Engines of Change

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The railway, handmaiden of British colonial rule in India and midwife of South Asian nationalisms, was at the infrastructural core of the making of modern India. Few dimensions of India and Indian life: political, economic, cultural, spatial, escaped the shaping influences of the engines of change. This book provides the non-specialist with an introduction to the history of India’s railways and to the many ways the railways shaped the making of modern India. Engines of Change is a brief, readable, contextualized introduction to India’s railway past. The railway history of India is placed in a broad setting to illustrate the many ways in which the railways made India and the ways in which wider forces, notably colonialism, shaped the railways India got. Operating railways in India date from 1853 and by 1900 the network of lines in India was the world’s fourth longest. India provided the pre-eminent example of railway development in Asia and Africa.  Today, the Indian rail system continues to rank among the world’s largest.

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Ian J. Kerr


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