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IOSR Journal of Business and Management (IOSR-JBM)
e-ISSN: 2278-487X, p-ISSN: 2319-7668. Volume 9, Issue 2 (Mar. - Apr. 2013), PP 39-48
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www.iosrjournals.org 39 | Page
Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)
Rajesh Ranjan1
, Dr. T. Prasad2
1st
(Doctoral Research Scholar, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, India)
2nd
(Professor, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India)
Abstract : Railways’ Drivers / Loco-Pilots are the most important person in executing the huge task of
transporting nearly 25 Million passengers and more than 2.8 Million Tons of freight daily with the help of
2,29,381 wagons, 59,713 coaches and more than 9,213 locomotive engines of various kinds(www.Indian
railways, Wikipedia).To transport 25 million passengers and millions of tons of freight and that too with taking
care of both the traveler’s convenience and safety is not a mean task, the driver on whose sincerity the journey
of a train depends. If he is not capable of carrying his responsibilities then the efforts of the other employees go
waste, in this sense we can say that he is the most important person of the railways.
The job of a Railway Driver demands hard work and great presence of mind along with courage to
handle diverse conditions. For this one should have discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality,
commitment, courage and above all self-confidence. The job requires lots of hard work, stamina, alertness of
mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules too. But the main and remarkable, highly appreciable role
of Railway drivers is the only who works with full honesty, in day & night, in heavy cold, hot & Rainy weather.
For Railways’ drivers operating on long distance routes, overnight stays in various locations will be necessary.
Furthermore, it can be stressful, as delays and hazards on the track are not uncommon. His cab of the train
should be relatively comfortable but it may be quite cold, hot and noisy.
Keywords: Railway driver, working conditions.
I. Introduction
It is 24th of December-2012. I was going to Patna from Mumbai by train (Rajendra Nagar Exp.). I seat
on my birth. By looking at co-travelers, I felt my journey will going to be comfortable. We started gossiping
with each other. Out of them one passenger was behaving very interesting. So, I was interacting with him and
make a personal gossiping. During the gossiping, I know his name Pintu Kumar (name changed), age-32 years,
working as a Railway driver and posted in Chhapra Junction under NER (North East Railway, H.Q.-Gorakhpur).
So, I make a personal attention and try to understand the working conditions of him as an Indian Railways‟
drivers.
II. Overview/Analysis
I started gossiping and told him you are (as a Railway Driver) most important person for Indian
Railways‟ as well as for passengers. Because crores of passengers' life in your hand. But he says, no sir! We are
not valuable persons for IR and IR not treated very well. I concentrate him, because I feel, he is not fully
satisfied with his job as a Railway Driver. So, I inquired more about the facilities provided by the Indian
Railways (IR). And also try to understand his working conditions. I ask many questions and he respond
properly. He gives details information regarding Indian Railways‟ Drivers.
Railways’ Drivers / Loco-Pilots are the most important person in executing the huge task of transporting
nearly 25 Million passengers and more than 2.8 Million Tons of freight daily with the help of 2,29,381 wagons,
59,713 coaches and more than 9,213 locomotive engines of various kinds(www.Indian railways,
Wikipedia).To transport 25 million passengers and millions of tons of freight and that too with taking care of
both the traveler‟s convenience and safety is not a mean task, the driver on whose sincerity the journey of a train
depends. If he is not capable of carrying his responsibilities then the efforts of the other employees go waste, in
this sense we can say that he is the most important person of the railways. Thus Railway Driver is one of the
most important posts in the railway staff. He is the person (along with the Guard) in charge of the train. Driver
is also responsible to carry the train safely to its destination. For instance, in some cases if the train breaks down,
or if a signal is defective the driver must consult the guard on how to proceed but ultimately it is the driver
whose presence of mind, calmness, responsibility towards his work and above all his co-ordination with the
guard is necessary to do the job in tough conditions. We can say that he is the person who shoulders the
responsibility along with the Guard of taking the train from one destination to other safely. In that sense he is
one of the most important employees in the Railway. One has to be really dedicated and hardworking to handle
Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)
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this work. Railway drivers playing a key role in Indian Railway's safe & punctual running of trains with security
and productivity (www.indian railway driver information, 2012).
2.1 Important Features of Indian Railways’ Drivers/Loco Pilots
1. Number of Sanctioned Posts : 82,000
2. Number of Drivers Working : 60,000
3. Number of Vacancy : 16,400 (20%)
4. Number of Trains Runs daily : 10,000
5. Number of Locomotives/Engines Operating: 9,213
6. Number of Passenger Coaches Operating : 59,713
7. Number of Freight Wagons Operating : 2, 29,381
8. Number of Passengers Commuting Daily : 25 Million
9. Freight Transporting Daily : 2.8 Million Tons
10. Total Railway Route Kilometers in India : 65,000 KMs.
11. Electrification Railway Route : 22,224 KMs.
12. Types of Locomotives : Diesel, Electric
13. Types of Track Gauges : 1676mm (5ft 6 inch) Broad Gauge,
1000mm (1 meter) Meter Gauge,
762mm (2ft 6 inch) and
610mm (2ft) Narrow Gauge
14. Types of Trains : Superfast Exp, Express/Mail,
Goods Train, Passenger, Metro,
and Monorails,
Salary and other perks of driver
(i) Pay Scale 5200 – 20200
(ii) Grade Pay 1900
(iii) Initial Pay 5830
(iv) Total Pay (i) + (ii ) 7730
Other Allowances depend on various conditions and hence can‟t be stated uniformly. Other
major allowances include :
DA on Total Pay above plus the running Allowance
Transport Allowance
Running Allowance
House Rent Allowance(if not provided with quarters
Till 31 March 2012 (approx figure)
(www.Indian railways, Wikipedia)
III. Job Description of Indian Railways Drivers/Loco- Pilots
3.1 Objectives of the job:
Railways‟ Drivers / Loco-Pilots are the most important person in executing the huge task of
transporting nearly 25 Million passengers and more than 2.8 Million Tons of freight daily with the help of
2,29,381 wagons, 59,713 coaches and more than 9,213 locomotive engines of various kinds. To transport 25
million passengers and millions of tons of freight and that too with taking care of both the traveler‟s
convenience and safety is not a mean task, the driver on whose sincerity the journey of a train depends.
(www.Indian railways, Wikipedia).
3.2 Work to be performed
Driver is responsible to carry the train safely to its destination. Railway drivers playing a key role in
Indian Railway's safe & punctual running of trains with security and productivity (www.indian railway driver
information, 2012).
3.3 Railways’ drivers need to possess the following skills
I. Good mechanical knowledge.
II. Good hands-eye co-ordination.
III. The ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
IV. Physical stamina.
Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)
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V. Good memory.
VI. Flexibility.
VII. Excellent awareness of health and safety regulations and emergency procedures.
VIII. A responsible attitude.
IX. Good judgment and decision-making skills.
X. Reliability.
3.4 Responsibilities
The job of a Railway Driver demands hard work and great presence of mind along with courage to
handle diverse conditions. For this one should have discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality,
commitment, courage and above all self-confidence. The job requires lots of hard work, stamina, alertness of
mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules too. But the main and remarkable, highly appreciable role
of Railway drivers is the only who works with full honesty, in day & night, in heavy cold, hot & Rainy weather
(www.indian railway driver information, 2012).
