beginning, the British did not expect much popularity of railways among the natives; thus, only two platforms were built.

The Lahore station was also the junction. Thus, with the development of railways, the number of platforms also increased. At present, there are 11 platforms in the Lahore railway station, and all are connected through steel bridges. The passengers must cross the track by foot using steel bridges to reach the other platform. The plan in Fig. 8 shows three main platforms and the parallel activities, namely, the ticket office, station master room, waiting areas, and refreshment rooms. The fort-like appearance of the station is also shown in Fig. 9 through the AutoCAD drawing by the author.


Fig.8



Fig.8. The picture shows platform with two railway tracks in 1886.


Fig. 9
 

ghazi52

PDF THINK TANK: ANALYST
Mar 21, 2007
61,147
64
96,666
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
Since the time of ancient Greek, arches have always been the dominant feature of buildings. However, with the passage of time, the size, form, and function of the arches changed. The Mughals left a rich architectural inspiration for Britain; among them, arches were an important feature. The Lahore railway station was one of the earliest purpose-built buildings.

Thus, Britain tried to incorporate its style rather than only following the Mughals. In the station building, two types of arches, namely, Tudor and gothic arches, were mainly used. Tudor Arch was constructed by the Mughals and was found in many of its buildings. Gothic arch was the addition by the British to this new style of architecture in India. This style was later termed as Indo-Saracenic architecture.

The entrance to the station building is through the portico with Tudor arches at both ends. The porticos were added to provide protection from severe environmental conditions; they also drew attention and made the entrance significant (Arthur and Passini, 1992).

Tudor arch was most popular in England during Tudor Dynasty (1485–1603). It also remained an architectural feature during the late 19th and early 20th century as Tudor revival architecture. It was a four-centered arch, and two key features defined it. It had a pointed apex as one of its distinguishing features and finished at a distinctive point. Meanwhile, traditional arch used by the Mughals had round or curved top.

The second key feature was the relationship between the rise and span. It was much wider than its height, as shown in Fig. 10(a). The portico was wide and low heighted. Thus, it was primarily used at the entrance and the windows. It gave more welcoming appearance and did not disturb the character of the building due to the low height. On the side of the portico facing the front, traditional arches were used, as shown in Fig. 10(b).



Fig. 10


Fig. 10. (a) The construction drawing of Tudor arch, (b) the Portico with Tudor arch at both ends.

Inside the building, the major type of arches used was Gothic arch. It was a sharp-pointed arch and composed of two arc segments (parts of a circle). The lower part of the arch was parallel sided and up to the level of the springing points. That was evolved from the round-topped Roman arch, which was taller than a circular arch of the same width.

This design also placed much less horizontal stress on the piers holding it up. The introduction of the Gothic arch allowed the building to be much taller and more open, thereby allowing larger windows and less raw material for support, as shown in Fig. 11(a) and (b). Gothic arch was used in the station for decorative purposes and to support the long-span structure.

It reached higher than the normal arch for a given width and was less visible. A major consideration when building a masonry arch was the amount of horizontal thrust that it produced on its foundations. The advantage of using Gothic arch was that it puts only half the side-thrust compared with the Roman arch. This style was a well-designed successor to the Roman arch style.



Fig. 11



Fig. 11. (a) Gothic Arch constructed with straightedge and compass, (b) Row of gothic arches supporting the long span of roof without creating visual barrier.

To support the large span of roof structures, the British used the arches fascinatingly. They were used in two different ways, as shown in Fig. 12. On the one hand, open style was used to give more spacious appearance and keep the other side of the platform visible. On the other hand, parallel rows of gothic arches were filled with masonry. This contrasting color and mode of construction gave the platform a magnificent and elegant appearance.


Fig. 12
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom