To ensure train drivers get sleep, Rlys ropes in families

To ensure safety, the Railways wants its drivers to get a good night’s sleep. And to provide that, it is reaching out to their families, telling them to have in place a conducive atmosphere that allows it.

Zonal railways have been holding interactive sessions with families of loco pilots and assistant loco pilots, telling them nothing at home should come in the way of the drivers’ fill of rest and uninterrupted sleep when they arrive after duty, including household chores.

The move follows increasing incidents of accidents due to train drivers jumping signals. In May last year, 24 people were killed when the driver of Hampi Express had overshot a signal and rammed into the rear of a stationary goods train in Andhra Pradesh.

A set of guidelines reiterated by the Railway Ministry recently also stressed on measures to identify drivers who “indulge in activities other than rest” and to counsel them.

“The sessions are very helpful because when a person is at his home station after long hours of duty, it is natural that he gets caught up in household responsibilities and chores. We have realised that it often prevents them from getting a fair share of sleep before the next assignment,” a senior Railway Ministry official said.

‘Signal Passing At Danger’ — the term used for accidents or near-accidents due to jumping of signals — is often attributed to drivers not being alert enough to spot “stop” signals especially at night.

Recently, K K Srivastava, Member (Traffic), Railway Board, had also issued a letter saying that proper rest for drivers was of paramount importance as cases of signal jumps are increasing due to “non-observance of proper rules”.

“It has been observed that drivers who have been inducted departmentally and drivers who are performing duty after availing headquarters rest are more prone to ‘SPAD’,” Srivastava wrote.

Engine drivers have been complaining for years about long and continuous duty hours depriving them of rest. Their duty hours as a routine stretch beyond 15 hours.

Sites located for executive lounges at Charbagh station

There is progress in the development of the first executive lounge planned at Charbagh railway station. The sites have been identified for the two lounges to come up at both Charbagh and Lucknow Junction (LJn) station for passengers who visit the city for official purpose and do not have to stay for longer than a few hours. The facility can be used also by those who have to wait at the station to board the train to their next destination.

The lounge will be developed by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC). Zonal railways have to identify locations for building the lounge and hand it over to IRCTC for construction. The main station has identified a location close to platform no. 1. “It is yet to be handed over to us,” said Manoj Sinha, chief regional manager, IRCTC, Lucknow. On the other hand, things are under process at LJn. The North Eastern Railway (NER) has identified the site for developing the lounge in the new hall which has been constructed at LJn.

An executive lounge will not only provide a comfortable stay, but also free refreshments and a meal. A passenger can book a lounge for four hours and pay Rs 300 as entry charge. A facility of advance booking will be extended to people on IRCTC website, once the lounge comes into existence. It will be of much use to passengers on a break-journey. There might be a facility to book it in advance too. Once the lounge comes up, IRCTC will decide on other facilities that can be provided at the place.

The facilities at the lounge would include a reclining sofa or a couch, free meal-vegetarian or non-vegetarian-snacks, drinks and beverages, Internet surfing, magazines and newspapers. The round-the-clock lounge will also have a gift (bouquets, etc) corner, medicine counter and dial-a-taxi service. But, all these facilities will be on-payment. “It’s because of the range of facilities that we wish to provide at the lounge that at least 3,000 sq ft space will be required to build it,” said the official.

IRCTC has decided to set up executive lounge in Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Kathgodam and Allahabad. After identification of sites for developing the lounge, the bidding process will begin once permission from the competent authority (General Manager) is granted. IRCTC has allowed tendering in Delhi and Lucknow.

Published in: on December 22, 2012 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rail reservation charts to have TTEs name too

The Railway Board has given instructions to zonal railways for mentioning the names of Train Ticket Examiners (TTE) in the reservation charts so that passengers may identify them and get their problems solved.

In this connection, executive director, passenger marketing in the Railway Board A Madhukumar Reddy has written letters to all the chief commercial managers of the zonal railways so that the order can be implemented soon.

It is worth mentioning that duties of ticket checking staff manning reserved coaches include guiding the passengers of the trains, and rendering assistance by co-coordinating with the railway staff of other department in case of need.

