|Khyber Pass Railway|
درۂ خیبر ریلوے
|Opened||November 4, 1925|
|Line length||58 km (36 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)|
The Khyber Pass Railway (Urdu: درۂ خیبر ریلوے) is one of several railway lines in Pakistan, operated and maintained by Pakistan Railways. The line begins at Peshawar City and ended at Landi Khana. The total length of this railway line is 58 kilometers (36 mi) with 13 railway stations. Passenger train traffic on the route has recently been suspended due to security problems and the 2006 monsoon rains, which washed several sections away.
The Great Game was responsible for the creation of the Khyber Pass Railway. The British were convinced that the Russian Empire were planning to invade the British Raj. The most obvious routes for this invasion would be through the Khyber Pass or Bolan Pass, and thus it was suggested that strategic railways be built in both of these passes. In 1879, a reconnaissance survey was conducted with an aim to find the feasibility of laying railways through the Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass (Sind–Pishin State Railway) to thwart any Russian invasion.
In 1905, the North Western State Railway began construction of the line at the village of Kacha Garhi, located between Peshawar and Jamrud. The broad gauge track made progress westwards and 32 kilometers (20 mi) of track was laid by 1907. On 31 August 1907, the Anglo-Russian Entente was signed between the United Kingdom and Russia in St. Petersburg, Russia. The agreement brought shaky British–Russian relations to the forefront by solidifying boundaries, particularly in Afghanistan. The new boundary agreement and alliance made Russia no longer a threat to the British and work stopped on the railway. In 1909, several kilometers of permanent way and bridges were uprooted from the Khyber Pass Railway and sent to other lines being constructed by the North Western State Railway. In 1920, work restarted on the Khyber Pass Railway, however this time the proposal to use broad gauge was adopted and construction. Victor Bailey was the engineer who was assigned the construction of the line. The section from Jamrud to Landi Kotal was opened on 3 November 3, 1925 by the wife of the engineer. The train took passengers through rugged mountainous terrain reaching a height of 1,200 m (3,900 ft) to reach Landi Kotal and covering a total distance of 52 km (32 mi) through 34 tunnels, 92 bridges and culverts and a zig-zag between Landi Kotal and Landi Khana. The oil-fired steam engines, which pushed and pulled the carriages from the rear and front, were built by Vulcan Foundry and by Kitson & Co in the United Kingdom. One of the unusual feature of this train journey was that its route passed across Peshawar Airport's main runway.) On 3 April 1926, the railway was extended to Landi Khana, just 3 kilometers from the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan. In 1932, the Landi Kotal to Landi Khana section of railway was closed down at the insistence of Afghan government. Regularly scheduled rail service continued between Peshawar and Landi Kotal until 1982, due lack of commercial value. The 2008 monsoon season rains in the Khyber Pass washed away significant sections of the railway. The track as of today is closed for all rail traffic.
In 2010, Pakistan Railways began a feasibility study to rebuild the Khyber Pass railway and to possibly extend it further west to Jalalabad, Afghanistan. However, work stalled due to the security situation along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. In 2016, the Afghan Ministry of Public Works began a survey of the railway line from the Pakistan border to Jalalabad. Nangarhar's governor directed relevant authorities to cooperate in undertaking the survey. Afghanistan has also put forth proposals and requests to further extend the railway to Kabul. The Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce & Industries (ACCI) said that the new railway line would facilitate trade with Pakistan.
- Peshawar City
- Peshawar Cantonment
- Medanak (1st Reversing Station)
- Chaghi (2nd Reversing Station)
- Kata Kushta
- Sultan Khel
- Landi Kotal
- Torra Tigga (3rd Reversing Station)
- Landi Khana (4th Reversing Station)
- "Khyber Safari — out of steam". Dawn. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- Seymour Becker, "The ‘great game’: The history of an evocative phrase." Asian Affairs 43.1 (2012): 61-80.
- IRFCA "Khyber Pass Railway"; Retrieved 12 Dec 2015
- British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898-1914, Volume IV, The Anglo-Russian Rapprochement 1903-7. Edited by G. P. Gooch and H Temperley. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London 1929. p618-621. Appendix I - Full Text of Convention between the United Kingdom and Russia relating to Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet, Signed At St Petersburgh, August 31, 1907 (in French)
- British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898-1914, Volume IV, The Anglo-Russian Rapprochement 1903-7. Edited by G.P. Gooch and H Temperley. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London 1929. p618-621. Appendix IV - Revised Draft of Agreement Concerning Persia, Sent to Sir A. Nicholson by Sir Edward Grey on June 6, 1907
- Yale Law School: "Agreement concerning Persia" (in English)
- Facebook "Railways in Indo-Pak"; Retrieved 12 Dec 2015
- Bayley, Victor (1939). Permanent Way Through the Khyber. London: Jarrold
- “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 11 Apr 2016
- Jules Stewart (22 June 2006). Khyber Rifles: From the British Raj to Al Qaeda. History Press. pp. 42–. ISBN 978-0-7524-9558-3.
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- "Plan for rail link between Peshawar, Jalalabad". Dawn. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
- "Survey of Jalalabad-Peshawar railway track to start soon | Peshawar". thenews.com.pk. 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- "New railway line to be built linking Pakistan with Afghanistan". 1tvnews.af. 2016-12-02. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
- British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue: L/MIL/7/6643; “Collection 145/106 Construction of Khyber railway.”; 1919-1926 (Three maps)
- British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue: L/PS/10/951/2: “File 8929/1920 Pt 3 NW Frontier: Afghanistan and Khyber Railway; HMG's Waziristan policy”; 1922–26