Indian Branch Railway
The Indian Branch Railway Company (IBR) was formed on 21 Dec 1863  to construct short branches and feeder lines in northern India, with a 20-year subsidy from the Government of India(GoI) but no guarantee .
Around 1872 the IBR was absorbed into the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway(O&RR).
The Nalhati-Azimganj Railway had been completed by Indian Branch Railway by Dec 1863. The line used a 4ft(1222mm) uniq[ue rail gauge. The Nalhati-Azimganj Railway was finally taken over by the Government in 1872, and by this time named as the Nalhati State Railway .
The Cawnpore-Fyzabad Railway project had began in 1862 by IBR and an engineer examined the proposed line from Cawnpore to Fyzabad . Construction of the Metre Gauge(MG)) line progressed very slowly; and the, 42 miles (67km) long, was opened on 23 Apr 1867. This became the ‘Cawnpore Branch’ of the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway(O&RR), this line was later converted to Broad Gauge(BG) as part of the O&RR network .
In 1866, Without a guaranteed return from the Government of India(GoI), the IBR found it impossible to continue and in 1867, secured a new contract from the GoI on terms similar to those on offer in the 1850s i.e. a guaranteed return on capital employed.
The contract between the Secretary of State and the IBR Company in August 1867 specified ‘for the construction and working of a light system of 36lbs rails at slow speed – 15 miles per hour, in North West Provinces and Oudh. The original lines proposed were from Lucknow to Byramghat, via Dilserai, and from Dilserai via Shahgunj and Jounpore to Benares, with a branch from Shahgunj to Fyzabad’ .
The spelling of the place names in the above make interpretation of the proposed route difficult, many of the places cannot be identified but must be the following:-
The Benares-Shahganj-Bilwal-Malipur-Akbarpur-Fyzabad-Bara Banki- Lucknow, a length of 199 miles(319km), was opened from 1872 and completed 1874 and became the ‘Benares-Lucknow Loop’ of the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway(O&RR) . This clearly was originally under construction by IBR when absorbed into O&RR. It is not clear if this line was first constructed as a Metre Gauge(MG)) but certainly was operated by O&RR as part of its Broad Gauge(BG) network.
An on-line search of the IOR records relating to this railway  gives the following: -
- L/F/8/11/875 “Indian Branch Railway Company Limited, Duplicate contract ; 1867”
- L/PWD/2/168-170 “Home and Overseas Correspondence of the Indian Branch Railway Company; 1862-1867”(not catalogued)
Thacker's Directories The following for Indian Branch Railways Personnel have been indexed in Grace's Guide -
- Old Martinian Association “Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway”"; Retrieved 2 Sept 2016
- Wikipedia “Indian Branch Railway Company”; Retrieved 2 Sept 2016
- Google Books “The Pictorial Lucknow” by P. C. Mukherji, pages 81-82. First published Lucknow 1883, reprinted by AES New Delhi 2003; Retrieved 2 Sept 2016
- “Administration Report on Railways 1918” page 132, pdf page 139; Retrieved 2 Sept 2016
- “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 23 Jan 2016