3.5 The typical tasks undertaken by Railways’ drivers are
i. Before starting the train/locomotive read safety circulars, safety bulletin, technical circulars, driver
instruction, caution order, and divisional circulars.
ii. Before starting the train/locomotive read the caution order carefully in which sectional track work progress
with temporary speed restriction is mention.
iii. Before starting the train/locomotive check the repair book of loco about any remark for any locomotive
trouble.
iv. Before starting the train/locomotive check the oil level (diesel, lube oil, compressor oil in case of diesel
locomotive and transformer oil, GR oil, compressor oil, exhauster oil in case of electric locomotive) and
time to time during the run (One time during about 100 kilometers, it depends on drivers‟ mind).
v. After coupling with the train check brake pipe pressure continuity test with guard.
vi. After getting departure signal, loco pilot must start the train and run the train as per the aspect of station
signals.
vii. Loco pilot must have sharp look out. While on run he must observe all permanent & temporary speed
restrictions.
viii. Loco pilot must always ready to notice:-
a. Any track defect through jerk or lurch,
b. Any unusual with self or others train. He must be mentally prepared for precautionary remedies as per the
general & subsidiary rules and accident manual directives. It itself is sufficient to mental stress of loco
pilots.
ix. Checking the engine and general state of the train prior to starting each journey.
x. Maintaining an awareness of track conditions and weather conditions.
xi. Following signals (Averagely there are signals after every 1.5 Kilometer distance).
xii. Following safety regulations at all times.
xiii. Keeping the train under control and at the appropriate speed at all times.
xiv. Keeping control of instruments including brakes.
xv. Maintaining an awareness of emergency procedures.
xvi. Stopping the train at the appropriate stops on each schedule.
xvii. Keeping a record of any Problems.
(Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
3.6 Working Conditions
For Railways‟ drivers operating on long distance routes, overnight stays in various locations will be
necessary. Furthermore, it can be stressful, as delays and hazards on the track are not uncommon. His cab of the
train should be relatively comfortable but it may be quite cold, hot and noisy (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
3.7 Relationship of the job to other jobs
I. Nature of duty of loco running staff remains unchanged as compared to all other category of Indian
railway. For Ex. Previously ticket reservations were manually prepared maintain record by reservation
clerk. And after completion of duty they have to count no. of selling of tickets & amount manually. Now
they are doing all the reservations on computer and they are getting full data about no. of reservations and
amount of the tickets on computer in a short time. Similarly station masters signals operating panel
system instead previous lever operated track points & signals. Pathway inspector now checking track
through ultrasonic machine instead of previous manual check. Now they have TTM (TRACK TESTING
Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)
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MACHINE) for track testing & lifting & packing. Whereas in loco running staff duty, the duties of
running staff which was perform in the previous days, still remain same in present modernized railway
(Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
II. There is no any such category, in Govt. transport organization other than loco running staff of Indian
railway, who have A-l medical standard + super psycho & classified as class H-I. Airplane/Air Force
Pilots, Ship Captain are not classified as class H-I. Their pay should not be fixing as per the nature of
duty, considering the risk factor, required medical standard, number of days & duty hours performing
duty (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
III. Staff Nurses get Rs.11, 940 for uniform and washing allowance annually, but Loco- Pilot gets only Rs.
438.50 annually (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
IV. Job Specifications of Indian Railways Drivers/Loco- Pilots
4.1 Eligibility for Assistant Loco-Pilot/Railway Drivers
4.1.1 Steps After clearing the Written Examination (conducted by RRB) followed by Aptitude Test after this
Medical test and finally Document verification.
4.1.2 Age Minimum age of the aspiring candidate should be 18 years and maximum age limit is 30 years.
4.1.3 Educational Qualifications Because of vast advanced Technological changes and fast movement of train
operation Railway required the group of high leveled Technical staff for train operation. Hence Railway started
recruitment of literate staff in 1962 through RRB. And from last 20 years, the Railway demanding ITI or
technical diploma like Diploma in mechanical/ electrical/ electronic engg.etc. for the post of Assistant Loco
Pilot/Railway Drivers (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
4.1.4 Medical Standards Candidate must have high leveled medical standard which is no other category
required so far. Loco running men/railway drivers must have the highest standard of medical fitness in medical
„A‟ (As it meant for Airplane Pilots).This medical standard has to maintain from the period of joining and up to
the end of carrier as Railway driver. A) Each eye vision must be perfect. B) Each ear must be clear for hearing.
C) X-ray for chest is clear. D) ECG for heart etc functioning normal. E) Blood & Urine tests for sugar Nil. F)
Physical fitness of the body must be perfect. G) Ishihara test free from color blind free. H) Blood pressure must
be normal. The same medical checkup, the Railway drivers must have to pass after every periodical gap of 4
years up to the age of 45 years. From 45 years age to 55 years age, periodical medical examination in the same
above manner is conducted once in 2 years. And from 55 years age up to 60 years age PME is conducted once in
year. And after every PME certificate the Railway drivers can continue as loco running staff. In addition to this,
the Railway driver working on high speed train must have to pass super-Psycho test at RDSO LUCKNOW. As
well as loco running staff may also send for special medical examination and called anytime to the divisional
office for Psycho test (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
4.1.5 Training Schedule & Nature of Training After recruitment as an Assistant loco pilot, send to Zonal
Training Centre for training. The training schedule is for 12 months on Diesel / Electric locomotive including
technical education of locomotive, operational education of locomotive. In addition to this general and
subsidiary rules training given. And after successful completion of training from ZTC trainees sent to posted
division for practical training under Divisional Training Centre under Loco Supervisor. And after successful
completion of training, posted as Assistant Loco Pilot (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
V. Railway Driver Career Prospects
A Railway driver usually begins his career as a diesel or electric assistant driver, where his job is
mainly to check the state of the locomotive, help with all the auxiliary equipment as needed, and to call out the
aspects of the signals. ALP with minimum 2 years of service as Diesel Asstt. /Electric Asstt. and 60,000
Kilometer running experience is required for the promotion to the post of Loco-Pilot (Goods). An assistant
driver works as an assistant on goods trains, then on passenger trains, and finally on express trains. It takes at
least 8 or 10 years, usually more, before an assistant driver works up the ranks to become the driver for a
Rajdhani or Shatabdi train (www.Indian Railway Driver Information, 2012).
VI. Working Conditions
I. For Railways‟ drivers operating on long distance routes, overnight stays in various locations will be
necessary. Furthermore, it can be stressful, as delays and hazards on the track are not uncommon (Singh
Ravi Kant, 2008).
II. His cab of the train should be relatively comfortable but it may be quite cold, hot and noisy (Singh Ravi
Kant, 2008).
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III. At present Loco Pilots are classified under 'continuous' roaster. Not any calendar day rest provision.
Normally the Loco Pilot has to work for 10 hours duty at a stretch and can demand relief after 12 hours
with 2 hours prior notice to controller (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). (ILO regulation only 9 hrs upper limit +1
hrs extra in case of emergency duty) (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
IV. There are no fix schedules during operating Goods train. It takes normally long duty hours (sometimes
continues 10 hours or more).While operating Goods train, very long waiting time for returning his own
H.Q./Home Station (It is sometimes 30 hours or more). Loco-Pilot must be waited for the train at the time
of returning to his H.Q./Home Station. After 96 hours of Sign-Off Loco-Pilot demand the compulsory
returning for his H.Q. with driving train or without driving train. There are no immediate returning
schedules of loco-pilot. In any personal or family emergency loco-pilot can‟t leave the cab without Sign-
Off. In any emergency loco-pilot called for duty at any time while he is in rest periods.
VII. Periodic Rest to Loco-Pilots
I. At least 5 periods of rest of not less than 22 consecutive hours each per month or at least 4 periods of rest
of not less than 30 consecutive hours each per month each including a full night shall be given to
Running Staff.
II. Hours of work for this purpose shall be calculated from „signing on‟ to „signing off‟.
III. Periodic rest shall be given at headquarters.
IV. As far as possible it should be given once in 10 days.
Rest after duty: Based on total duty „signing on‟ to „signing off‟ rest after duty shall be given as follows:
At headquarters :
For duty of less than 8 hours 12 hours
For duty of 8 hours or more 16 hours
In either case a Running staff shall not be called to go out if rest is under 6 hours except in
unavoidable necessity as in case of accidents or breakdowns.
At outstation :
8 hours rest for 8 hours running duty or more (staff may sign for rest to the extent of 6 hours if
they so desire)
Interval between trips shall be considered as duty if it is equal to or less than 1 hour plus time allowed for train
or engine attendance before and after trips.
 After 3 continuous full night duty, one full night rest/sleep provided (But practically it is not possible
because Full night duty/running considered between 22:00 PM to 06:00 AM completely).
