Indian Railways in Pre-Independence India

I thought I’d continue yesterday’s post and write about the railways before India’s independence. As opposed to today when a majority of military light equipment is shifted by air, back then, the railways did the bulk of the job. This is why the British invested heavily in maintaining and extending the railways.

There were only three Traffic Districts with head quarters at Madras, Madura and Podanur with the following jurisdiction :—
(i) Madras Egmore is the Headquarters of the District Traffic Superintendent, who has charge of the section from Madras Beach to Trichinopoly Jn. (exclusive) Arkonam, Katpadi and Pondicherry Branches, Yillupuram Jn. toTrichinopoly Jn. via Chord, Vriddhachnlam Jn. to Salem Town (inclusive), including Tranquebar, Karaikkal, Nagore, Arantangi, Point Calimere and Mannargudi Branches.

(ii) Madura is the Headquarters of the District Traffic Superintendent, who has charge of the section Trichinopoly Jn. (exclusive) to Manamadurni Jn. via Chord, Dhanushkodi to Trichinopoly Jn. (exclusive*), Dindigul Jn. to Palghat (exclusive), Pollachi Jn. to Podanur Jn. (exclusive) Pamban Jn. to Rameswaram, Madura Jn. to Bodinayakkanur, Madura Jn. to Trivandrum Central, including Virudhttnagar Jn. to Sivakasi Jn. via Chord and Tiruchendur and Tuticorin Branches.

(iii) Podanur is the Headquarters of the District Traffic Superintendent, who has charge of the- section Jalarpet Jn. to Mangalore, Erode Jn. to Trichinopoly Jn. (exclusive), Olavakkot Jn. to Palghat (inclusive), Salem Junction to Salem Town (exclusive) and all other Branch Lines north of Podanur Jn. including PodSnur Jn. to Mettupallaivam, Nilgiri Railway, Ernakulam and Nilambur Road Branches.

The District Traffic Superintendents should be referred to in all matters pertaining to station working, such as booking of passengers, reservation of berths, booking, re-booking and delivery of parcels and goods, renting of godowns, docks, supply of wagons at stations etc., and complaints against staff.

Correspondence relating to the following subjects only should be addressed to the Chief Commercial Superintendent:—
(i) Rates and Fares.
(ii) Claims and Refunds and Delivery of goods to other than invoiced consignees and on Indemnity Bonds.
(iii) Travelling Ticket Checking Staff.
(iv) Publicity including running of Tourist and Excursion specials.
(v) Catering including vending and licensing of platform and fruit stalls at stations.
(vi) Opening of Trial stations. Town Booking Offices, Train Halts, Out-Agencies and Carting Agencies.
(vii) Lost Property and Undelivered goods Parcels.
(viii) Matters pertaining to development of traffic.

Mandapam is the Headquarters of the Marine Superintendent, who has charge of the Ferry Steamer service. Trichinopoly is also the Headquarters of the Chief Engineer, and the Chief Auditor. Golden Rock is the Headquarters of the Chief Mechanical Engineer and the Chief Medical Officer. Seringapatam is the Headquarters of the Superintendent of Stores.

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