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The four decades between 1879 1929  was the era of lateral spreading through branch lines and loops. This was mainly done with a view to establishing the network of EIR in the Eastern part of the country and to give it an everlasting presence.


From Allahabad, the line extended to Jubbalpore, for a junction with the GIP from Bombay in June 1867 , but the route was officially opened on 7th March 1870, in a spectacular ceremony performed by the Viceroy, Lord Mayo with His Highness, the Duke of Edinburgh as chief guest..

The South Bihar Railway Company had laid a line from Luckeesarai to Gaya in 1879, while the State Railway laid the Patna-Gaya line in 1899. EIR operated both these lines.

A branch line from Madhupur connected Giridih, where EIR owned and operated collieries for mining coal for its steam locos and boilers. There was another branch line from Jamalpur to Monghyr.

The Bhagalpur Badli Railway was constructing another branch, from Bhagalpur to Mandar Hill.

Construction of a line from Katwa to Bandel by the Hooghly Katwa Railway and a line from Barharwa to Katwa by the Barharwa Azimganj Katwa Railway were in progress, as also a chord line from Ondal to Sainthia.

The Bandel-Barharwa loop was opened in 1913.

In 1863, a new company named Indian Branch Railway Company, formed to build and operate small branch lines, constructed and opened the Nalhati - Azimganj line, built on a 4 feet gauge line.

In 1885 a branch line from Sheoraphuli to Tarakeshwar, constructed by the Bengal Provincial Railway, a private company, was opened under the management of EIR.

In November 1894, BPR opened a 2 ft. narrow gauge line between Magra and Tarakeswar.

The Hooghly Bridge on the Bandel-Naihati section was completed and opened to traffic in February 1887.

 In 1902, a branch line was opened from Sone East Bank to Daltonganj.

The Central India Coalfields Railway (CIC) opened the line from Gomoh to Barkakana in 1927 and from Barkakana and Daltonganj in 1929. Later, these lines were amalgamated with EIR

A narrow gauge line between Burdwan and Katwa was opened in December 1915, and between Ahmedpur and Katwa in September 1917.

The Howrah Burdwan chord line was opened in 1917. In 19... the Nalhati Azimganj line was taken over by the government and later handed over to the EIR, with its gauge altered to BG.