RAILWAYS AND THE RAJ

‘Railways and the Raj.’, with Christian Wolmar is the first talk in the Commonwealth Heritage Forum’s Series on ‘Railways across the Commonwealth’ (Autumn 2023).

India joined the railway age late: the first line was not completed until 1853 but, by 1929, 41,000 miles of track served the country. However, the creation of this vast network was not intended to modernise India for the sake of its people but rather was a means for the colonial power to govern the huge country under its control, serving its British economic and military interests. By building India’s railways, Britain radically changed the nation but also unwittingly created the preconditions of independence. The Indian Railways network remains one of the largest in the world, serving over 25 million passengers each day. In this expertly told history, Christian Wolmar reveals the full story of India’s railways, from its very beginnings to the present day, and examines the chequered role they have played in Indian history and the creation of today’s modern state.

Christian is an award-winning writer and broadcaster, specialising in transport and is the author of a series of books on railway history. His talk will explore the vast Indian Railways network from its very beginnings to the present day, examining the chequered role they have played in Indian history and the creation of today’s modern state.

Unfortunately this talk was cut short, owing to technical difficulties. The CHF are hopeful that the speaker will re-arrange in due course. Updates will be posted when available.

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