Shakuntala Railways: India’s Only British-Owned Railways

Shaunktala Railways is owned by a British firm and receives more than one crore rupees.

Published
India
2 min read
Shakuntala Express in India (Photo: <a href="https://im0-c75.kxcdn.com/0/506639/0/img4207001.jpg">Wikimedia commons)</a>

Indian Railways has become a part and parcel of our lives. Life without it would have been completely unimaginable for the millions of people who avail’s facilities everyday.

Being one of the most important medium of transportation, many of us sometimes forget about its origin. The Indian railways’ nationalisation goes back to the year 1951 and although we own the entire labyrinth of the railway network, there is one railways that is still not owned by India.

Shakuntala Express (Photo:<a href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/44/Narrow_Gauge_Train_at_Rajim.JPG"> Wikimedia Commmons</a>)&nbsp;
Shakuntala Express (Photo: Wikimedia Commmons

There are a few railways that are privately owned, but Shakuntala Railways is the only railway line that belongs to a British firm.

The reason as to why this railway line does not come under the Indian Railways is still unclear, but when the entire railways was nationalised in 1952, this line was strangely left alone and neglected.

During the British Raj, all of the rail lines were owned by individual firms, and this Shakuntala Railways was founded by a British Firm called Killick-Nixon, in 1910.

Shakuntala Railways (Photo: <a href="https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/38/Beyer.Garrett.6594.jpg">Wikimedia Commons</a>)
Shakuntala Railways (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Unlike most railway lines in India that uses broad gauge lines, the Shakuntala Railways still use narrow gauge lines. And the most surprising fact is that the British Company still receives more than 1 crore rupees from Indian Railways for running a train on its tracks.

The Shaunkala express runs from Achalpur, in the Amarvati division and takes just one return journey each day.

With old and rusty steam engines, and ‘made in Liverpool’ inscribed on it, a ride in the Shakuntala Railways will remind you of another era altogether.

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