Photos of Khyber Pass border signs through the years. Although a railway alignment seems to have been cleared from the short-lived Landi Khana station to the Indo-Afghan frontier, it appears (unless anyone knows better) that tracks were probably never laid on it.
Posts Tagged ‘Khyber Pass’
John Saunders has uploaded to Flickr the contents of an album of 1930s and 1940s photos which belonged to his uncle Bill Saunders (1916-69), who was an aircraftsman in the Royal Air Force and spent some years in India.
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.
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?)
On the back of the picture is a handwritten caption: “On the Khyber Railway – a push trolly on a down grade entering a tunnel, after it has already passed through the top tunnel. P.W.R.”.
PWR is presumably Pakistan Western Railway. The back of the picture has a 30 March 1962 date stamp; this might be when the picture was developed or when the magazine received it, rather than when the picture was taken.
Bonhams auction 19952 on 4 December 2012 included this lot 283, which sold for £3750.
283 RICH (EDMUND TILLOTSON)
A very good archive representing the military career of Edmund Rich (1874-1937), an officer of the Royal Engineers and surveyor, mostly on the North-West Frontier and in Burma (at first in conjunction with the Survey of India and latterly as one of its directors), also relating to survey in South Persia during World War I, and with the British forces in Southern Russia in 1919, comprising a series of photographs albums, loose photographs, autograph letters, orders, draft reports, maps ephemera, etc., together with a small quantity of photographs, letters and documents relating to Rich’s ancestors, those of his wife Aileen Owen (d.1918), and their son (quantity)
In 1905 Rich was sent to Peshawar in charge of No. 12 Party with orders to survey the sensitive area north of Kohat Pass. This work lasted four years and included the Bazar Valley and Mohmand campaigns of 1908. The archive contains Rich’s alternative survey for the Kabul River Railway which resulted in the cancellation of the line then under construction, and the dismantling of track and bridges already in place. 1909-1911 were spent in England (Rich married in 1910).
According to the auction listing, the most substantial of the items include “An album containing titled in manuscript ‘Views of the Khyber Pass…taken chiefly by E.T. Rich when surveying there 1905-1909, approximately 176 gelatin silver prints”.
From this it can be inferred that photos of the Kabul River Railway might well exist.
If you bought this archive, and you happen to read this webpage, is there any chance that I could have a look at it, please? :-)
(a different Edmund Rich was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 13th century, which complicates web searches for any information about this particular one)
“Steam train to Afghan border 1997″ is a pair of videos uploaded to YouTube by Willy Kaemena showing the Khyber Pass railway in Pakistan.