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Gwalior Light Railway

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1895
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Mirza Firuz Shah
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Geography
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Babur II 1881-1920
Stacked Wooden Logs

Description

Gwalior Light Railway (GLR) or Maharaja Railway was a 2 ft (610 mm) narrow-gauge railway network in Gwalior. It was set up for Gwalior State during the times of British India. Until its closure in 2020, the railway was the longest 2 ft (610 mm) gauge railway in the world.

History

The Gwalior Light Railway was built by the Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia of the Gwalior State. It was originally a 14-mile long private tramway. Construction began in 1895 of the 53 mile Gwalior–Bhind line. By 1897 it was 34 miles long and was used to bring in supplies to relieve the famine. Both this section and the Gwalior–Shivpuri section opened on 2 December 1899 by Lord Curzon the Viceroy of India. The Gwalior-Joura branch opened on 1 January 1904 and on 12 January 1904 the extension to Sabalgarh was opened. A further extension to Birpur opened on 1 November 1908 and the full line to Sheopur opened on 15 June 1909. In October 1900, the Indian Midland Railway Company agreed to operate the railway on behalf of the Maharaja.

In 1942, the Gwalior Light Railway was renamed the Scindia State Railway. In 1951, the system was purchased by the Central Railway.

The railway was initially worked with steam locomotives, but later diesel locomotives were used. There was a plan to electrify the railway in the 1920s from a generating station below the Nanakura Dam, but this scheme was abandoned.

Permanent Way

The track was 30 lb/yd (15 kg/m) flat-bottomed steel rails laid on a mix of Sal wood and iron sleepers. The minimum radius curve on the line was 955 feet (291 m) and the steepest gradient was 1 in 40.

Rolling Stock

In 1936, the company owned 28 locomotives, 90 coaches and 363 goods wagons.

Classification

It was labeled as a Class III railway according to Indian Railway Classification System of 1926.

Conversion to Broad Gauge

The Gwalior–Bhind section and the Gwalior–Shivpuri section were converted to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge in the early 2010s. The Gwalior–Sheopur Kalan section is under conversion to 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in) broad gauge as of 2020.

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Very good information.

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