In 1942, a Service Commission with a Chairman and two members was established for recruitment of Subordinate Staff on the then North Western Railway was known as Railway Service Commission.
- In 1945, the Services Commissions were set up at Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Lucknow. In 1948, the Indian Railway Enquiry Committee reviewed working of commissions.
- In 1949, due to financial constraints a ban was imposed on recruitments on Indian Railways thus numbers of commissions was reduced to one centrally located at Bombay.
- In 1953-54 when Economic conditions of Indian Railway improved, four service commission were again set up at Bombay, Madras, Allahabad and Calcutta.
- In 1956, the Estimates committee generally approved the method of recruitment by the constitution of the Railway Service Commissions.
- In 1983, to cater to the needs of areas which were being neglected due to locations of the existing commissions, seven more commissions were set up viz, at Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Bhopal, Bhuvneshwar, Chandigarh, Jammu and Srinagar with sitting at Leh and Trivendrum. In 1984 two more service commissions were set up at Malda and Gorakhpur.
- In January, 1985 Railway Service Commissions have been renamed as Railway Recruitment Board (RRB). At present 21 Railway Recruitment Boards are functioning.