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Mukherjee, Hena (1966) The Early History of the East Indian Railway, 1845-1879. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Amongst different aspects of the economic history of India, the least explored perhaps is the origin, growth and operation of her vast railway system. Compared to the amount of works on all these other aspects of Indians economic history, literature on her railways is very limited. This limited number of works, again, are mainly concerned with the history of Indian railways as a whole and the histories of individual railways, each a potential subject in itself, thus remain yet to be written. The present thesis is an attempt at dealing with the history of one such individual railway, namely, the East Indian Railway. The, history of its long career started in 1845 when the East Indian Railway Company projecting this railway was formed in London and this forms the starting point of our study also. Prom this year, we carry on our review until 1879, the year in which the entire undertaking, as authorised under the contract, was purchased by the Government. The construction of the different portions of this railway during this early period raised numerous problems. The initial problem was that of raising capital which was not available in England nor was there any possibility of its being provided from India. Even after this initial difficulty was overcome, there were other problems - problems of securing labour and materials for the railway since none of these could be procured, generally speaking, from the local sources in India. How these difficulties were overcome and the railway was ultimately built, and what effects it had on the economic history of the area it served, are questions dealt with in this thesis. In treating our subject, we have not, of course, followed any strictly chronological order. All these different questions, such as finance, provision of labour, provision of materials and so on, are viewed in their individual perspectives and are treated in respective chapers and sections.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:22

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