CALCUTTA & DIAMOND HARBOUR RAILWAY. An early railway proposal, 1845


Boileau, Major J T & Others: Remarks on the Plan of a Railway, from Calcutta to Diamond Harbour, with Spacious Docks at the Latter Place…to Which is Added a Letter to the Directors of the Honourable East India Company, By the Chairman of the Committee of Management.W H Allen & Co [London] 1845. 1st edition, 8vo. 3 folding maps, 40pp. re-cased (long ago] with the original printed paper covers laid down, some fading and marks to covers and a small section of the rear cover lacking revealing the card beneath, some pulling away from stitching but all three plans are very clean and remain neatly folded. A scarce ephemeral survival from the very earliest years of railway construction in India. The two plans at the front of the pamphlet are: a) Plan showing the line of the Proposed Calcutta & Diamond Harbour Docks Railway [77 x 40 cm, one small edge tear without loss], b) Plan of the present Calcutta & Diamond Harbour Road on which it is proposed to construct the Calcutta & Diamond Harbour Railway copied from the Chart of the Approaches to the Hoogley published by W H Allen & Co [38 x30cm]. At the rear is a folded plan, water coloured in outline Enlarged Sketch of the Harbour Creek shewing the Proposed Diamond Harbour Railway from Calcutta on a scale of 450 feet to 1 inch. The plans are lithographed by Day & Haghe of London. The need for this railway, approximately 55 miles long, was the very dangerous nature of the final approaches up the Hoogly to Calcutta where sudden violent storms often added to the dangers of the shallow draft over and around sandbanks. By using an existing road for the track bed costs were minimized. The appendix comprises a 24pp extract from a report by Major J T Boileau of the Bengal Engineers on the practicality of such a railroad, which he had written in 1837.  SOLD 16th January 2019