Indian Railways runs one of the most complex rail networks in the world. It manages a network of over 63000 route kmwith over 13 lakh employees. Approximately 13000 trains runs daily out of which 9000 are Passanger trains. In recent years IR has made turnaround to become a huge profit making organization, it made Rs.25000 Crores of annual profit in 2008.
Indian Railways are owned and managed by Government of India. Ministry of Railways of Government of India is headed by a Minister of Railways assisted by one or two Deputy Ministers. Administration and management of Indian Railways vests with the Railway Board – a top executive body- under the Minister of Railways. Railway Board exercises powers of Central Government in respect of regulation, construction, maintenance and operation of the Railways.
Railway Board is headed by a Chairman, Financial Commissioner and 5 members each representing a major department of Indian Railways – Member Staff, Member Electrical, Member Mechanical, Member Traffic, Member Engineering.
Financial Commissioner for Railways is vested with full powers of the Government of India to sanction Railway expenditure and is ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India in the Ministry of Railways in financial matters.
Railway Board is assisted by Director General/ Railway Health Services , by Director General/Railway Protection Force & Security and some advisors.
Railway Board establishment is organized as functional directorates, each under an Executive Director who is responsible for the day to day technical and professional business of the Indian Railways as the per the policy guidelines laid out by the Board.
The entire secretariat is supervised by Secretary, Railway Board who is the co-ordinating officer between different directorates.
Executive Directors are in Senior Administrative Grade(SAG), Directors/Joint Secretaries in Selection Grade, Join Directors/ Dy. Secretaries in Junior Administrative Grade(JAG) and Dy Directors/ Under Secretaries in Senior Scale.
In 2003 Government of India through a notification made Railway Board a completely independent body which empowered it to take decision on projects without going through the Railway Ministry. Necessary checks have been made in the form of a body comprising of existing Board members, expenditure secretary and Secretary, Planning Commission.