AIP Christmas #19: Indian Railways

This post is part of the Anglo-Indian Project Christmas series 2016.


Arguably the greatest contribution of the British Raj to India was the railways. As Paul Theroux (1980) neatly sums up:

the [Victorian] railway builders sewed together the entire subcontinent with a stitching of track.

cited in Michael Satow and Ray Desmond ‘Railways of the Raj’, London: Scolar Press


Today, India prides itself in this symbolic railway system, reaching every part of the country, running on 40,000 miles of track, serving more than a billion people.

As the Anglo-Indian Project’s recent journey to Bombay (Mumbai) revealed that a journey on the trains is a vivid experience – rich or traumatic.

The idyllic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) is one of the most iconic buildings in Bombay and its principal railway station.

The railways have played a major role in recent Indian history. The drama and excitement of the roots of these Tracks of Empire are relevant today and only by travelling by trains in India, can one revel in the full beauty of this rich, life-enhancing experience. See some of the following posts for more information:

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