 Maximum duty hours in anyone trip should not exceed 10 hours (ILO regulation only 9 hrs upper limit
+1 hrs extra in case of emergency duty) (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
 Avg. duty hours in a fortnight (Period of two weeks) should not exceed 104 hours.
Minimum home station rest should be:
If duty performed in the last trip is less than 8 hrsRest of 12 hrs
If duty is 8 hrs. or more Rest of 16 hrs
But, Loco-Pilots cannot leave the H.Q. If, Loco Pilot wants to leave the head quarter, he must be given written
application to the Crew-Controller. It means in emergency loco pilot called for duty in any time even in rest
conditions.
 Full night considered between 22:00 PM to 06:00 AM.
 Duty hours counted from Sign-On (station where assigning duty/starting duty) to Sign-Off (station
where completed duty/ leave duty).
 Loco-Pilots must be Sign-On his duty 30 minutes before the actual departure time of the train (HOER,
 Hours of Employment and Period of Rest rules 2005).
Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)
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Rest given to Pintu Kumar during Month of November, 2012:
HOER Pintu Kumar
 At least 5 periods of rest of not less
than 22 consecutive hours each per
month or at least 4 periods of rest of
not less than 30 consecutive hours
each per month each including a full
night shall be given to Running Staff.
 After 3 continuous full night duty, one
full night rest/sleep provided
 Maximum duty hours in anyone trip
should not exceed 10 hours.
 Avg. duty hours in a fortnight (Period
of two weeks) should not exceed 104
hours.
 Only 3 rest of 22 hours
 But practically it is not possible because
Full night duty/running considered
between 22:00 PM to 06:00 AM
completely.
 There are no fix schedules during operating
Goods train. It takes normally long duty
hours (sometimes continues 10 hours or
more).
 But it is generally more (overtime
allowance provision).
VIII. Cab Conditions
The heavy noise, dust pollution, excess heat, high voltage electricity in the electric locomotive and
diesel smell in the diesel locomotive are contributing to early fatigue to the crew. The noise level in a diesel
locomotive is about more than 100 decibels which is 25 decibels more than maximum allowed limit of 75
decibels by the Industrial Pollution Control Board. The heat, diesel smell, noise from the engine room comes
to the driving cab as the doors in the driving cab are not designed sound proof. To overcome this problem the
locomotive cab has to be air-conditioned so that fatigue will no attack the drivers and they can concentrate on
their duties properly and ensure safety of trains. (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
I. Noise level - More than 100 Desibal (it has an adverse impact on the minds of drivers. it is a source of
disturbance to the drivers and does not allow them to work with concentration. Therefore, it is essential to
keep noise under control, limited to 75 db by Industrial Pollution Control Board (fire Quartly
magazine, aug.2012).
II. Temperature - Due to heavy night duty feeing cold or rain or hot sun in summer when normal
temperature up to 46 to 48 degree, in locomotive, temperature increases up to temperature 54 to 56 degree
centigrade, i.e. adverse weather conditions. Comfortable Room Temp. considered 25 degree centigrade
(Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). Drivers efficiency is bound to suffer if the temp. of cab is either too low or too
high(FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
III. Pollution and high voltage electricity. It has an adverse impact on the physical and mental health of
drivers.
IV. Bad wiper, not properly functioning during rainy and foggy season, so poor visibility during raining and
foggy.
V. No voice recorders in the cab for recording the shortcomings and calling out of signals (just like black box
in flights).
VI. Loco-Pilot seat quality poor (normally without back rest provision).
VII. No natural calls facilities (no toilets available).
VIII. Sometimes After repairing chairs are in bad conditions, fan and lights are not properly working. It means
there are no more/sufficient spare parts available.
IX. Poor lighting (without proper lighting, eye damage will occurs. it is essential to the health, safety and
efficiency of drivers).
X. Commonly no air-conditioning.
XI. In diesel locomotive, seat position is very bad. Track not seen properly while loco pilot seated. Therefore
he performs his duty always in standing position.
(Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
IX. Running Room
In running room, normally dormitory so loco pilots getting disturbance of sleep when other crew
members or call boy are coming or getting ready for duty and putting lights etc. Due to high temp. Loco-Pilots
not enjoyed fully undisturbed sleep before running trains. Because, generally no air-conditioning provided
(FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
I. He carry himself rations, vegetables etc. for cooking meals in the kitchen of running room. Because in
running room no any cooked food served around the clock. Only cooks are available for preparing the
food. Due to shortage of cooking staff(generally 2-3 staff working) in running room, sometime cook
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taking 3-4 hours for preparing food (rules to served within 45 minutes). So They are unable to get
more than 10-12 hours of rest even as they are provided 16 hrs. rest.
II. Commonly dormitory, due to this sleep disturbed.
III. Some places two-bedded room without attached toilet and bathrooms.
IV. Common toilets and bathrooms.
V. Unhighgenic water and meal atmosphere.
X. Residence/Staff-Quarters
I. 100% housing should not be provided to drivers as they are residing up to 5-6 KMs. away from their
station of posting and are taking a lot of time in commuting. They are unable to get more than 10-12 hours
of rest even at home station when they are provided 16 hrs. rest (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
II. Railway drivers are living in rented/private houses and facing lot of problems for Sign-On and after Sign-
Off their duty.
III. Some places quarters are situated very long distance (around 3 to 4 KM) away from his duty stations.
IV. There is no official vehicle provided by IR for Railway drivers.
V. Due to long distance of quarters, journey time increases for joining his duty.
VI. During odd weather and odd timing, very rigorous to join the duty and returned after the duty.
XI. Medical Facilities
Paternity leave for 15 days only two times during the whole service periods. Paternity Leave may not normally
be refused. Leave cannot be sanctioned for more than 5 years continuous.
Medical leave : - During one year,
 10 days with full pay.
 20 days with half pay.
 More than 20 days without pay.
When Railways‟ drivers joining after six months of medical leave, Railways‟ authority take a
full/complete medical test. If found medically not fit, duty/job/post of Loco-Pilot can be changed.
(Indian Railway Establishment code, Vol-1)
Reimbursement of Medical Expenses: When an employee or family members are referred to a hospital
by Railway Medical Authority expenses incurred are reimbursed on production of bills/receipts
countersigned by Supt. of the hospital.
For emergency Treatment without proper reference by ADMO
 In case of Government hospitals, full powers for reimbursement.
 In case of recognized hospitals/dispensary run by philanthropic organizations Up to
Rs.2,00,000
 These powers will be exercised by GM/AGM duly scrutinized by FA&CAO.
 Claims of higher amount will be referred to Railway Board.
 DRMs can reimburse claims up to Rs.10, 000 per case with a ceiling limit of Rs.2, 00,000 per year In
case of Government/recognized hospitals only.
(Indian Railway Establishment Manual, Vol-1).
XII. . Nature of Duty
12.1Critical Duty
12.1.1 When loco pilot working on high speed train, he have to work for 400 to 500 km at a stretch without any
halt. During the run he cannot even release his urinal pressure. In NAGPUR DIVISION, when loco
pilots booked to work RAJDHANI EXPRESS ex Nagpur to Bhopal, there are 265 signals and the
running time given is 330 minutes. It means averagely after every 1 minute & 22 seconds loco pilots
must ready to observe signal. There are 296 gates (manned/ unmanned) in the same section. It means
after every 1 minutes &11 seconds loco pilot must be prepared to observe gates condition. In addition to
this loco pilot must also observe self train track, over head equipments as well as adjacent track and
check the train if passing on adjacent track. He must also sharp attention on his locomotive performance.
Loco pilot must take learning of road and signals with their proper locations, stations halts, level
crossing gates (signaled and non- signaled gates, manned or unmanned gates) (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
12.1.2 Following signals (Averagely there are signals after every 1.5 Kilometer distance and gates averagely
after every 1.3 km) (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). If he ignores any red signal and crossed it (while any
accidents occurred or not), Railway takes very strict action against him normally removal from
service.
