Maharana Sir Chhatrasinhji, the 35th Gohil Rajput ruler of Rajpipla, started construction of the 64-kilometre narrow gauge railway line from Ankleshwar – on the Delhi-Bombay main line – to Rajpipla in 1897, the first year of his reign. It was ready in 1899 at a cost of Rupees 1.4 million.
His son Maharaja Vijaysinhji, who succeeded in 1915, built a magnificent iron bridge over the River Karjan, which was inaugurated by Lord Willingdon, Governor of Bombay Presidency, in February 1917. Thereby the railway line was extended from the old station to the new station right at the edge of Nandod, the capital of Rajpipla
Maharaja Sir Vijaysinhji also set up a 30-kilometre branch section between the Narmada bank near Jhagadia – on the Rajpipla-Ankleshwar line – and Netrang, which was completed by the year 1932, increasing the Rajpipla State railway network to 94 kilometres.
He also constructed a 30-kilometre steam railroad, and a tramway connecting the towns along the River Narmada with villages in the interior.
One of Maharaja Vijaysinhji’s friends, the author Vivian Charles Buckley, wrote in 1934, “When I visited him in India it was characteristic that he should send a special railway carriage for my use, attached to the local train at the border station of Ankleshwar. It was a magnificent-looking affair, painted white and furnished as a sitting room, with a small kitchen adjoining in case the visitor should want anything to eat on the journey, although only a few hours to the picturesque capital town of Rajpipla. An A.D.C. meets the train and escorts the visitor, in a car driven by one of the Palace chauffeurs in a smart uniform and turban, to the large white guest house.”
In recent years, the old narrow gauge Rajpipla State railway line was converted into broad gauge. Alas, the old iron bridge had to make way for a new one.