The presence of on-board ticketing checking staff in the assigned coaches wearing proper uniform and identity badge is essential for ensuring proper guidance and assistance to the passengers.

The letter mentions that several instances have come to notice in which the passengers could not be able to locate the ticket checking staff for seeking guidance.

In order to enable the passengers to locate easily the ticket checking staff manning the trains for seeking assistance in case of need, it has been decided that the names of TTE/COR/Dy TS/TS responsible for manning the coaches shall be printed on the respective reservation charts of coaches through the PRS from the train originating station.

The names of the TTEs/ conductors manning the coaches on end-to-end basis shall be printed on the reservation chart through the PRS. For all other trains, names of ticket checking staff deployed on the first leg will be printed on the chart at the train originating station.

In case of a last minute change, the TTE/ conductor should make necessary correction in the chart by writing his name and designation on the chart.

Zonal railways have been asked to issue suitable instructions for ensuring the above system.

Instructions should also be issued that the names of the outstation TTEs/conductors manning the coaches many be obtained by the train originating station and incorporated in the reservation charts through the PRS.

The letter further mentions that printing of reservation charts at any location should not be however delayed on this count.

Published in: on September 1, 2012 at 9:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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Rail Board for reducing duty hours of drivers

Reducing duty hours of mail/express train drivers to six hours (they encounter a signal every minute on an average) to monitoring the crew on his first trip after having availed rest (since most of the signal-jumping cases have occurred after the train drivers have availed headquarter rest) are among the suggestions that came up during a recent meeting on SPAD (signal passed at danger) convened by the Railway Board.

The meeting was attended by chief mechanical engineers of all zonal railways and one mechanical loco inspector from each division and was addressed by Railway Board Chairman Vinay Mittal and other high officials.

The meeting followed the recent spate of train accidents including the one involving the Hampi Express on May 22 leading to the loss of 25 lives.

Pressure has also been mounted on the Railway Ministry by the All-India Loco Running Staff Association (AILRSA) for improving safety measures in view of the frequent train accidents.

A communiqué containing the minutes of the meetings and various suggestions made by the participants has been circulated to the General Managers of all the railway divisions in the country.

It was suggested in the meeting that since the loco pilots (train drivers) were found to be above 55 years of age in majority of the cases of jumping of the signal by trains, the retirement age of drivers should be brought down to 55 years.

It was also suggested that links should be made in such a way that there are not more than 2-3 continuous night duties for train drivers.

Efforts should be made so that the running staff (train drivers) was not made to perform more than six hours duty between 10 pm and 6 am, it was suggested.

It was also suggested that retro-reflective board indicating the type of signal with arrow towards the relevant line should be provided at each signal post. In case, there are more than two lines, the signal post of additional line should be of different colour. The name of the station should be written on signal posts of station signals.

The participants also asked for ensuring proper time tabling so that margin for acceleration or deceleration is available depending on the load and gradients and incorporating a concept of loco recovery (making up for lost time) in the working time table.

Suggestions made in the meeting also included subjecting drivers to breathalyzer test before embarking on a journey and counselling their families on the ill-effects of alcoholism. It was also suggested that train drivers should be protected from being arrested in case of accidents as this causes anxiety and increases the stress level of drivers.

“The crew should be counselled not to work under pressure since he has to operate the train under maximum permissible speed now that the concept of booked speed is no longer there. Safety has to be given priority over punctuality,” said the communiqué.

Proposals of Railway Board meeting
Reduce duty hours of mail/express train drivers to six
Monitor crew on first trip after having availed rest
Retirement age of drivers be brought down to 55 years
Not more than 2-3 continuous night duties for drivers
Subject drivers to breathalyzer test before a journey
Drivers shouldn’t be arrested in case of accidents

Indian Railway’s Turn Around News

Dear Friends,

This blog will share latest news regarding the Turn Around of Indian Railways. Positive and innovative reforms facilitating the turn around of Indian Railways will be highlighted. The main intention of this blog is to highlight the innovative changes happening in Indian Railways.


 Only information regarding major policy changes will be posted. This blog does not contain any train specific info.


This blog is not an official website of Indian Railways. You can refer to the official website of Indian Railways at the following address,


The news reports are compiled from various news papers by A.HARI, a Railway enthusiast based in Chennai.