India's Railway History

A Research Handbook


India has had operating railways for well-over 150 years: railways that have played a central and well-documented role in the making of India in the colonial and post-colonial eras. This handbook provides a reference guide for researchers interested in almost any facet of the history, colonial and post-colonial, of these railways. The secondary literature is identified and surveyed, primary sources and their locations identified, statistical and cartographic data discussed and presented, and a massive bibliography made available. This handbook is the indispensable tool for anyone seeking to understand India's railways and the roles they played in the making of modern India.

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Biographical Note

John Hurd II, PhD. (1969) is a Professor Emeritus, Economics, Norwich University. Since 1970, he has been researching and publishing papers on Indian Railways.
Ian J. Kerr, Ph.D. (1975) is a Senior Scholar, History, University of Manitoba and a Professorial Research Associate, History, SOAS. He has published extensively including Engines of Change. The Railroads That Made India (Praeger, 2007; Orient BlackSwan, 2011).

Review Quotes

'This handbook is invaluable for anyone seeking to understand India's railways and the roles they played in the making of modern India. And if Indian history is not your interest, how one wishes similar 'research handbooks' were published that cover your interests! A veritable tour de force.'
Bob Duckett, Bibliographer and Former Reference Librarian, Bradford, UK Reference Reviews 177 (2013)

'This is not just a ‘magisterial work’, but an enormously useful one, the book representing a structured and logical presentation of the thoughts of two of the best established scholars in this field on the current position and future of research into India’s railway history. In summary, Ian J. Kerr and John Hurd, in producing this book, provide a concise but detailed understanding of both the history and present of India’s railways, together with a wonderful handbook, a comprehensive guide to primary and secondary sources, maps and statistics for future research into India’s railways. (...) a ‘must have’ for research and university libraries where South Asian History, the history of railways and transportation policy-making are taught at undergraduate but, most especially, at postgraduate level.(...) The book is also stimulating and thought-provoking, providing a way ahead for research in this field for some time to come.'
Di Drummond, Leeds Trinity University, The Journal of Transport History 34/2 (2013)


South Asia specialists in most disciplines; those interested in India's railways for any reason; transportation historians; economists.

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