From the 1860s, the railway network expanded rapidly. Sleepers were the basic inputs required for constructing a railway line. Each mile of a railway track required between 1760, to 2000 sleepers. To meet this demand, large number of trees were felled.
To run locomotive, wood was needed as fuel. As railway was being spread throughout India, more and more wood was required which could be used as fuel.
The government gave out contracts of individuals to supply the required quantities. These contractors began cutting trees indiscriminately.
As a result, forests around the railway tracks started disappearing fast. As early as the 1850s, in the Madras presidency alone,
35,000 trees where being cut annually for sleepers.
Thus, it can be concluded that the introduction of railway had an adverse impact on the forests.