Karachi and Kotri Railway Line
Dr. Sohail Ansari
1861, May 13th –
Opened the first railway line (of current Pakistan) for public traffic between Karachi and Kotri, a distance of 105 miles. Incidentally that also happened to be a Monday, 158 years ago.
c 1900: Early morning passenger train reaching Frere Road Station (now called Karachi Cantt) from Kotri.
Let me share the following story from 1906:
WHEAT TRAINS HELD UP
‘It is reported, says a Karachi telegram to a Bombay paper, that robberies of from 25 to 30 bags of wheat, from running trains on the line between Kotri and Karachi, are the order of the day. Almost daily such robberies are perpetrated with impunity. Some of the robbers do not scruple to get on the footboard of the guard’s brake van on each side, and to intimidate the guards by threats of making short work of them if they attempt to make a noise while the others are throwing out the bags from the open trucks to another lot of robbers who are on the line waiting to carry away the bags to be loaded on camels ready outside the fence. It is not known what action the authorities concerned intend taking. In a memorial to the manager some two years back, the guards pointed out the necessity for them to be allowed to carry arms, as their lives are unsafe, especially when the wheat traffic commences. It behoves the railway authorities and police to do something in the matter before anything serious happens.’