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.
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.