Worldwide recognition of British ingenuity

There are only six railway sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and four of them are in India. Along with the Swiss Rethean Railroad and the Austrian Semmering Railroad, this list, which is “an outstanding example of a bold ingenious technical solution to the problem of creating an efficient rail link in rugged, mountainous terrain,” includes three mountain roads in India: Darjeeling Himalayan, Nilgiri and Kalka Shimla.

There are only six railway sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and four of them are in India. Along with the Swiss Rethean Railroad and the Austrian Semmering Railroad, this list, which is "an outstanding example of a bold ingenious technical solution to the problem of creating an efficient rail link in rugged, mountainous terrain," includes three mountain roads in India: Darjeeling Himalayan, Nilgiri and Kalka Shimla.

These narrow-gauge railways, opened in 1881, 1898 and 1908 respectively, are still in operation. The complexity of the tasks that the British engineers had to solve can be judged by the example of the Kalka-Shimla road: there are 103 tunnels, 864 bridges and 919 bends per 96 km, the steepest of which has a radius of only 37 m.

The Chkatrapati Shivaji Railway Station in Mumbai, which start operation in 1882, is also on the UNESCO list. It combines Victorian and Gothic styles with elements of Indian architecture. At first, the station was named in honor of Queen Victoria, but in 1996 it was renamed in honor of the Indian national hero who fought in the 16th century against Muslim rule in the lands of the Hindus.

Related:

Pakistan Railways: From neglect to rebirth

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