The Railroad in India

“Yet you sell tickets from Bombay to Calcutta,” retorted Sir Francis, who was growing warm.“No doubt,” replied the conductor; “but the passengers know that they must provide means of transportation for themselves from Kholby to Allahabad.”

-Jules Verne, Around the World in 80 Days

A main plot of this book was centered around the railway in India not being finished from Kholby to Allahabad, however according to maps of Indian railways from 1873 and before this was not the case.  There were completed railways from Bombay to Calcutta, which were actually finished a few years before the book was written. (2)1

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Verne made an unnecessary complication in the plans of Phileas Fogg specifically for the entertainment of the audience.  Without this delay, Phileas Fogg never would have met Aouda, or been able to save her and fall in love with her.  This delay put him behind at least a day, so without it he would not have been in such a rush the rest of the journey.  This delay was an important one for Verne to include, even if it wasn’t geographically accurate.