Secret album: Here’s a peek at rare British-era photographs Mumbai railway authorities found

Some of them even date back to the 1850s, said Mumbai authorities

mumbai Updated: Oct 20, 2017 00:20 IST
Aroosa Ahmed
Aroosa Ahmed
Hindustan Times
British-era photographs,Mumbai railway authorities,Diwali
The ships transported machines and equipment required from the UK.(HT)

Routine Diwali cleaning led Central Railway authorities to a hidden historical treasure.

While clearing a drawing room at their headquarters last week, they stumbled upon a collection of rare pictures and newspapers, most of which are from the early 1950s.

Some of them even date back to the 1850s, said the authorities.

The car stairs during the British era carried the Ballast required for the construction for the railway tracks. (HT )

The photographs depict the construction of the railways all across India and can be traced back to the British era.

As for the city, the book has the earliest, and never-before seen designs of the suburban railway stations, including those at Byculla, Sion, Kurla and Ghatkopar, drawn up by the railway engineers during the British era.

The intricate and detailed designs are accompanied by descriptions of the events that occurred while the stations were being constructed.

Rare drawings of station bridges and embankments at Byculla. (HT)

The album includes a picture of a news article dating back to 1854, which showcases the view from Sion hill station, as it was called then, and a rare picture of Tapti bridge, which is located in Surat.

There are also rare pictures of three-cylinder ‘pacific’ express locomotives, steam engines, trains being tested on Chambal Bridge and car stairs being used by the engineering department while the Indian Railways were being constructed.

The spectacular pictures give viewers a peek into the massive efforts put in by railway workers, said authorities.

The steam engines that were operational during the British era. (HT)

“The Central Railway has a treasure trove of such heritage records and photographs. In the past too, we have transferred railway heritage records of national importance to the National Archives’ Jaipur centre. We have also sent a few to the Maharashtra Archives in Mumbai,” said Sunil Udasi, chief public relations officer, Central Railway.

“However, as this album is of relevance to only the railways, we will it preserve it, along with other heritage records,” he added.

First Published: Oct 20, 2017 00:20 IST