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History of “Pakistan Railways"

ghazi52

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The comparison of the Lahore railway station with other stations shows that the British constructed single-story railway stations. The offices and other facilities in the Lahore railway station were provided on the ground floor. However, access was provided to reach the clock towers and turrets.

Brick masonry was mostly used except for the Hasan Abdal railway station due to the location of the city. The thickness of the walls was also remained the same and varied from 13.5″ to 18″. The roofing of these stations was done with jack arches that rest on steel I beams. This system was already in use in Europe for industrial buildings to fulfill the requirement of large-span structures.

Thus, the British used this system initially in every railway station and in every railway building by the 20th century. Only few stations had concourses because they were built in major cities catering to a large population. Although the Sahiwal and Gujranwala railway stations were built few years after the Lahore railway station, the defensive character was not visible in any other stations.

The reason was that Lahore was the capital of the province and the junction station connecting the Karachi–Peshawar line and the Lahore–Amritsar line. This strategic location of the city demanded the station to be defensive in every aspect. Furthermore, forts were constructed for defensive purposes in the pre-colonial period. The British constructed the railway station in India with defensive character for the first time, and this feature remained linked with only the Lahore station. The British kept a basic symmetry in their design of railway stations, as shown in Table 2.

All the main stations had longitudinal plan that runs parallel to the railway line. The facilities and offices were planned side by side facing the platform, as shown in Fig. 20. These plans also showed symmetry in sizes of the rooms and elevation. However, after partition, the construction and modification of the railway stations varied either according to the historical value of the city or the requirements of the area using modern techniques.

Only the stations that are protected under the government law remained the same at least in their visual character. The Lahore railway station is one such example. Currently, the Lahore railway station is no longer used as a defensive building. It now only fulfills the transportation needs of passengers. The elevation has been maintained to its original condition and standing as an emblem of the golden era of the British Raj.



Conclusion


The Indian railway network was the largest technological project of the 19th century by the British. The magnitude of the project, the massive difficulties, and the short duration of achievements made this structure the most daring experiment of the colonial period in terms of economic and engineering. The presence of the fort and the wall around the old city depicts that the defense has always been important for previous rulers as well.

However, the construction of the Lahore railway station was an advancement in terms of its design, material, and the dual purpose of the building. It proved how the British used transportation as a symbol of power. It is the only station in Pakistan that was constructed not only for the defense of the city but also to provide safe exit for the British in case of any future revolt. This study highlights the importance of the design aspects of buildings and provides a guideline of the purpose of each design element in addition to beautification.

The selection of design elements has strong architectural character. From its setting in urban fabric to its overall shape, each part of the building enhanced the visual character of the Lahore railway station. This study also proves that stations can be multipurpose if they are designed strategically. The tangible and intangible factors should be considered for the study of historical buildings. If the war of independence did not happen, then the design of the station would be entirely different and may be similar to other Mughal buildings or a completely colonial structure. Even the location of the station would be different. Given that stations played a role in the city development, the whole expansion of Lahore City would also not be like how it is today.
 

ghazi52

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Pakistan Railway Electric Locomotive BCU-30s
Golden Era & Old Memories Of PR


 

ghazi52

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An old picture of a narrow gauge steam locomotive (G-59) with chromate hoppers train, gets signal clearance to pass 'Kan Mehtarzai', Balochistan, the highest altitude railway station of Pakistan; after snowfall.

Picture credit to Yasir.

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ghazi52

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Quetta Express, powered with BCU -30 (7016) Electric locomotive, reaches Lahore railway station.


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ghazi52

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A picture of 1982, of a steam locomotive (SPS - 3191), powering a train at ''Begowala'' railway station. The train was coming from Wazirabad junction and had to go to Sialkot junction.


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ghazi52

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An old picture of 1989 of an SPS - 3005 steam locomotive, leading a passenger train near Shorkot Cantt. junction.


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ghazi52

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18 April 1858 ko sindh ke commissioner sir H.B.E. Frere ne sindh railway ki pahli rail line ki shuruat ki thi. Ye inauguration programme karachi shahar me hi hua tha.


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ghazi52

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From the treasure of scrap


Railways in India was started on 16 April 1853 by a 34 km long railway route between Mumbai to Thane. Gradually, the railways are expanding in every corner of India. In this link, the railway was launched in Karachi, the capital of the Sindh province of United India on 29 April 1858 by the then Commissioner of Sindh, HBE Frere.
Today a compilation of speeches given by Frere from the treasure of Kabaddi while being the Governor of Mumbai and Commissioner of Sindh. This compilation was published in Mumbai in 1870 Speech given by Commissioner Frere of Sindh on the occasion of inauguration of Karachi Railway from this book (Image No. 3 & 4) and Photography of Frere (Picture No. 2) and first page of the book.
 

ghazi52

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Carry On Up the Khyber, 1978.

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In 1978 the railway through the Kyhber Pass from Peshawar to Landi Kotal near the Pakistan/Afghanistan border only saw one return train per week to coincide with the local Friday bazaar.

24 November 1978 saw broad gauge 0-6-0s SGS2388 and SGS2416 (nearest the camera) pose with their train after a photo runpast over a bridge in the Pass. SGS2416 was built by Vulcan Foundry in 1917 (Works no.3205) for the North Western Railway of India.

The regular FO service ended some time in 1990's, but charter trips continued up until 2005.

© Bingley Hall
 

ghazi52

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A very old and rare photograph of pre-partition era, of a 'Rail Motor' (railcar), during the process of changing its direction near ''Landi Kotal'' railway station.
 

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