Thursday, March 31, 2011

Karjat Khandala Lonavala Railway history

In Image Adamson With Beard, Standing is Mr Clowser, Sitting is Mr Berkley.

Image is from Institution of Mechinical Engineers,

When we travel to khandala Lonavala we never think of the engineering marvels way back in 1855 by Amazing engineers, Solomon Alice Tredwell, James James Berkley (surveyor and route designer), Swainson Adamson , George Louis Clowser, Governer Elphinstone, Here i have tried to join pieces of Histroy,

Reversing station

The image from Viaduct, See The Letters GIPR Printed on a sleeper,

Dukes Nose is Visible from the Horizon.

I happen to Ask This Guy when he joined railways He said 1971!

Alice Tredwell, The Contractor who completed GIPR Railway contact, Actually it was bagged by Solomon tredwell, Her husband,

Solomon Tredwell Was a railway pioneer who worked the Great Indian Peninsula Railway contract,The GIPR construction contract was relented to Solomon from William Frederick Faviell in November 1859. The contract was originally awarded (autumn 1855) to William Frederick Faviell.

Mr Solomon was married to Alice Tredwell they had a son and a daughter, He expired at khandala, Maharashtra, India two weeks after landing in Bombay.

Swainson Adamson and George Louis Clowser, were hired by Alice tredwell for completion of the work on Karjat-khandala-Lonavala, under the guidance of James James Berkley (surveyor and route designer).

During the construction of the railroad there was a bad attack of cholera, which killed many workers, there were Accidents like tunnel collapse, Viaduct Failures etc.

He has worked with great Brunell.

Solomon Tredwell was born in Worcestershire in 1823 the son of Elizabeth and William a canal digger, according to the baptism entry for Thomas in Burbage, and then a wharfinger on later entries. In 1841 he was living in Reigate and working as a contractor with many other people nearby all working on the railway. In 1851 was found living at High Field, Leek with his wife and daughter Alice Pickering and her family, the Pickering boys were also Contractors.

Solomon Tredwell worked on the Great Eastern (paddle steamer) 1853~1859 with Brunell, whilst the Great Eastern made history with its revolutionary design, the ship was never a great success commercially, and was plagued by a series of mishaps. Eventually, it ended its days as a tourist attraction, before being broken down for scrap. A sad end for a magnificent 'Wonder of the Industrial World'.

After the Great Eastern Solomon went to India to work on the railways out there, taking over from Willliam Frederick Faviell on 29th October 1859. In the early years the lines were designed by British engineers but built by Indian manual labour. The work was hard and took its toll. For example, the Great Indian Peninsula Railway lost nearly a third of its workforce through disease or accident during the eight years spent constructing the line from Bombay to Poona. Among these was Solomon, the line's contractor, who died in Khandalla, Bombay in 1859, 2 weeks after his arrival to start work on the Bhore Ghat contract. his widow Alice took over responsibility, appointed new engineers and oversaw construction through to the railway's completion in 1863. He left about £70,000 in his will.

I Have visited This section on foot took some pictures, of the same 1856 railway line, the Words GIPR still can be seen clear and loud, The viaduct are unchanged since it was constructed, Indian railway have illmainted the tunnel section which gives them so high revenue(actually this line connects India to financial capital!!!.

Avinash Lewis

== References ==

Alice Tredwell


Lava said...

Very Informative. I was never knowing about all time I use to go to pune to drop n pick my bhabhi but 1st time I come to know the history of this beutiful old tunnel. One more time appreciable knowledge of ur all miniature things to make you Big...

Avinash Lewis said...

Thanks very much, its these appreciation keeps me going!

Nick said...


Good to read your reserch. I looked in to this when I discovered the history behind GL Clowser - a relative. I wrote a piece for the FIBIS website giving a little more history and engineers behind the project. I understanfd that GL Clowser is referenced in a recent book looking at employment relations since it was he and Swainson Adamson that motivated and inspired the local workforce to achive this massive egeinneing feat across the Ghats.

Have a look at his link...

Avinash Lewis said...

Hi Nick,

Nice to know, Actually trilled to know that you are a Relative of GL Clowser, at his time there were highly unskilled labourers there, there were 3 bouts of cholera and most of the workforce fled the scene, since i stay roind 200Kms from khandala i have a good access to that place, let me know where is GL Clowser Burried if possible,

if you have a FB id please send me a request on Avinash Lewis, my mailid is

About Me

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Dombivli, Bombay, Maharastra, India
Doing Phd at Isc in Biochemistry and worked as a Engineer in Reliance HO, Bombay.Currently working for Hp india. Currently Working As a Engineer for HP at malad mindspace Bombay.