Ministry of Railways (India)

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Ministry of Railways
रेल मंत्रालय
Emblem of India.svg
Rail Bhavan 1.jpg
Rail Bhavan in New Delhi, the seat of the Ministry of Railways and the Railways Board
Government department overview
FormedMarch 1905 (1905-03) [1]
Jurisdiction Government of India
Headquarters Rail Bhavan
1, Raisina Road
New Delhi
Employees1.4 million (2011) [2]
Annual budget72,216 crore (US$10 billion) (2020-21 est.) [3]
Ministers responsible
Government department executive

The Ministry of Railways is a ministry in the Government of India, responsible for the country's rail transport. The ministry operates the state-owned Indian Railways, an organisation that operates as a monopoly in rail transport and is headed by the Chairman of Railway Board. The Ministry of Railways along with the Railway Board is housed inside Rail Bhavan in New Delhi.


Organisational structure

The ministry has a Union Minister and Minister of State. The Railway Board, which is the apex body of the Indian Railways, reports to parliament through the Ministry of Railways. The Railway Board comprises one Chairman, seven "members of the Railway Board", [5] and a Financial Commissioner (who is the representative of the Ministry of Finance in the Railway Board). It also includes a Director-General (Railway Health Services), Director-General (personal) and a Director-General (Railway Protection Force). A number of directorates report to the Railway Board. Most of the officers posted in Ministry of Railways are either from organised "Group A Railway services" or the Railway Board Secretariat Service.

Current members

Current Minister of Railways :

Current Ministers of State for Railways:

Present Members of Railway Board:

Railway Board Directorates
AccountsCivil EngineeringCoachingComputerization & Information Systems
Corporate Co-ordinationEconomicsEfficiency & ResearchElectrical Engineering
EstablishmentFinanceFinance (Budget)Finance (Expenditure)
HealthInfrastructureLand & AmenitiesLegal
Non Fare Revenue (NFR)Management ServicesMechanical EnggMechanical Engg (PU&W)
Official LanguagePay CommissionPlanningHeritage
Public RelationEnvironment ManagementTransformation CellRailway Sports Promotion Board
Secretary BranchesSecuritySignalStatistics & Economics
StoresTelecommunicationTrackTraffic Commercial
Traffic TransportationTourism & CateringVigilanceWorks
Metropolitan TransportIRCAHigh Power CommitteeSafety
High Level Committee for Railway RestructuringAccounting ReformsPassenger Amenities CommitteeDocuments laid in Lok Sabha
MobilityTechnology Mission for Indian RailwaysAdvisory Group of Experts (AGE)Bridge & Structue (B&S)


In 1901, on the recommendations of Sir Thomas Robertson Committee regarding the administration and working of the railways, an early version of the railway board was constituted. It initially had three members.

In 1905, its powers were formalised by Lord Curzon's government. Its membership consisted of a Government Railway official, who was the Chairman of the Board, a Railway Manager from England and an Agent of a Company Railway. The Board was placed under the Department of Commerce and Industry of the British Indian Government.

In 1921, a reorganisation of the Railway Board was carried out, and a Chief Commissioner of Railways was appointed, who was solely responsible to the Government for decisions on technical matters and for advising the Government on matters of policy. Pursuant to the Acworth Committee's recommendations in 1921, the Railway Board was reconstituted with effect from 1 April 1924. The reconstituted board consisted of the Chief Commissioner, a Financial Commissioner and two members. One was responsible for ways and works, and projects and stores. The other was responsible for general administration, staff and traffic.

In 1929, an additional post at the member level was added to the board. It was given responsibility for staff, so that the member in charge of traffic could focus solely on transport and commercial matters. During this time, Frank D'Souza became the first Indian member of the board. [8]

In April, 1951 the post of Chief Commissioner was abolished and the senior-most functional member was appointed the Chairman of the Board, resulting in a membership of four.

