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In 1982,Government decided to set up a Freight Operations Information Systems (FOIS) later in 1986,Ministry of Railways established the CENTRE FOR RAILWAY INFORMATION SYSTEMS (CRIS), Chanakya Puri, New Delhi - 21 to be an umbrella for all computer activities on Indian Railways (IR). They also entrusted it with the task of design, development and implementation of the FOIS, alongwith its associated communications infrastructure. The Centre started functioning from July,1987.It is an autonomous organisation headed by Managing Director .CRIS is mainly a project oriented organisation engaged in development of major computer systems on the Railways. CRIS has acquired special knowledge and expertise in the field of informatics. With such a rich practical experience, a dedicated team of professionals and its own R&D effort, CRIS aims to be a leader in this fast developing field. Indian Railways is one of the most advanced ministries in India, with an innovative and extensive IT environment. 

CRIS: The need

A separate organisation was considered better suited to take up all computer activities on IR mainly for the following reasons :

  •    to avoid duplication of efforts by individual Railways.
  •    to ensure standardisation of computer hardware and software on the Railways.
  •    to undertake design and development of major applications on Railways requiring higher levels of expertise, faster decision making and system wide applicability.
  •    to insulate the organisation from day to day working of the Railways so that its objectives are not lost sight of.
  •    need for a combined effort of Railways and Computer Specialists, considered best suited for the development of the computer applications on Railways.
  •    need for development of expertise in highly specialised fields like Operation Research, Simulation, Expert System, CAD/CAM, Process Control etc.
  •    need for greater flexibility to keep pace with the fast changing technology.