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12.1.3 Highly appreciable role of Railway drivers is the only who works with full honesty, in day & night, in
heavy cold, hot & Rainy weather (www.indian railway driver information, 2012).
12.1.4 Loco pilot must have sharp look out. While on run he must observe all permanent & temporary speed
restrictions.
12.1.5 Continuous running for long hours. For example, Bihar Sampark Kranti Exp. (12565) runs between
Darbhanga (Bihar) to New Delhi. Loco-pilot booked/sign-on his duty in Darbhanga and continuous
running the train to Chhapra (That is around 202KM) and take around 5 hours continuous running /duty.
And some other trains take around 5 to 6 hours for this distance.
12.1.6 There is no upper limit in the railways rulebook on the number of night duties to be done by the
railways‟ driver. Despite data from major rail accidents, pointed to the fact that most mishaps take place
between early night and late morning. The weekly rest provisions for Railways‟ drivers are vague.
Faced with a severe staff shortage(now 60,000 loco drivers and there is 20% vacancy in the 82,000
sanctioned posts), coupled with the fact that most trains run also during night hours, railways is being
forced to put most of its drivers on night duty for long periods. (www.indian railway driver information,
2012)
12.1.7 For instance, the Railways‟ driver roster for Hampi Express which collided with a stationary train
suggests that the driver had run 23 trains in 19 days of which 12 were full-night, three half-night and
seven full-day duties. This means the driver had undisturbed sleep in only seven days in the past three
weeks. They (Railways‟ Drivers) are not allowed to break for food, refreshment or answer nature's call
during duty hours. Duty of loco pilots is very much strenuous (www.indian railway driver information,
2012).
12.1.8 While operating diesel locomotives, they perform his duty in always standing position, because visibility
effected due to bad seat position. Track not seen properly in seating conditions.
Due to high speed and continuous running train Loco-Pilots are extremely tired. Their eyes and Heart are
more affected.
12.2 Routine Duty
12.2.1 Before starting the train/locomotive read safety circulars, safety bulletin, technical circulars, driver
instruction, caution order, and divisional circulars.
12.2.2 Before starting the train/locomotive read the caution order carefully in which sectional track work
progress with temporary speed restriction is mention.
12.2.3 Before starting the train/locomotive check the repair book of loco about any remark for any locomotive
trouble.
12.2.4 Before starting the train/locomotive check the oil level (diesel, lube oil, compressor oil in case of diesel
locomotive and transformer oil, GR oil, compressor oil, exhauster oil in case of electric locomotive)
and time to time during the run (One time during about 100 kilometers, it depends on drivers‟ mind).
12.2.5 After coupling with the train check brake pipe pressure continuity test with guard.
12.2.6 After getting departure signal, loco pilot must start the train and run the train as per the aspect of station
signals.
12.2.7 Stopping the train at the appropriate stops on each schedule.
12.2.8 Keeping a record of any Problems.
(Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
XIII. Life after the Duty/job
When railway drivers at outstation duty, after signing off his duty, railway driver stay in the running
room located near by the station premises. He carry himself rations, vegetables etc. for cooking meals in the
kitchen of running room. Because in running room no any cooked food served around the clock. Only cooks are
available for preparing the food. Due to shortage of cooking staff(generally 2-3 staff working) in running
room, sometime cook taking 3-4 hours for preparing food (rules to served within 45 minutes). So, they are
unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest even as they are provided 16 hrs. rest. After the meal normally he
goes to sleep immediately, because due to high speed and continuous running train Loco-Pilots are extremely
tired.
Relatively same conditions at home station.100% housing should not be provided to drivers as they
are residing up to 5-6 KMs. away from their station of posting and are taking a lot of time in commuting. They
are unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest even at home station when they are provided 16 hrs. rest (FIRE
Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). After the meal normally he goes to sleep immediately, because due to high speed
and continuous running train Loco-Pilots are extremely tired.
Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)
www.iosrjournals.org 47 | Page
XIV. Personal/Family Related Problem
He shares one very personal incidents of his life with me. He is married and father of two sweet
children. At the time of his first child's birth, he was on his duty and suddenly he receive a call from his wife and
his wife said you returned immediately because I am very serious and immediately required medical attention.
But, at that time he was on his duty and not to leave the train and not possible to return back for home and
admitted his wife in hospital. So, his neighbors were admitted his wife in a hospital and his wife delivered a
child in the absence of him (her husband). He came back after about12 hours and meets his wife and new born
his child. And he says, these kinds of issues are still continuing. He is not giving (spending) more (sufficient)
time with his family and societal activities.
 100% housing should not be provided to drivers as they are residing up to 5-6 kms. away from their station
of posting and are taking a lot of time in commuting. They are unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest
even at home station when they are provided 16 hrs. rest.
 All other railway employees get 12 National Holydays and 52 Sundays, guaranteed weekly rest but Loco-
Pilot does not get any National Holyday. So, all the personal work has to be done by availing leave, or
between short spells in between duties, which creates mental agony, losing concentration in running duties.
 No any calendar day rest provision, so that they may fulfill their family and social obligations.
(FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).
XV. . Issues
I. Irregularities in lunch and dinner
II. Irregularities in sleep
III. Disturbed sleep
IV. Sleep disorder
V. Work under pollution and high voltage electricity
VI. Due to heavy night duty feeling cold or rain or hot sun in summer when normal temperature up to 46 to
48 degree, in locomotive, temperature increases up to temperature 54 to 56 degree centigrade, i.e.
adverse weather conditions.
VII. Noise level more than 100 db
VIII. Insufficient facilities in running room
IX. Unhighgenic water and meal atmosphere
X. Suffer from stress related disease (hypertension, diabetes, frequent headaches etc.)
XI. No any calendar day rest provision, so that they may fulfill their family and social obligations.
XII. All their personal work has to be done by availing leave, or between short spells in between duties,
which creates mental agony, losing concentration in running duties (FIRE Quartly Magazine,
Aug.2012).
XIII. Do not spend sufficient time daily with his family members (including wife, child/children, and older
parents).
XIV. Always miss out quality time with his family and friends because of nature of work.
XVI. Status Report
Based on above discussion, I felt work-life balance of Pintu Kumar as a railway driver in India is not
very good. Indian Railways‟ trying to solve these serious issues, but it is still continuing and more effort needed.
Work life-balance of Pintu Kumar as a railway driver is most important for the safe journey of passengers. So
that, crores of passengers reach their destination safely.
References
[1]. Amitabh (2006),"Rail Accidents due to Human Errors-Indian Railways Experience" Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India.
[2]. “Allotment of Railway Quarters and Retention thereof”, Railway Board Letter No: E [G] 2006/QR1-6, dated: 20/04/2007, RBE
No: 35/200.
[3]. FIRE Quartly Magazine (Aug.2012), All India Loco Running Staff Association.
[4]. Govt. of India, Ministry of Railways, “Indian Railways Corporate Safety Plan” (2003-13), August 2003.
[5]. HOER (Hours of Employment and Period of Rest rules 2005).
[6]. Indian Railway Establishment Manual (Vol.-I), Chapter -I, Sec.-B, Sub.Sec I, II, &III.
[7]. India Railway Manual of AC Traction (Vol-3), Ch. - VI- Operation of Locomotive.
[8]. Indian Railway Establishment Manual (Vol-1); Chapter-XIII, Reimbursement of Medical Expenses Rule.
[9]. Indian Railway Establishment code (Vol-1), Master circular No. 25,“Absorption of Medically De-categorized Non-gazetted Staff in
Alternative Jobs”.
[10]. “Promotion of non-gazetted staff in loco running cadre – posts of Goods Driver redesignated as Loco Pilots [Goods]”,( RBE
No: 101/08, 12/09/2008,)
[11]. Sharma P.C & Amitabh (2004), “Safety as Key Business Theme! -Indian Railways Perspective”, International Railway Safety
Conference, Perth, Australia.
Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)
www.iosrjournals.org 48 | Page
[12]. Singh Ravi Kant, (2008) “Life of an Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP)/Assistant Driver”, All India Loco Running Staff Association
(Posted on Web).
