He was handpicked for the Air India top job reportedly by the Prime Minister and was the first choice to replace Mr Mittal.
Earlier, as many as 74 passengers were injured after nine bogies of the Kaifiyat Express derailed in UP's Auraiya district early on Wednesday morning after dashing against a dumper carrying construction material for railway work.
Lohani has been given the reins of the railway board at a time when railway has been rattled by recent train accidents, especially due to human error.
I am extremely pained by the unfortunate accidents, injuries to passengers and loss of precious lives. Lohani now is the Chairman & Managing Director of Air India.
Lohani featured in Limca Record in 2007 for having four "engineering degree equivalents" in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Metallurgical Engineering and Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from Institution of Engineers, India.
"Orders promoting me as Chairman, Railway Board have been issued today".
Two days before he retired in 2016, Mital, said to be close to Prabhu, was given a two-year extension. Lohani also has his name registered in Guinness Book of World Records for successfully running the "Fairy Queen Express" which is the world's oldest working steam locomotive.
Before joining Railway Board as Member Staff, Mital was General Manager of South Western Railway/Hubli.
Senior railway officials said Mital was not happy that senior officials of the ministry had to face the brunt of the outfall of the Utkal Express derailment. Mital, who previously headed three major railway zones? The operating and signal departments, which have access to the keys of junction boxes, had probably tinkered with the signalling system to carry out the fix work, said railway engineers. He was also ITDC chairman as well as the director of the Rail Museum in the capital.
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