Pamban Branch Railway
The Pamban Branch Railway was a metre gauge(MG) single line completed in 1914 by the South Indian Railway Company(SIR).  The line linked the SIR network in India at Madura by way of the Pamban Viaduct with the Island of Pambam, from where there was a ferry connection to Ceylon.
A railway to link Dhanushkodi in India to Talaimannar in Ceylon, a distance of 22 miles(35km), was a constant challenge to railway engineers. The route would follow the chain of limestone shoals known as "Adam's Bridge" between Pamban Island (also known as Rameswaram Island), off the Indian south-eastern coast, and Mannar Island, off the north-western coast of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Geological evidence suggests that this bridge is a former land connection between India and Sri Lanka 
The route was first considered in 1876 but no definite decision was taken until 1894 with a proposal from the Ceylon Government, followed a year later by a survey by the Indian Government. These proposals were rejected as the outlay was greater than the anticipated traffic would justify and the idea of bridging the sea was abandoned .
The route, described as the Madura-Pamban Railway in some records, was surveyed by Ernest Ifill Shadbolt between the years of 1888 and 1893. (see 'Personnel' below)
- 1902, the branch of the SIR from Madura to Pambam Island was completed as far as Mandapam, a village on the coast on the mainland side of the narrow strait which divides the island from the shore, a distance of 90 miles (145km) 
- 1908, after much consultion it was decided to build a viaduct from mainland India across the Palk Strait to Pamban Island with a "Scherzer Rolling Lifting Bridge" over the Pamban Pass shipping passage. The proposal involved:-
- A short 6km extension of the existing railway line from Mandapam to the tip of the coast.
- The construction of the 2 km long Pamban Viaduct across the submerged reef lying between the mainland of India and the Island of Pamban, this section to include the "Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge".
- A 30 km line across Pamban Island via Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi to connect to the 'Indo-Ceylon Ferry Service'
- Work started on the viaduct in June 1911 and completed in June 1913. The line was opened in February 1914 together with the 'Indo-Ceylon Ferry Service'
- L/F/8/16/1095 “South Indian Railway Company Limited, Contract as to the construction and working of the Pamban Branch and the Travancore Branch; 1901"
No Staff Lists have been found.
The “Indian Biographical Dictionary” gives Ernest Ifill Shadbolt, Public Works Department, Executive Engineer from 1888 to 1893 as 'Engineer-in-Chief of the Madura-Pamban Railway Survey also Bezwada-Madras and Tinnevelly-Quilon Railway Surveys ' 
- Wikipedia "Pamban_Bridge"; Retrieved 21 Jun 2016
- Wikipedia "Adam's Bridge"; Retrieved 21 Jun 2016
- Southern Railway Heritage Centre "Marvels of the South Indian Railway 1859-1951", pages 63-64
- "Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1906" page 399; Retrieved 21 Jun 2016
- “British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue” - Search; Retrieved 26 Jan 2016
- “Indian Biographical Dictionary” 1915 page 390; Retrieved on 27 May 2016