[13]. Govt. of India, Ministry of Railways, White Paper- Safety on Indian Railways, April 2003.
[14]. www.indian railway driver information, 2012, “Railway Driver- How to become a railway driver”.
[15]. www.Indian railwas, Wikipedia
[16]. Indian Railways Online Official site (www.indian railway information.gov.in).
[17]. www.indian railway.gov.in

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Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots)

  • 1. IOSR Journal of Business and Management (IOSR-JBM) e-ISSN: 2278-487X, p-ISSN: 2319-7668. Volume 9, Issue 2 (Mar. - Apr. 2013), PP 39-48 www.iosrjournals.org www.iosrjournals.org 39 | Page Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) Rajesh Ranjan1 , Dr. T. Prasad2 1st (Doctoral Research Scholar, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, India) 2nd (Professor, National Institute of Industrial Engineering, Mumbai, India) Abstract : Railways’ Drivers / Loco-Pilots are the most important person in executing the huge task of transporting nearly 25 Million passengers and more than 2.8 Million Tons of freight daily with the help of 2,29,381 wagons, 59,713 coaches and more than 9,213 locomotive engines of various kinds(www.Indian railways, Wikipedia).To transport 25 million passengers and millions of tons of freight and that too with taking care of both the traveler’s convenience and safety is not a mean task, the driver on whose sincerity the journey of a train depends. If he is not capable of carrying his responsibilities then the efforts of the other employees go waste, in this sense we can say that he is the most important person of the railways. The job of a Railway Driver demands hard work and great presence of mind along with courage to handle diverse conditions. For this one should have discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality, commitment, courage and above all self-confidence. The job requires lots of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules too. But the main and remarkable, highly appreciable role of Railway drivers is the only who works with full honesty, in day & night, in heavy cold, hot & Rainy weather. For Railways’ drivers operating on long distance routes, overnight stays in various locations will be necessary. Furthermore, it can be stressful, as delays and hazards on the track are not uncommon. His cab of the train should be relatively comfortable but it may be quite cold, hot and noisy. Keywords: Railway driver, working conditions. I. Introduction It is 24th of December-2012. I was going to Patna from Mumbai by train (Rajendra Nagar Exp.). I seat on my birth. By looking at co-travelers, I felt my journey will going to be comfortable. We started gossiping with each other. Out of them one passenger was behaving very interesting. So, I was interacting with him and make a personal gossiping. During the gossiping, I know his name Pintu Kumar (name changed), age-32 years, working as a Railway driver and posted in Chhapra Junction under NER (North East Railway, H.Q.-Gorakhpur). So, I make a personal attention and try to understand the working conditions of him as an Indian Railways‟ drivers. II. Overview/Analysis I started gossiping and told him you are (as a Railway Driver) most important person for Indian Railways‟ as well as for passengers. Because crores of passengers' life in your hand. But he says, no sir! We are not valuable persons for IR and IR not treated very well. I concentrate him, because I feel, he is not fully satisfied with his job as a Railway Driver. So, I inquired more about the facilities provided by the Indian Railways (IR). And also try to understand his working conditions. I ask many questions and he respond properly. He gives details information regarding Indian Railways‟ Drivers. Railways’ Drivers / Loco-Pilots are the most important person in executing the huge task of transporting nearly 25 Million passengers and more than 2.8 Million Tons of freight daily with the help of 2,29,381 wagons, 59,713 coaches and more than 9,213 locomotive engines of various kinds(www.Indian railways, Wikipedia).To transport 25 million passengers and millions of tons of freight and that too with taking care of both the traveler‟s convenience and safety is not a mean task, the driver on whose sincerity the journey of a train depends. If he is not capable of carrying his responsibilities then the efforts of the other employees go waste, in this sense we can say that he is the most important person of the railways. Thus Railway Driver is one of the most important posts in the railway staff. He is the person (along with the Guard) in charge of the train. Driver is also responsible to carry the train safely to its destination. For instance, in some cases if the train breaks down, or if a signal is defective the driver must consult the guard on how to proceed but ultimately it is the driver whose presence of mind, calmness, responsibility towards his work and above all his co-ordination with the guard is necessary to do the job in tough conditions. We can say that he is the person who shoulders the responsibility along with the Guard of taking the train from one destination to other safely. In that sense he is one of the most important employees in the Railway. One has to be really dedicated and hardworking to handle
  • 2. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 40 | Page this work. Railway drivers playing a key role in Indian Railway's safe & punctual running of trains with security and productivity (www.indian railway driver information, 2012). 2.1 Important Features of Indian Railways’ Drivers/Loco Pilots 1. Number of Sanctioned Posts : 82,000 2. Number of Drivers Working : 60,000 3. Number of Vacancy : 16,400 (20%) 4. Number of Trains Runs daily : 10,000 5. Number of Locomotives/Engines Operating: 9,213 6. Number of Passenger Coaches Operating : 59,713 7. Number of Freight Wagons Operating : 2, 29,381 8. Number of Passengers Commuting Daily : 25 Million 9. Freight Transporting Daily : 2.8 Million Tons 10. Total Railway Route Kilometers in India : 65,000 KMs. 11. Electrification Railway Route : 22,224 KMs. 12. Types of Locomotives : Diesel, Electric 13. Types of Track Gauges : 1676mm (5ft 6 inch) Broad Gauge, 1000mm (1 meter) Meter Gauge, 762mm (2ft 6 inch) and 610mm (2ft) Narrow Gauge 14. Types of Trains : Superfast Exp, Express/Mail, Goods Train, Passenger, Metro, and Monorails, Salary and other perks of driver (i) Pay Scale 5200 – 20200 (ii) Grade Pay 1900 (iii) Initial Pay 5830 (iv) Total Pay (i) + (ii ) 7730 Other Allowances depend on various conditions and hence can‟t be stated uniformly. Other major allowances include : DA on Total Pay above plus the running Allowance Transport Allowance Running Allowance House Rent Allowance(if not provided with quarters Till 31 March 2012 (approx figure) (www.Indian railways, Wikipedia) III. Job Description of Indian Railways Drivers/Loco- Pilots 3.1 Objectives of the job: Railways‟ Drivers / Loco-Pilots are the most important person in executing the huge task of transporting nearly 25 Million passengers and more than 2.8 Million Tons of freight daily with the help of 2,29,381 wagons, 59,713 coaches and more than 9,213 locomotive engines of various kinds. To transport 25 million passengers and millions of tons of freight and that too with taking care of both the traveler‟s convenience and safety is not a mean task, the driver on whose sincerity the journey of a train depends. (www.Indian railways, Wikipedia). 3.2 Work to be performed Driver is responsible to carry the train safely to its destination. Railway drivers playing a key role in Indian Railway's safe & punctual running of trains with security and productivity (www.indian railway driver information, 2012). 3.3 Railways’ drivers need to possess the following skills I. Good mechanical knowledge. II. Good hands-eye co-ordination. III. The ability to concentrate for long periods of time. IV. Physical stamina.
