Indian Branch Railway
The Indian Branch Railway Company (IBR) was formed in 1862  to construct short branches and feeder lines in northern India, with a 20-year subsidy from the Government of India(GoI) but no guarantee .
These terms failed to attract capital, and only one line had been constructed, the Nalhati-Azimganj Railway, which opened in 1863. Therefore in 1867 a contract was entered into with the Indian Branch Railway Company, which soon after changed its name to the Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway Company, guaranteeing interest at 5 per cent per annum on conditions similar to those laid down for the period 1854-60 .
Around 1872 the ‘Indian Branch Railway’/‘Awadh and Rohilkhand Railway’ was absorbed into the Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway(O&RR).
The ‘Nalhati-Azimganj Railway’, opened in 1863 as a 4ft(1222mm) unique rail gauge, constructed and worked by the ‘Indian Branch Railway Company’. The line was taken over by the Government in 1872, and by named as the Nalhati State Railway; converted to Broad Gauge(BG) in 1892 and becoming the ‘Azimganj Branch Line’ of the First Chord EIR Line ; 27 miles(43km)  - See separate page for further information
The line from Cawnpore via Lucknow to Fyzabad was surveyed in 1862 by the IBR and an engineer examined the proposed route . Construction of the 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). The gauge of the original line is not known but was converted to Broad Gauge(BG) specification and became 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 ‘Indian Branch Railway 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 possible that this line was first constructed as a Metre Gauge(MG)) but certainly later 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)
From the 1867 ‘Thacker's Directory for Bengal and other territories’ under ‘Indian Branch Railway Company’ the following are indexed :-
- Marquis of Tweedale - Chairman
- William Dent - Deputy Charman
- Murray Gladstone
- C. C. Johnstone Major-Gen – Managing Director
- J. A. Tobin
- R. W. Kennard
- J. A. Turner
- John Pender
- Henry Yule, Col.
- Lestock R. Read
Controller of Accounts Offg.
Agent and Engineer-in-Chief, Cawnpore
- James E Wilson 
See Oudh and Rohilkhand Railway from 1872
- Grace’s Guide ‘Indian Branch Railway’ ; Retrieved 23 Jun 2018
- Wikipedia “Indian Branch Railway Company”; Retrieved 5 Mar 2017
- Google Books "Readings in Indian Railway Finance" page 30 edited by K. B. Verma; Retrieved 5 Mar 2017
- “Administration Report on Railways 1918” pages 53-56 (pdf 62-65; Retrieved 5 Mar 2017
- 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 ‘India Office Records’ L/F/8/11/875 ‘Contract between India Branch Railway Company and Secretary of State, 1867’
- “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 23 Jan 2016
- 'Graces Guide' - "Thacker’s Directory, 1867 – Indian Branch Railway Company"; Retrieved 1 Apr 2020