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Full List of Railway Minister of India [1948 – 2023]

Full List of Railway Minister of India

India has a rich history of railway development that started long before its independence in 1947. The Indian Railways system is an integral part of the country’s infrastructure, economy, and society. The Union Railway Minister is the person in charge of overseeing this vast network.

In this article, we will delve into what the Indian Railways is, who currently holds the position of Union Railway Minister, and we’ll also give you a historical list of individuals who have served as the Railway Minister from 1947 to 2023.

What is Indian Railways (IR)?

Indian Railways (IR) is the national railway system of India which was instituted on 6th May 1836, operated by the Ministry of Railways. It is the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size, covering over 121,000 kilometers of track and more than 7,500 stations. With around 23 million passengers and approximately 3 million tons of freight daily, Indian Railways plays a crucial role in the country’s transportation landscape. The system is divided into various zones and divisions, each managed by different administrative bodies.

Who is the Union Railway Minister?

As of August 2023, the Union Railway Minister of India is responsible for the entire functioning of the Indian Railways, including its expansion, maintenance, and modernization. The role encompasses policymaking, administration, and the execution of plans. The Union Railway Minister is a member of the Cabinet and reports directly to the Prime Minister of India.

Background Railway Ministers in India

The position of Railway Minister is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the Indian government, reflecting the importance of the railway system in the country. The Railway Ministry is unique as it is one of the few ministries that has retained its organizational structure since the time of independence. Over the years, the role of the Railway Minister has evolved, but the primary responsibilities have remained consistent: to oversee the development and smooth functioning of the railway network across India.

In the Central Government, The first Indian Minister of Railways was Asaf Ali.  He was on the post from  2 September 1946 to 14 August 1947. Even though India was still under British rule at the time, the position of railways minister had not been clearly defined.

Ashwini Vaishnav is currently India’s minister of railways. The transportation minister’s yearly presentation of the railway budget has changed since 2017 when it was combined with the Union budget.

List of Railway Ministers of India from 1947 – 2023

Some ministers who have held the position of Railway Minister of India include Jagjivan Ram, S.K. Patil, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Gulzarilal Nanda, and Bansi Lal. The detailed list of Railway Ministers of India is given below along with their political parties and the office tenure. Below is a list of every railway minister, listed in order:

The list of Railways Ministers of India includes the names of all Union Railways Ministers in India since Independence.

S.No.Name of the Railway MinisterStart of TenureEnd of Tenure
1Sh. John Mathai15/08/194722/09/1948
2Sh. N. Gopalaswami Ayyangar22/09/194813/05/1952
3Sh. Lal Bahadur Shastri13/05/195207/12/1956
4Sh. Jagjivan Ram07/12/195610/04/1962
5Sh. Swaran Singh10/04/196221/09/1963
6Sh. H. C. Dasappa21/09/196308/06/1964
7Sh. S. K. Patil09/06/196412/03/1967
8Sh. C. M. Poonacha13/03/196714/02/1969
9Sh. Ram Subhag Singh14/02/196904/11/1969
10Sh. P Govinda Menon04/11/196918/02/1970
11Sh. Gulzari Lal Nanda18/02/197017/03/1971
12Sh. K. Hanumanthaiya18/03/197122/07/1972
13Sh. T. A. Pai23/07/197204/02/1973
14Sh. L. N. Mishra05/02/197302/01/1975
15Sh. Kamalapati Tripathi11/02/197523/03/1977
16Sh. Madhu Dandvate26/03/197728/07/1979
17Sh. T. A. Pai30/07/197913/01/1980
18Sh. Kamalapati Tripathi14/01/198012/11/1980
19Sh. Kedar Pandey12/11/198014/01/1982
20Sh. P C Sethi15/01/198202/09/1982
21Sh. A. B. A. Ghani Khan Choudhury02/09/198231/12/1984
22Sh. Bansi Lal31/12/198404/06/1986
23Smt. Mohsina Kidwai24/06/198621/10/1986
24Sh. George Fernandes05/12/198910/11/1990
25Sh. Janeshwar Mishra 21/11/199021/06/1991
26Sh. C. K. Jaffer Sharief21/06/199116/10/1995
27Sh. Ram Vilas Paswan01/06/199619/03/1998
28Sh. Nitish Kumar19/03/199805/08/1999
29Sh. Ram Naik06/08/199912/10/1999
30Km. Mamata Banerjee13/10/199915/03/2001
31Sh. Nitish Kumar20/03/200122/05/2004
32Sh. Lalu Prasad Yadav23/05/200422/05/2009
33Km. Mamata Banerjee23/05/2009 19/05/2011
34Sh. Dinesh Trivedi13/07/201119/03/2012
35Sh. Mukul Roy20/03/201222/09/2012
36Dr. C. P. Joshi22/09/201228/10/2012
37Sh. Pawan Kumar Bansal28/10/201210/05/2013
38Dr. C. P. Joshi11/05/201316/06/2013
39Sh. Mallikarjun Kharge17/06/201326/05/2014
40Sh. D. V. Sadananda Gowda26/05/201409/11/2014
41Sh. Suresh Prabhu10/11/201402/09/2017
42Sh. Piyush Goyal03/09/201707/07/2021
43Sh. Ashwini Vaishnaw08/07/2021Till Date

List of Railway Ministers of India – Download PDF.

List prepared as per incumbency board placed in minister’s room for an authentic period, reference be made to Cabinet Secretariat who issues assumption and relinquishment charges notification in respect of Union Ministers.

The list of Railway Ministers Of India is a very important general awareness topic for various government exams. The list of Railways Ministers of India includes the names of all Railways Ministers in India.


The Indian Railways is not just a transportation network; it is a lifeline that connects the vast and diverse landscape of the country. The role of the Railway Minister is significant in shaping the future and improving the current state of this crucial sector. The list of Railway Ministers showcases the series of dedicated individuals who have held the mantle of responsibility, steering Indian Railways through various phases of development.

With the advancements in technology and an ever-increasing focus on sustainability and efficiency, the role of the Union Railway Minister has become even more critical in shaping the future of transportation in India.

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