When first formed in 1857, the management of the Railways Department was initially vested in the President of the Board of Land and Works, this situation remaining until 1884.

With the passing of the Victorian Railways Commissioners Act 1883, a board of four commissioners was put in charge, responsible to the Minister of Railways (the Minister of Transport from 1935 onwards).

After the Bland Report of 1972, in May 1973 the Railways (Amendment) Act 1972 passed the management of the Railways from the Victorian Railways Commissioners to a Victorian Railways Board. The board could have up to seven members, with six being initially appointed. This remained until 1983 when the board was discontinued under the Transport Act 1983.

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