Dinesh Trivedi, a trained pilot now in charge of the vast Indian railway network, is an articulate, suave and widely travelled politician who has for long been Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee's points man in New Delhi.
Known for filing public interest petitions, a couple of months back Trivedi reportedly offered to resign as minister of state for health and family welfare in support of social activist Anna Hazare and his movement against corruption.
The 61-year-old has played a crucial role in maintaining the Trinamool's liaison with national political leaders.
Trivedi was rewarded by Banerjee for his hard work during the party's difficult times by fielding him in the Lok Sabha election from Barrackpore in 2009.
After he emerged victorious, Trivedi was inducted as a minister of state for health and family welfare in Manmohan Singh's cabinet.
The elevation to cabinet rank in the plum railway ministry Tuesday, succeeding party chief Banerjee, is another feather in the cap for Trivedi, an MBA and a trained commercial pilot.
A former Congress man who switched over to the V.P. Singh-led Janata Dal, he made his maiden entry to parliament as a Rajya Sabha member in 1990 and remained there till 2008.
A commerce graduate from the famed St. Xavier's College of Kolkata and an MBA from the the University of Texas at Austin, Trivedi was in the travel business before he joined politics.
He will now be at the helm of affairs in the railway ministry, which operates the second largest railway network in the world under single management.
The appointment comes two days after a train derailment in Uttar Pradesh left nearly 70 people dead. The same day a bombing on the tracks left another train derailed in Assam.
Trivedi steps into a ministry whose top post had been vacant since Mamata Banerjee quit in May to become the West Bengal chief minister.