June 27, 2010

A letter from Karl Lobo

Dear Mr Bhalerao,
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I have read your blog with keen interest. I am a rail enthusiast with my grandparents and ancestors being employed on the Indian Railway (mostly Northwest Frontier), pre-independence. They were of British and Anglo-Indian descent. My Grandfather, Mr Walter Tresslor worked at the Moghulpura workshops in Lahore until 1949. He and the family came to India thereafter took up a job with the BARSI LIGHT RAILWAY and was based at Kurduwadi. He served as Asstt Foreman Carriage and Wagon at the Kurduwadi Workshops until his death in Jan 1959 by a railway accident wherein he was run over by an engine.
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Reading the various articles on your blog and going through the pictures of The Frontier Mail at Ballard Pier brought some vivid recollections of stories which my Grandparents narrated about how the Frontier Mail would run from Ballard Pier to Landi Kotal right up to the Frontier which is why it bore the name.
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They would also tell stories of the “Air Conditioned” coaches cooled using large blocks of ice, in which they would travel in style with the bearers in attendance, etc.
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We did pay a visit last year to Kurduwadi and to the workshop where we met some of the descendants of his staff. It was extremely nostalgic. I have attached some pictures.
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He also built some coaches in the Moghulpura workshops for the “Silver Arrow” train which ran between Lahore and Delhi. The miniature models built by him are in the Matunga workshops, we were told. Is there any record of trains and railways pre-partition?
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Hoping to read some more and to get a copy of the book Western Railway: Heritage, Traditions and Legend by A. K. Jhingron. As well as HAUNTING INDIA & 1600-1947 ANGLO-INDIAN LEGACY - A BRIEF GUIDE TO BRITISH RAJ INDIA HISTORY, NATIONALITY, EDUCATION, RAILWAYS & IRRIGATION (2000), by Alfred D.F. (George) Gabb CEng, MICE, Chartered Civil Engineer. (ISBN 0 948333 89 8).
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Yours sincerely,
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Karl Lobo