  • 3. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 41 | Page V. Good memory. VI. Flexibility. VII. Excellent awareness of health and safety regulations and emergency procedures. VIII. A responsible attitude. IX. Good judgment and decision-making skills. X. Reliability. 3.4 Responsibilities The job of a Railway Driver demands hard work and great presence of mind along with courage to handle diverse conditions. For this one should have discipline, patience, responsibility, punctuality, commitment, courage and above all self-confidence. The job requires lots of hard work, stamina, alertness of mind, adaptability to follow difficult time schedules too. But the main and remarkable, highly appreciable role of Railway drivers is the only who works with full honesty, in day & night, in heavy cold, hot & Rainy weather (www.indian railway driver information, 2012). 3.5 The typical tasks undertaken by Railways’ drivers are i. Before starting the train/locomotive read safety circulars, safety bulletin, technical circulars, driver instruction, caution order, and divisional circulars. ii. Before starting the train/locomotive read the caution order carefully in which sectional track work progress with temporary speed restriction is mention. iii. Before starting the train/locomotive check the repair book of loco about any remark for any locomotive trouble. iv. Before starting the train/locomotive check the oil level (diesel, lube oil, compressor oil in case of diesel locomotive and transformer oil, GR oil, compressor oil, exhauster oil in case of electric locomotive) and time to time during the run (One time during about 100 kilometers, it depends on drivers‟ mind). v. After coupling with the train check brake pipe pressure continuity test with guard. vi. After getting departure signal, loco pilot must start the train and run the train as per the aspect of station signals. vii. Loco pilot must have sharp look out. While on run he must observe all permanent & temporary speed restrictions. viii. Loco pilot must always ready to notice:- a. Any track defect through jerk or lurch, b. Any unusual with self or others train. He must be mentally prepared for precautionary remedies as per the general & subsidiary rules and accident manual directives. It itself is sufficient to mental stress of loco pilots. ix. Checking the engine and general state of the train prior to starting each journey. x. Maintaining an awareness of track conditions and weather conditions. xi. Following signals (Averagely there are signals after every 1.5 Kilometer distance). xii. Following safety regulations at all times. xiii. Keeping the train under control and at the appropriate speed at all times. xiv. Keeping control of instruments including brakes. xv. Maintaining an awareness of emergency procedures. xvi. Stopping the train at the appropriate stops on each schedule. xvii. Keeping a record of any Problems. (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). 3.6 Working Conditions For Railways‟ drivers operating on long distance routes, overnight stays in various locations will be necessary. Furthermore, it can be stressful, as delays and hazards on the track are not uncommon. His cab of the train should be relatively comfortable but it may be quite cold, hot and noisy (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). 3.7 Relationship of the job to other jobs I. Nature of duty of loco running staff remains unchanged as compared to all other category of Indian railway. For Ex. Previously ticket reservations were manually prepared maintain record by reservation clerk. And after completion of duty they have to count no. of selling of tickets & amount manually. Now they are doing all the reservations on computer and they are getting full data about no. of reservations and amount of the tickets on computer in a short time. Similarly station masters signals operating panel system instead previous lever operated track points & signals. Pathway inspector now checking track through ultrasonic machine instead of previous manual check. Now they have TTM (TRACK TESTING
  • 4. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 42 | Page MACHINE) for track testing & lifting & packing. Whereas in loco running staff duty, the duties of running staff which was perform in the previous days, still remain same in present modernized railway (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). II. There is no any such category, in Govt. transport organization other than loco running staff of Indian railway, who have A-l medical standard + super psycho & classified as class H-I. Airplane/Air Force Pilots, Ship Captain are not classified as class H-I. Their pay should not be fixing as per the nature of duty, considering the risk factor, required medical standard, number of days & duty hours performing duty (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). III. Staff Nurses get Rs.11, 940 for uniform and washing allowance annually, but Loco- Pilot gets only Rs. 438.50 annually (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). IV. Job Specifications of Indian Railways Drivers/Loco- Pilots 4.1 Eligibility for Assistant Loco-Pilot/Railway Drivers 4.1.1 Steps After clearing the Written Examination (conducted by RRB) followed by Aptitude Test after this Medical test and finally Document verification. 4.1.2 Age Minimum age of the aspiring candidate should be 18 years and maximum age limit is 30 years. 4.1.3 Educational Qualifications Because of vast advanced Technological changes and fast movement of train operation Railway required the group of high leveled Technical staff for train operation. Hence Railway started recruitment of literate staff in 1962 through RRB. And from last 20 years, the Railway demanding ITI or technical diploma like Diploma in mechanical/ electrical/ electronic engg.etc. for the post of Assistant Loco Pilot/Railway Drivers (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). 4.1.4 Medical Standards Candidate must have high leveled medical standard which is no other category required so far. Loco running men/railway drivers must have the highest standard of medical fitness in medical „A‟ (As it meant for Airplane Pilots).This medical standard has to maintain from the period of joining and up to the end of carrier as Railway driver. A) Each eye vision must be perfect. B) Each ear must be clear for hearing. C) X-ray for chest is clear. D) ECG for heart etc functioning normal. E) Blood & Urine tests for sugar Nil. F) Physical fitness of the body must be perfect. G) Ishihara test free from color blind free. H) Blood pressure must be normal. The same medical checkup, the Railway drivers must have to pass after every periodical gap of 4 years up to the age of 45 years. From 45 years age to 55 years age, periodical medical examination in the same above manner is conducted once in 2 years. And from 55 years age up to 60 years age PME is conducted once in year. And after every PME certificate the Railway drivers can continue as loco running staff. In addition to this, the Railway driver working on high speed train must have to pass super-Psycho test at RDSO LUCKNOW. As well as loco running staff may also send for special medical examination and called anytime to the divisional office for Psycho test (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). 4.1.5 Training Schedule & Nature of Training After recruitment as an Assistant loco pilot, send to Zonal Training Centre for training. The training schedule is for 12 months on Diesel / Electric locomotive including technical education of locomotive, operational education of locomotive. In addition to this general and subsidiary rules training given. And after successful completion of training from ZTC trainees sent to posted division for practical training under Divisional Training Centre under Loco Supervisor. And after successful completion of training, posted as Assistant Loco Pilot (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). V. Railway Driver Career Prospects A Railway driver usually begins his career as a diesel or electric assistant driver, where his job is mainly to check the state of the locomotive, help with all the auxiliary equipment as needed, and to call out the aspects of the signals. ALP with minimum 2 years of service as Diesel Asstt. /Electric Asstt. and 60,000 Kilometer running experience is required for the promotion to the post of Loco-Pilot (Goods). An assistant driver works as an assistant on goods trains, then on passenger trains, and finally on express trains. It takes at least 8 or 10 years, usually more, before an assistant driver works up the ranks to become the driver for a Rajdhani or Shatabdi train (www.Indian Railway Driver Information, 2012). VI. Working Conditions I. For Railways‟ drivers operating on long distance routes, overnight stays in various locations will be necessary. Furthermore, it can be stressful, as delays and hazards on the track are not uncommon (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). II. His cab of the train should be relatively comfortable but it may be quite cold, hot and noisy (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008).
  • 5. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 43 | Page III. At present Loco Pilots are classified under 'continuous' roaster. Not any calendar day rest provision. Normally the Loco Pilot has to work for 10 hours duty at a stretch and can demand relief after 12 hours with 2 hours prior notice to controller (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). (ILO regulation only 9 hrs upper limit +1 hrs extra in case of emergency duty) (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). IV. There are no fix schedules during operating Goods train. It takes normally long duty hours (sometimes continues 10 hours or more).While operating Goods train, very long waiting time for returning his own H.Q./Home Station (It is sometimes 30 hours or more). Loco-Pilot must be waited for the train at the time of returning to his H.Q./Home Station. After 96 hours of Sign-Off Loco-Pilot demand the compulsory returning for his H.Q. with driving train or without driving train. There are no immediate returning schedules of loco-pilot. In any personal or family emergency loco-pilot can‟t leave the cab without Sign- Off. In any emergency loco-pilot called for duty at any time while he is in rest periods. VII. Periodic Rest to Loco-Pilots I. At least 5 periods of rest of not less than 22 consecutive hours each per month or at least 4 periods of rest of not less than 30 consecutive hours each per month each including a full night shall be given to Running Staff. II. Hours of work for this purpose shall be calculated from „signing on‟ to „signing off‟. III. Periodic rest shall be given at headquarters. IV. As far as possible it should be given once in 10 days. Rest after duty: Based on total duty „signing on‟ to „signing off‟ rest after duty shall be given as follows: At headquarters : For duty of less than 8 hours 12 hours For duty of 8 hours or more 16 hours In either case a Running staff shall not be called to go out if rest is under 6 hours except in unavoidable necessity as in case of accidents or breakdowns. At outstation : 8 hours rest for 8 hours running duty or more (staff may sign for rest to the extent of 6 hours if they so desire) Interval between trips shall be considered as duty if it is equal to or less than 1 hour plus time allowed for train or engine attendance before and after trips.  After 3 continuous full night duty, one full night rest/sleep provided (But practically it is not possible because Full night duty/running considered between 22:00 PM to 06:00 AM completely).  Maximum duty hours in anyone trip should not exceed 10 hours (ILO regulation only 9 hrs upper limit +1 hrs extra in case of emergency duty) (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012).  Avg. duty hours in a fortnight (Period of two weeks) should not exceed 104 hours. Minimum home station rest should be: If duty performed in the last trip is less than 8 hrsRest of 12 hrs If duty is 8 hrs. or more Rest of 16 hrs But, Loco-Pilots cannot leave the H.Q. If, Loco Pilot wants to leave the head quarter, he must be given written application to the Crew-Controller. It means in emergency loco pilot called for duty in any time even in rest conditions.  Full night considered between 22:00 PM to 06:00 AM.  Duty hours counted from Sign-On (station where assigning duty/starting duty) to Sign-Off (station where completed duty/ leave duty).  Loco-Pilots must be Sign-On his duty 30 minutes before the actual departure time of the train (HOER,  Hours of Employment and Period of Rest rules 2005).
