Historic Events of Indian Railways

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1849 : Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) incorporated. A ‘guarantee system’ that assured 5 per cent returns to all British railway companies in India established.

1853 : Railways begin in India with private funds and government support.

1868 : Calcutta and South Eastern Railways (CSER) suffers floods losses, transfers all lines to government in return for capital costs, becoming the first state owned railways.

1882 : Almost 75 railway operations, owned by the private sector and princely states and a variety of track gauges. Post of Director General of Railways (DGR) is created in the Central Public Works Deptt. (CPWD) to coordinate the network.

1889 : State takes over Nizam Railways.

1900 : GIPR taken over by state.

1901 : Based on the recommendations of Sir Thomas Robertson Committee, a Railway Board is set up with three members.

1904 : More members included in the Board.

1905 : Powers and structure of Railway Board are formalised. It is now under Deptt. of Commerce and Industry with an independent Chairman.

1907 : Govt. purchases all major lines and releases them to pvt. operators.

1920 : Based on Acworth Committee recommendations govt. takes over actual management of all railways and separates railway finances from general finances. This practice is followed even today.

1922 : Retrenchment Committee under Lord Inchcape recommends drastic cuts in workforce and expenses.

1922 : Railway Board reorganised, overriding powers given to Chief Commissioner railways.

1924 : Railway finances separated from general govt. budget.

1925 : First Railway Budget presented.

1925 : EIR Co. and GIPR, the largest networks, taken over the state.

1937 : The post of Minister for Transport and Communications created. The minister was a civil servant and dealt with the Railway Board.

1951 : Zonal grouping of Railways begins.
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