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Loco Running Staff Demands By AIRF




                On the Indian Railways, the Loco Running Staff are divided into 5 categories namely:- 
                1. Assistant Loco Pilot (entry level cadre

                    (i.e.) feeder category)
                2. Loco Pilot (Shunting)
                3. Loco Pilot (Goods)
                4. Loco Pilot (Passenger)/Motor Man and
                5. Loco Pilot (Mail/Express)/Sr. Motor Man

The Running staff are compelled to work round the clock against nature in biting cold, extreme heat, stormy whether, floods, cyclones and other vagaries of nature, facing sabotage, terrorism etc. for 30-40 years of their service period in order to keep the wheels of the nation on the move without any interruption.  The Loco Running Staff are required to be fit in the highest medical classification – A/1 and continue to remain fit in the same classification during the entire service of 40-42 years.  During second to second duty they are to remain absolutely vigilant.  For any deviation even just crossing a signal point by 0.5 meter (without causing any accident), the standard punishment legislated by the Railway Board is removal from service.  On removal from service the employee does not get any pension and other retirement benefits and his family pension is also barred.

                Such categories of staff are being compelled to perform duty at a stress even beyond 15/16 hours.  They are to remain away from home  station for 96 hours at a stretch.  Running room provided for outstation rest is not maintained properly.  They do not get proper food, cannot take proper rest in the Running room.  Many times their periodical rest in abrogated.  Due to all these vagaries, they are very often compelled to take voluntary retirement.  When medically decategorised, they are denied all attending benefits and the effect of the same is cumulative i.e. after retirement also in alternative category, they are denied retirement benefits as due to them had they continued on Running duty.  The rate of medical decategorisation/ invalidation and voluntary retirement is much higher than in any other category of staff working on the Railways.

Recruitment Qualification

                As present, the qualification for initial recruitment for Asstt. Loco Pilot is any one of the trade certificates(2 years) in 15 specified trades from Industrial training institutes approved by the Government of India/State.  At the same time the desirable qualification is Diploma in Electrical/Mechanical/Electronics and Communication/Automobile Engineering discipline in lieu of I.T.I. Loco Pilot in Railways.  They are recruited through Railway Recruitment Board (RRB) through stiff written test.  Then they are to appear in Psychological Test (Aptitude Test).  The Aptitude Test is very stiff; percentage of failure in Aptitude Test is maximum.  Even the Railway Board themselves have prescribed that 5 times the requirement candidate after written examination is required.  After passing both the tests, they are to appear for medical test in highest classification i.e. A-1. On recruitment they are to work as Asstt. Loco Pilot in scale Rs. 3050-4590.  In the recruitment for the post of Asstt. Loco Pilots, the Railways encourage the diploma/graduate in Engineering candidates in the same scale Rs. 3050-4590.  It proves that the Railways in order to meet the Technical upgradation in the Railway system (i.e. introduction of Micro Processor AC/DSL Loco motives and ABB Loco motives with foreign technology) requires technically more qualified candidates duly paying the meager salary in scale Rs. 3050-4590 which shall be enhanced to the scale of Rs. 5000-8000 on par with other entry level references in respect of pay scales having recruitment done with the qualification diploma in Electrical/Mechanical/Electronic and Communication/Automobile Engineering. Statistics having proved more number of diploma in Engineering candidates entered in Loco running cadre entry level post (Asstt. Loco Pilots).

The earlier steam traction was replaced by diesel/electric traction with sophisticated technology.  To meet the above, the initial recruitment qualification of a candidate also changed.  More technology means more speed more load more running beat more alertness and more rigid medical fitness etc.  Due to the above technological upgradation and optimum utilization of Loco Running Staff the overall productivity of the Railways has increased.  But over the years the Loco Running staff have been deprived of their legitimate claim for improved pay scale.

Assistant Loco Pilot

To become a running staff an aspirant have to pass through Psyco Test conducted by RDSO/Lucknow; to  maintain Aye one medical standard in respect of vision and other (medical) standards like maintenance of prescribed blood sugar, clear chest(X-ray) as specified by the Medical Board from time to time because of the importance given to the postings.

                 Induction of Running Staff in railways is carried out through RRBs and at the same time among the serving railway employees without compromising medical standard and rigorous training schedule with a definite aim of accountability.

                The duties and responsibilities of the Assistant Loco Pilot along with time the Management has been brought forward in this capsule so as to have an idea about the nature of work they carry out and the pivotal role they play in their daily work.

                The Assistant Loco Pilot has to prepare the motive power(Loco here) before  being offered  for train working and cross check various parameters as per the guidelines stipulated in the Railway Board’s letter for the first hand idea of work  involved.   

                Further, it is the important area where the motive power started to couple with the load to be worked shall be effectively monitored along with other brake pipe connectivity with that of train engine.  Monitoring maintenance of required parameters of brake pipe pressure, observing the working motive power appliances as well as the working of Fail Safe Brake System.               