  • 6. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 44 | Page Rest given to Pintu Kumar during Month of November, 2012: HOER Pintu Kumar  At least 5 periods of rest of not less than 22 consecutive hours each per month or at least 4 periods of rest of not less than 30 consecutive hours each per month each including a full night shall be given to Running Staff.  After 3 continuous full night duty, one full night rest/sleep provided  Maximum duty hours in anyone trip should not exceed 10 hours.  Avg. duty hours in a fortnight (Period of two weeks) should not exceed 104 hours.  Only 3 rest of 22 hours  But practically it is not possible because Full night duty/running considered between 22:00 PM to 06:00 AM completely.  There are no fix schedules during operating Goods train. It takes normally long duty hours (sometimes continues 10 hours or more).  But it is generally more (overtime allowance provision). VIII. Cab Conditions The heavy noise, dust pollution, excess heat, high voltage electricity in the electric locomotive and diesel smell in the diesel locomotive are contributing to early fatigue to the crew. The noise level in a diesel locomotive is about more than 100 decibels which is 25 decibels more than maximum allowed limit of 75 decibels by the Industrial Pollution Control Board. The heat, diesel smell, noise from the engine room comes to the driving cab as the doors in the driving cab are not designed sound proof. To overcome this problem the locomotive cab has to be air-conditioned so that fatigue will no attack the drivers and they can concentrate on their duties properly and ensure safety of trains. (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). I. Noise level - More than 100 Desibal (it has an adverse impact on the minds of drivers. it is a source of disturbance to the drivers and does not allow them to work with concentration. Therefore, it is essential to keep noise under control, limited to 75 db by Industrial Pollution Control Board (fire Quartly magazine, aug.2012). II. Temperature - Due to heavy night duty feeing cold or rain or hot sun in summer when normal temperature up to 46 to 48 degree, in locomotive, temperature increases up to temperature 54 to 56 degree centigrade, i.e. adverse weather conditions. Comfortable Room Temp. considered 25 degree centigrade (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). Drivers efficiency is bound to suffer if the temp. of cab is either too low or too high(FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). III. Pollution and high voltage electricity. It has an adverse impact on the physical and mental health of drivers. IV. Bad wiper, not properly functioning during rainy and foggy season, so poor visibility during raining and foggy. V. No voice recorders in the cab for recording the shortcomings and calling out of signals (just like black box in flights). VI. Loco-Pilot seat quality poor (normally without back rest provision). VII. No natural calls facilities (no toilets available). VIII. Sometimes After repairing chairs are in bad conditions, fan and lights are not properly working. It means there are no more/sufficient spare parts available. IX. Poor lighting (without proper lighting, eye damage will occurs. it is essential to the health, safety and efficiency of drivers). X. Commonly no air-conditioning. XI. In diesel locomotive, seat position is very bad. Track not seen properly while loco pilot seated. Therefore he performs his duty always in standing position. (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). IX. Running Room In running room, normally dormitory so loco pilots getting disturbance of sleep when other crew members or call boy are coming or getting ready for duty and putting lights etc. Due to high temp. Loco-Pilots not enjoyed fully undisturbed sleep before running trains. Because, generally no air-conditioning provided (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). I. He carry himself rations, vegetables etc. for cooking meals in the kitchen of running room. Because in running room no any cooked food served around the clock. Only cooks are available for preparing the food. Due to shortage of cooking staff(generally 2-3 staff working) in running room, sometime cook
  • 7. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 45 | Page taking 3-4 hours for preparing food (rules to served within 45 minutes). So They are unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest even as they are provided 16 hrs. rest. II. Commonly dormitory, due to this sleep disturbed. III. Some places two-bedded room without attached toilet and bathrooms. IV. Common toilets and bathrooms. V. Unhighgenic water and meal atmosphere. X. Residence/Staff-Quarters I. 100% housing should not be provided to drivers as they are residing up to 5-6 KMs. away from their station of posting and are taking a lot of time in commuting. They are unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest even at home station when they are provided 16 hrs. rest (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). II. Railway drivers are living in rented/private houses and facing lot of problems for Sign-On and after Sign- Off their duty. III. Some places quarters are situated very long distance (around 3 to 4 KM) away from his duty stations. IV. There is no official vehicle provided by IR for Railway drivers. V. Due to long distance of quarters, journey time increases for joining his duty. VI. During odd weather and odd timing, very rigorous to join the duty and returned after the duty. XI. Medical Facilities Paternity leave for 15 days only two times during the whole service periods. Paternity Leave may not normally be refused. Leave cannot be sanctioned for more than 5 years continuous. Medical leave : - During one year,  10 days with full pay.  20 days with half pay.  More than 20 days without pay. When Railways‟ drivers joining after six months of medical leave, Railways‟ authority take a full/complete medical test. If found medically not fit, duty/job/post of Loco-Pilot can be changed. (Indian Railway Establishment code, Vol-1) Reimbursement of Medical Expenses: When an employee or family members are referred to a hospital by Railway Medical Authority expenses incurred are reimbursed on production of bills/receipts countersigned by Supt. of the hospital. For emergency Treatment without proper reference by ADMO  In case of Government hospitals, full powers for reimbursement.  In case of recognized hospitals/dispensary run by philanthropic organizations Up to Rs.2,00,000  These powers will be exercised by GM/AGM duly scrutinized by FA&CAO.  Claims of higher amount will be referred to Railway Board.  DRMs can reimburse claims up to Rs.10, 000 per case with a ceiling limit of Rs.2, 00,000 per year In case of Government/recognized hospitals only. (Indian Railway Establishment Manual, Vol-1). XII. . Nature of Duty 12.1Critical Duty 12.1.1 When loco pilot working on high speed train, he have to work for 400 to 500 km at a stretch without any halt. During the run he cannot even release his urinal pressure. In NAGPUR DIVISION, when loco pilots booked to work RAJDHANI EXPRESS ex Nagpur to Bhopal, there are 265 signals and the running time given is 330 minutes. It means averagely after every 1 minute & 22 seconds loco pilots must ready to observe signal. There are 296 gates (manned/ unmanned) in the same section. It means after every 1 minutes &11 seconds loco pilot must be prepared to observe gates condition. In addition to this loco pilot must also observe self train track, over head equipments as well as adjacent track and check the train if passing on adjacent track. He must also sharp attention on his locomotive performance. Loco pilot must take learning of road and signals with their proper locations, stations halts, level crossing gates (signaled and non- signaled gates, manned or unmanned gates) (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). 12.1.2 Following signals (Averagely there are signals after every 1.5 Kilometer distance and gates averagely after every 1.3 km) (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). If he ignores any red signal and crossed it (while any accidents occurred or not), Railway takes very strict action against him normally removal from service.
