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In what ways did the railways of the subcontinent alter the relationship of Indians to their surroundings - Essay Example

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There was no single railway line in India in 1942 but by 1929, there were sixty six thousand kilometres of railway lines. These lines were serving most of the districts in India. Six hundred and eighty seven…
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In what ways did the railways of the subcontinent alter the relationship of Indians to their surroundings
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The pressure for building railways in India came from London in 1840’s. The reason for that was so the economies of the two countries would be intermeshed. The Indian Railway Association was formed by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy and Hon. Jaganath Shunkerseth in 1845. The Association was eventually incorporated into the Great Indian Peninsula Railway and the two formers became the only two Indians among the ten directors. The first train journey in India was between Bombay and Thane on the 16th of April in 1853 (Rothermund, H.U. 1993, p. 28).
Shankarseth participated in this journey which involved a fourteen carriage long train drawn by three locomotives. The locomotives were known as Sultan, Sindh and Sahib. The train was around twenty one miles in length and took forty five minutes approximately. A century after the introduction of railway lines in India, basic policies and ultimate management of the Indian Railways came from London. Every decision made had to come from London. This means that the British had a huge role in the ways the railways of the subcontinent affected the Indians and their surroundings. These effects were seen in the military front, economically and also politically (Crowley, H.U. 2011, p. 21).
Robert Maitland Brereton was the British engineer responsible for the expansion of the railways from 1857. By 1864, the Calcutta-Allahabad-Delhi line was completed and the Allahabad-Jabalpur branch line opened in June 1867. These two were linked with the Great Indian Peninsula Railway courtesy of Brereton. This resulted in a combined network of six thousand four hundred kilometres making it possible to travel from Bombay to Calcutta directly via Allahabad. On 7th March 1870 this route was officially opened (Narayanan, H.U. 2011, p. 23).
The opening of this route was part of the inspiration for French writer Jules Veme’s book Around the World in Eighty Days. The official opening ceremony was graced by the Viceroy Lord Mayo who concluded ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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