The 1890s indian railways saw the introduction of new passenger amenities, including toilets, gas lamps and electric lighting. By this point the popularity of the railways had skyrocketed and overcrowding led to the creation of a fourth class onboard.
By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives and by 1896 was able to send its own experts and equipment to assist with the construction of the Uganda Railway.
In 1900, Railways showed a small profit for the first time. In 1901, Thomas Robertson was appointed the special commissioner to examine the organization and working of the Railway and thus began the drastic changes in the administration of the Railways.
The Robertson commission recommended the appointment of a “Railway Board” with a chairman, 2 members and 1 secretary. In 1905, the Railway Board was set up. The Railway Board was made subordinate to the Government.
In 1905, its powers were formalised by Lord Curzon’s government. It consisted 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.
Fun Fact: Today, Indian Railways runs more than 13,000 passenger trains daily from 7,349 stations across India.