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The Madras Railway

Source: The Illustrated London News, Nov.3 1855, p.525

On Aug. 11, Lord Harris, accompanied by a party of gentlemen who represented nearly all the interests in Madras, made an experimental trip on the railway to Chinnamapettah, about thirty-five miles distant. A large body of natives was also invited. Vast crowds were assembled to witness the departure of the train; the ramparts and tops of houses adjacent were densely crowded with spectators, and the road was literally lined on either side with dusky swarms for upwards of a mile. Some were observed making reverential poojah to the engine; while others fairly turned tail, and took to their heels across the paddy-fields. The carriages are capitally finished and fitted, and the whole of the arrangements reflected the highest credit upon the railway officials. The party stopped to inspect the masonry bridge over the Cortellier, and then proceeded to its destination, where, in an umbrageous tope, the Governor's tents had been erected, and a capital tiffin was served. Lord Harris, in a few words, proposed "Success to the Railway, and the health of the Railway Engineers and Officials." His Lordship remarked that he believed that the railway works had been carried on more speedily in Madras than in any other part of India; and after the mon­soon some seventy miles will be opened to the public, the first turf having been turned by Sir Henry Pottinger only two and a half year's ago. Major Jenkins briefly returned thanks, after which the company returned to the carriages, and reached home safely and well satisfied, at about a quarter past six. The maximum speed timed was thirty-seven miles an hour. The railway was not available to the public for traffic until after the burst of the monsoon.