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Nilgiri [i.e. Nilagiri] Railway

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3022TTTT

Scope and Contents

A leather bound album, with 26 pages, measuring 335 x 460 mm, with black and white photographs relating to the construction of the Nilgiri (or Nilagiri) Railway. The photographs were taken by Philip Boesinger of Coonor. The photographs are mounted on boards which are taped into the binding. The collection belonged to the family of Mrs Sue Prideaux, which had tea-planting connections in India.

The Nilgiri Railway is part of the larger, South Indian Railway line which extends from Madras to Bangalore. The Nilgiri extends East from Coonoor Station to Mettapolian Station in the West and is renowned for its steep gradients. J.N. Westwood comments: 'Technically, the most interesting of the hill railways is the Nilgiri Railway, an isolated narrow gauge connection between the big railhead at Mettupaliyam and the hill resort of Ootacamund (i.e. Udagamandalam). There are 1 in 25 adhesion grades, and even steeper stretches where the Abt rack system is used' (Westwood 1974).


  • Creation: 1897


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Philip Boesinger was active in Coonoor around 1897. It is not known whether he was a professional or amateur photographer.


1 album(s) (27 images in 1 album)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The photographs are in good condition although the album cover does show signs of damage.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented by Mrs Sue Prideaux in December 1993.

Existence and Location of Copies

An identical set of photographs is held in the India Office Library, reference B 83/1.


For general information about the Nilgiri Railway see: Westwood, John Norton (1974), 'Railways of India', Newton Abbot; North Pomfret, Vt.: David and Charles.


This collection level description was entered by SG using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Boesinger, Philip, fl 1897

Includes index.
2004-04-26 14:37:29+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom