By Rail Enthusiasts' Society
Author: Vikas Singh
Pair of oxen used to haul trains by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Initially, a pair of oxen used to haul trains composed of four to six vehicles.
In 1863, Khanderao purchased three steam locomotives, built by Neilson and Co., Glasgow. These 0-4-0 ST locomotives proved to be too heavy for the rails and there was no option other than replacing the rails with the heavier ones.
This was undertaken during the reign of Malharrao, in 1871.
ZB-64 at Kelanpur station, on 13th January 1988 by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Today, the part of the line from Miyagam to Choranda is the oldest narrow gauge line in the world still in use for commercial traffic.
Token exchange with loco pilot of ZB 90 at Dabhoi station by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
The 32.3 kms. Miyagam-Dabhoi line, which had been closed, was reopened on the 8th of April, 1873.
Narrow gauge rail, 1878 by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
In the picture: Narrow gauge rail manufactured by Barrow Steel, in 1878.
A number of narrow gauge lines were added to the original route and by 2003, five lines branched out from Dabhoi.
The rich heritage of the once extensive narrow gauge network has been well documented and preserved. Under the able stewardship of A. K. Srivastava, the then Divisional Railway Manager of the Vadodara division, heritage parks had been established at Dabhoi and Pratap Nagar.
The early history of the Baroda State Railway line by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
In the picture: A panel at Dabhoi heritage shed depicts the early history of the Baroda State Railway.
The panels at the park give details regarding the financial performance of the lines. These panels show that since its time inception, the Dabhoi lines were generating surpluses. Old time tables are also displayed in some panels.
P 606 at Dabhoi shed, on 13th January, 1988 by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
The park is a pioneering effort in popularising railway history by linking it with people and places where the railways evolved and attempts to weave an interesting story.
Pratap Nagar Heritage Park
Pratap Nagar (then known as Goya gate) was the place where the narrow gauge Railway first came to Vadodara, on 1st July, 1880. It was also the location for the first narrow gauge workshop established in 1919, the headquarters for Gaekwar’s railway and a colony built on the pattern of Tergnier in France, which was established by Compagnie du Nord.
C-560 outside Pratapnagar shed, 13th January 1983 by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
The panels at the Pratap Nagar Heritage Shed display information about the first railway run in India, the arrival of the first train in Baroda, in 1861 and organisation of the narrow gauge network over the years.
Narrow gauge coach, SR 699, converted into a restaurant by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
A narrow gauge coach SR 699 can be seen at the station modelled after the old Goya Gate station. People can have tea and snacks inside the narrow gauge coach, which is converted into a dining car.
Rolling stock park at Pratapnagar heritage shed by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
The rolling stock park, at the Pratap Nagar Heritage Shed (near the Pratap Nagar Heritage Park), features the old narrow gauge rails and narrow gauge rolling stock.
A turntable built in 1874 by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
The video gives a quick view of Pratap Nagar Heritage Park
The Pratap Nagar Heritage Park also has an old turn table, which was built in 1874, by Ormerod Crierson & Co.Ltd.
Logo of Gaekwar's Baroda State Railway by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Above: The logo of Gaekwar's Baroda State Railways.
While the advantages of the uni-gauge policy of the Indian Railways are understood, the erstwhile narrow gauge lines were the lifeline of innumerable small towns and villages. The lines may have closed down but the memories still remain.
Bombay, Baroda & Central Indian Railway advertises its Christmas discounts by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
This old photograph shows the Bombay, Baroda Central Railway (BB&CI) advertising its Christmas discounts on return tickets of the train, in English and Gujarati.
The railways' connection with famous cartoon characters by Vikas SinghRail Enthusiasts' Society
Besides displaying old photographs, the museum also has information panels on popular cartoon characters who had a railway connection, Bollywood films' connection with the railways and famous books with railway themes.
Author: Vikas Singh