  • 8. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 46 | Page 12.1.3 Highly appreciable role of Railway drivers is the only who works with full honesty, in day & night, in heavy cold, hot & Rainy weather (www.indian railway driver information, 2012). 12.1.4 Loco pilot must have sharp look out. While on run he must observe all permanent & temporary speed restrictions. 12.1.5 Continuous running for long hours. For example, Bihar Sampark Kranti Exp. (12565) runs between Darbhanga (Bihar) to New Delhi. Loco-pilot booked/sign-on his duty in Darbhanga and continuous running the train to Chhapra (That is around 202KM) and take around 5 hours continuous running /duty. And some other trains take around 5 to 6 hours for this distance. 12.1.6 There is no upper limit in the railways rulebook on the number of night duties to be done by the railways‟ driver. Despite data from major rail accidents, pointed to the fact that most mishaps take place between early night and late morning. The weekly rest provisions for Railways‟ drivers are vague. Faced with a severe staff shortage(now 60,000 loco drivers and there is 20% vacancy in the 82,000 sanctioned posts), coupled with the fact that most trains run also during night hours, railways is being forced to put most of its drivers on night duty for long periods. (www.indian railway driver information, 2012) 12.1.7 For instance, the Railways‟ driver roster for Hampi Express which collided with a stationary train suggests that the driver had run 23 trains in 19 days of which 12 were full-night, three half-night and seven full-day duties. This means the driver had undisturbed sleep in only seven days in the past three weeks. They (Railways‟ Drivers) are not allowed to break for food, refreshment or answer nature's call during duty hours. Duty of loco pilots is very much strenuous (www.indian railway driver information, 2012). 12.1.8 While operating diesel locomotives, they perform his duty in always standing position, because visibility effected due to bad seat position. Track not seen properly in seating conditions. Due to high speed and continuous running train Loco-Pilots are extremely tired. Their eyes and Heart are more affected. 12.2 Routine Duty 12.2.1 Before starting the train/locomotive read safety circulars, safety bulletin, technical circulars, driver instruction, caution order, and divisional circulars. 12.2.2 Before starting the train/locomotive read the caution order carefully in which sectional track work progress with temporary speed restriction is mention. 12.2.3 Before starting the train/locomotive check the repair book of loco about any remark for any locomotive trouble. 12.2.4 Before starting the train/locomotive check the oil level (diesel, lube oil, compressor oil in case of diesel locomotive and transformer oil, GR oil, compressor oil, exhauster oil in case of electric locomotive) and time to time during the run (One time during about 100 kilometers, it depends on drivers‟ mind). 12.2.5 After coupling with the train check brake pipe pressure continuity test with guard. 12.2.6 After getting departure signal, loco pilot must start the train and run the train as per the aspect of station signals. 12.2.7 Stopping the train at the appropriate stops on each schedule. 12.2.8 Keeping a record of any Problems. (Singh Ravi Kant, 2008). XIII. Life after the Duty/job When railway drivers at outstation duty, after signing off his duty, railway driver stay in the running room located near by the station premises. He carry himself rations, vegetables etc. for cooking meals in the kitchen of running room. Because in running room no any cooked food served around the clock. Only cooks are available for preparing the food. Due to shortage of cooking staff(generally 2-3 staff working) in running room, sometime cook taking 3-4 hours for preparing food (rules to served within 45 minutes). So, they are unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest even as they are provided 16 hrs. rest. After the meal normally he goes to sleep immediately, because due to high speed and continuous running train Loco-Pilots are extremely tired. Relatively same conditions at home station.100% housing should not be provided to drivers as they are residing up to 5-6 KMs. away from their station of posting and are taking a lot of time in commuting. They are unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest even at home station when they are provided 16 hrs. rest (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). After the meal normally he goes to sleep immediately, because due to high speed and continuous running train Loco-Pilots are extremely tired.
  • 9. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 47 | Page XIV. Personal/Family Related Problem He shares one very personal incidents of his life with me. He is married and father of two sweet children. At the time of his first child's birth, he was on his duty and suddenly he receive a call from his wife and his wife said you returned immediately because I am very serious and immediately required medical attention. But, at that time he was on his duty and not to leave the train and not possible to return back for home and admitted his wife in hospital. So, his neighbors were admitted his wife in a hospital and his wife delivered a child in the absence of him (her husband). He came back after about12 hours and meets his wife and new born his child. And he says, these kinds of issues are still continuing. He is not giving (spending) more (sufficient) time with his family and societal activities.  100% housing should not be provided to drivers as they are residing up to 5-6 kms. away from their station of posting and are taking a lot of time in commuting. They are unable to get more than 10-12 hours of rest even at home station when they are provided 16 hrs. rest.  All other railway employees get 12 National Holydays and 52 Sundays, guaranteed weekly rest but Loco- Pilot does not get any National Holyday. So, all the personal work has to be done by availing leave, or between short spells in between duties, which creates mental agony, losing concentration in running duties.  No any calendar day rest provision, so that they may fulfill their family and social obligations. (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). XV. . Issues I. Irregularities in lunch and dinner II. Irregularities in sleep III. Disturbed sleep IV. Sleep disorder V. Work under pollution and high voltage electricity VI. Due to heavy night duty feeling cold or rain or hot sun in summer when normal temperature up to 46 to 48 degree, in locomotive, temperature increases up to temperature 54 to 56 degree centigrade, i.e. adverse weather conditions. VII. Noise level more than 100 db VIII. Insufficient facilities in running room IX. Unhighgenic water and meal atmosphere X. Suffer from stress related disease (hypertension, diabetes, frequent headaches etc.) XI. No any calendar day rest provision, so that they may fulfill their family and social obligations. XII. All their personal work has to be done by availing leave, or between short spells in between duties, which creates mental agony, losing concentration in running duties (FIRE Quartly Magazine, Aug.2012). XIII. Do not spend sufficient time daily with his family members (including wife, child/children, and older parents). XIV. Always miss out quality time with his family and friends because of nature of work. XVI. Status Report Based on above discussion, I felt work-life balance of Pintu Kumar as a railway driver in India is not very good. Indian Railways‟ trying to solve these serious issues, but it is still continuing and more effort needed. Work life-balance of Pintu Kumar as a railway driver is most important for the safe journey of passengers. So that, crores of passengers reach their destination safely. References [1]. Amitabh (2006),"Rail Accidents due to Human Errors-Indian Railways Experience" Ministry of Railways, Govt. of India. [2]. “Allotment of Railway Quarters and Retention thereof”, Railway Board Letter No: E [G] 2006/QR1-6, dated: 20/04/2007, RBE No: 35/200. [3]. FIRE Quartly Magazine (Aug.2012), All India Loco Running Staff Association. [4]. Govt. of India, Ministry of Railways, “Indian Railways Corporate Safety Plan” (2003-13), August 2003. [5]. HOER (Hours of Employment and Period of Rest rules 2005). [6]. Indian Railway Establishment Manual (Vol.-I), Chapter -I, Sec.-B, Sub.Sec I, II, &III. [7]. India Railway Manual of AC Traction (Vol-3), Ch. - VI- Operation of Locomotive. [8]. Indian Railway Establishment Manual (Vol-1); Chapter-XIII, Reimbursement of Medical Expenses Rule. [9]. Indian Railway Establishment code (Vol-1), Master circular No. 25,“Absorption of Medically De-categorized Non-gazetted Staff in Alternative Jobs”. [10]. “Promotion of non-gazetted staff in loco running cadre – posts of Goods Driver redesignated as Loco Pilots [Goods]”,( RBE No: 101/08, 12/09/2008,) [11]. Sharma P.C & Amitabh (2004), “Safety as Key Business Theme! -Indian Railways Perspective”, International Railway Safety Conference, Perth, Australia.
  • 10. Work-Life of Indian Railway's Drivers (Loco-Pilots) www.iosrjournals.org 48 | Page [12]. Singh Ravi Kant, (2008) “Life of an Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP)/Assistant Driver”, All India Loco Running Staff Association (Posted on Web). [13]. Govt. of India, Ministry of Railways, White Paper- Safety on Indian Railways, April 2003. [14]. www.indian railway driver information, 2012, “Railway Driver- How to become a railway driver”. [15]. www.Indian railwas, Wikipedia [16]. Indian Railways Online Official site (www.indian railway information.gov.in). [17]. www.indian railway.gov.in