We like the job and we are confident of operating the trains on par with male drivers. The job is good and the encouragement from parents and staff is good,” said the eight women loco pilots who successfully completed training at Electric Traction Training Centre (ETTC), Vijayawada.
The eight loco pilots who passed out were — G.V.S. Nalini Kumari, G. Sirisha, P. Lavanya, B. Hymavathi, Ch. Sirisha, Binni Kumari, Seema Kumari, and K. Reenam.
“Out of them, five are from Andhra Pradesh, two from Bihar, and one from Odisha,” Vijayawada Divisional Railway Manager Pradeep Kumar told The Hindu on Tuesday.
“For the first time, we have imparted training for 14 women. The successful candidates would be appointed as Assistant Loco Pilots (APLs) in the South Central Railway,” said Mr. Pradeep Kumar.
The women pilots were trained in engine components, driving skills, troubleshooting, identifying and rectifying faults, wheel alignment, brakes, driving rules, simulator, and other parts, said ETTC principal D.R.J. Prasad.
During the 79-day training, we taught them on technical and general and subsidiary rules. Already, the Apprentice Loco Pilots underwent training at the Zonal Railway Training Centre (ZRTC) at Moulali on signalling, said instructor Vivekananda.
“My father is a loco pilot and my dream to become a train driver has come true now. The job is good and I am ready to face the challenges, if any,” said Ms. Reenam, a native of Bihar.
Ms. Seema Kumari, who completed ITI in Electronics in Odisha, said the encouragement from parents and the trainers was good.
Meanwhile, South Central Railway Women’s Welfare Organisation president Preeti Awasthi felicitated the eight women loco pilots. “It is a proud moment for women of the country that the fair sex has forayed into loco pilot profession, which is a male bastion till date. The SCRWWO will make efforts to arrange separate food and rest rooms for women pilots,” said Ms. Awasthi.