Khyber Ropeway at Ali Masjid

I recently acquired a postcard entitled “Alimusjid Fort with Ropeway, Khyber Pass”, published by Mela Ram & Sons of Peshawar in the 1920s.

This aerial ropeway carried freight from the railhead at Jamrud to British military posts in the Khyber Pass during the period between the Third Afghan War and the opening of the Khyber railway.

1920s postcard showing Ali Masjid fort and the Khyber Pass ropeway

The ropeway’s history has been somewhat ignored in comparison to the railway. I have been (very slowly) doing some research at various libraries, and am putting together an article which should appear on this website in due course.

If anyone knows anything about the ropeway or the Khyber Ropeway Company (the army unit which operated it) then do please get in touch. I guess it is pretty much beyond living memory now, but someone might have heard some stories, read their grandfather’s diary or have found some old photos of it tucked away.

(Also, do ropeway historical societies/publications/enthusiasts exist?)

4 thoughts on “Khyber Ropeway at Ali Masjid

  1. Hi,

    My grandfather was Capt. Maurice Walter Annett RASCMT (Royal Army Service Corps Mechanical Transport) attached to to the Khyber Ropeway Co. After serving in WW1 he went to India where my father was born in 1922. I too have been trying to find some information on the railway but found it extremely difficult. I am not aware of any diary kept by my grandfather.
    Some years ago I found reference on the internet to a film archive of the Ropeway but did not follow it up. This may be interesting. I would like to kept informed opt your progress and particularly any references relating to my grandfather or the role of the RASCMT.
    Regards,

    Peter

    1. I have a photograph of ‘Annett’ taken by another officer actually sitting by the ropeway. I let Andrew Grantham have quite a few photographs of the ropeway and would be happy for him to share them with you.

  2. My grandfather was Captain Ronald Eagleson Gordon MC Royal Engineers and he was based at Pashawar, Jamrud and then Ali Masjid in 1919 with his men from the 28th Railway Company Bengal Sapper and Miners in June 1919 -Jan 1920. I have just started to go through a collection of his letters sent to his wife in Sialkot and Simla during this period and they have many references to the construction of the Aerial Ropeway and the various characters involved. If anyone is interested in finding out more or has any photographs of the time I would be most grateful to hear from them.

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