Sudhir Chandra joined Indian Railways in November 1965 after successful completion of the Combined Engineering Services Examination of 1964. From 1967 onwards, Chandra worked in various capacities in Central Railway, North East Frontier Railway, South Eastern Railway and Southern Railway. From a probationer in 1965, he rose to the position of General Manager of Central Railway in 2001 and finally became a member of the Railway Board in 2002.
In a span of 36 years, Sudhir Chandra has held with distinction many positions in the Indian Railways: Assistant Engineer, Executive Engineer, Deputy Chief Engineer, Chief Administrative Officer (Construction), Chief Track Engineer, Divisional Railway Manager, General Manager and finally Member of the Railway Board. He has also served for five years with the Zambian Railways (on deputation) where he oversaw the construction of a railway line from Malawi to Zambia.
As Chief Administrative Officer, Sudhir Chandra completed the gauge conversion of the 311-km Tambaram-Trichy section, in addition to completing gauge conversions and construction of double line to an extent of 440 km. He executed the construction of a number of bridges with Pile foundations on the Diva-Bassein Rail Link project using innovative techniques in treacherous soil conditions. For the very first time in Indian Railways, he completed the construction of a bridge using the Diaphram Wall Technique. He was responsible for the construction of a number of tunnels and viaducts on South East and North East Ghats in Central Railway for laying a third track. He started the construction of a Cable Stayed Bridge with a central pylon and unbalanced spans of 45m and 135m in Bengaluru, again a first for Indian Railways.
Sudhir Chandra’s career combines engineering excellence and administrative ability of a very high order. In 2002, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras conferred the Distinguished Alumnus Award on B.S. Sudhir Chandra.