In October 1954, the Chairman of the Board was made responsible for decisions on technical and policy matters, with the status of a Secretary to Government in the Ministry of Railways. One more Member was also added and the strength of the Board again became five. [9]

In 1988, a new member with responsibility for signals, telecommunication and electrical matters was added to the board. On 16 April 2019 two more members, one with responsibility for signals and telecommunications, and another for material management, joined the board. At this point, the Railway Board had a strength of eight—a Chairman, and seven members. The Chairman is assisted by officers of Railway Board Secretariat Service.

On 24 December 2019, the Union Cabinet decided to reduce the size of the board from eight to five. It also decided to merge its different cadres into a single Railway Management Service. The newly constituted Board will have Members for "Operation,[sic] Business Development, Human Resources, Infrastructure and Finance".

Railway Budget

The East India Railway Committee, chaired by Sir William Acworth reported that there was a need for unified management of the entire railway system. On the recommendations of this committee and ratification of a resolution to do so in 1921, the government took over the actual management of all the railways, and also separated the railway finances from the general governmental finances. It also began to present the Railway Budget separately from the general budget of India every year. The Railway Board was expanded to have a Financial Commissioner, a member in charge of ways, works, stores and projects, and a member in charge of administration, staff, and traffic. Accordingly, from 1 April 1929, the responsibility for the compilation of accounts for the Railways was taken over by the Financial Commissioner, Railways from the Auditor General.

The last Railway Budget [10] was presented on 25 February 2016 by Mr. Suresh Prabhu. The Modi government on 21 September 2016 approved merger of the rail and general budgets from 2017, ending a 92-year-old practice of a separate budget. [11]


On 14 February 2008, Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, admitted to violating Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) regulations by making improper payments from its subsidiary Pioneer Friction Limited, based in Calcutta, to government officials of the Indian railway board. Payments were made in order to obtain and retain business with the Railway Board and curb taxes. [12]

On 3 May 2013, the CBI arrested Railway Minister's nephew, Vijay Singla for accepting an alleged bribe of 9 million (US$130,000), which was part of a larger sum of Rs. 100 million (US$16.2 million) from a middleman on behalf of Mahesh Kumar, in return for his appointment as Member (Electrical) of the Railway Board. [13] [14] [15] Mahesh Kumar was suspended, although the Railway Board clarified that no rules had been broken during the appointment of Mahesh Kumar. [16]

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  1. "Times Of India". The Times of India. India. 15 April 2010.
  2. Indian Railways Year Book (2009–2010) (PDF). Ministry of Railways, Government of India. 2011. p. 13. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
  3. "Union Budget 2020-21 Analysis" (PDF). 2020.
  4. 1 2 "Vinod Yadav appointed Railway Board Chairman". livemint. 31 December 2018. Retrieved 2 January 2019.
  5. Corporate Overview of Indian Railways Ministry
  6. 1 2 "Press Information Bureau". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  7. "Newsite". Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  8. The Goans of Karachi, have a history of their own Goas of Pakistan. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  9. Rao, M.A. (1988). Indian Railways, New Delhi: National Book Trust, pp.49-54
  10. "After 92 years, Rail Budget is history". Business Standard. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  11. "Railway budget to be merged with General budget from 2017". 14 August 2016 via
  12. Department of Justice (14 February 2008). "Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation Agrees to Pay $300,000 Penalty to Resolve Foreign Bribery Violations in India". Department of Justice.
  13. "Bansal's nephew remanded in CBI custody, Congress core group meets". The Times of India . 4 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  14. "Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew booked by CBI for accepting Rs 90 lakh bribe – The Times of India". The Times Of India.
  15. Railway Minister Pawan Bansal's nephew arrested by CBI for allegedly accepting bribe |
  16. "Mahesh suspended, nephew arrested; What about Pawan Kumar Bansal?". Dainik Bhaskar . 4 May 2013. Retrieved 5 May 2013.