The Assistant Loco Pilots are required to work both unscheduled and scheduled train services like passenger, Mail and Express trains according to their position in their concerned railway unit. As such when the Assistant Loco Pilot is drafted (or) rostered  to work unscheduled train (i.e) good/freight train he is required to work 13 Hrs (or) even more as laid down in the extant Board’s orders(E/LL/91/HER I–II dated 3.4.92) with a definite physical and mental strain in the existing atmosphere. Being drafted to work a train, Assistant Loco Pilots are required to pick up signal aspects well in advance, otherwise it is not possible from a distance of 1200 mts without compromising the speed of the train in addition to observing various instructions contained in General Rules 1976, like observing w/L board trespassing of human beings and others since no boundary has been erected to isolate the permanent way from other roadways in Indian railways, which has been noted astomingly by other foreign railway dignitaries while making visit to ascertain the working of trains in Indian Railways. 

                Assistant Loco Pilot drafted to work train services are required to observe the following in addition to the above:- 

(i)            To have a watch on the formation frequently by seeing back irrespective of the effect of dust irritating the eyes.

(ii)           To have a definite idea to clear the stabled good stock in the enroute railway station to safely reach the destination that involves definite labour which shall be definitely be considered while arriving at a conclusion to fix a new pay scale.  

On the run, the Assistant Loco Pilots are required to rise to the occasion to attend the train parting portions without minding the location of the eventuality  happening like ghat section,  plain section, tunnels even with a risk of life in the interest of Indian Railways as well as not to affect the punctuality of train services.  

                To have through knowledge to fulfil duties of Loco Pilot in case of leading  cab/working cab failure and also to fulfil the duties of Loco Pilots to clear  the section in the case of Loco pilot got incapacitated (Ref Gr 4.20 (3)) in order to avoid further detention to the subsequent train which definitely requires mental strength and particular level of iq since in the Indian Railways all types of train services are running in the existing one track (or) otherwise no dedicated  track concept for mail/express trains or freight train service has been adopted because of which the Assistant Loco Pilots are expected to fulfil any type of eventuality in a specified time frame as stipulated by the Railway Board.

Loco Pilot(Shunting)

On the Indian Railways, LP/Shunting holds crucial importance in the marshalling yards. viz. coaching yard, goods yard and loco yard. This post entitles a running man to acquire sufficient driving knowledge independently and that too in the restricted speed limit of 10 to 15 km of movement done at the yard. Otherwise a channel is opened for a new entrant to acquire driving technique viz., acceleration, de-acceleration and braking at a lesser speed.

LP/Shunting is expected to work at restricted speed of 10 to 15 km mainly because of the other Railway men’s work along with them in the loco yard, loco examination pits, coaching yards under gear examining pits and also in the interest of life risk of simultaneously working environment.

On such occasions LP/Shunting shall exercise utmost care while coupling and uncoupling the shunting engine in the formation, which may contain wagons and coaches in accordance with  the rules framed in GR 1976.

LP  (shunting) performing shunting duties at major yards shall have enough knowledge about the yard layout and to ensure no eventualities shall happen by knowing the  number of shunting operations in the adjacent line and more importantly LP   (shunting) shall be aware of the banned movements like shunting coaches with passengers if in force in station yard. 

They shall be definitely taken into consideration for their nature of work of observing shunt signal (miniature type) hand signals and verbal orders without paving way for contrary shunt move before being considered for new scale of pay.

Loco Pilot(Goods)

On the Indian railways, transporting of food grains in bulk quantity from one state to other state in order to maintain buffer stock at any given time to meet the requirement during floods and unforeseen circumstances being one type of freight service.  Another type of transportation revolves around industrial   oriented and finally balancing of empty wagons to the required area of loading points which are being effectively done by the loco pilot (goods) who is  expected to work more rigorously by compromising their social obligation that every human being  is entitled to his life.

This category is directly responsible for the running of trains. Running duties demand continued attention and alertness. The element of stress combined with uncertain hours of work entitled in the performance of running duties over long periods of time tend to have a deleterious psychosomatic effect on their health. There is a slowing down of reflexes with the passage of time making them vulnerable to operational lapses.

Further the working of Goods train requires some sort of skill in driving a train containing either petrol, diesel, kerosene (or) water taking into consideration their likely impact while negotiating the train both in ruling gradient/ghat section compared to negotiating of solid  material contained in train wagons, in the train where he is  rostered to work.

LP Goods are required to maintain steady and strong mental toughness while working trains since it may take 13 Hrs (or) more to reach either the destination of the train (or) crew changing point (Ref.E/LL/91/HER I – II dated 3.4.92) as the case may be in addition to observe the parameters like maintaining the speed of the train through  the section where he works and adhering to speed restrictions imposed in the section without fail with the  desired knowledge of system of  working adopted in the section where he works(or) otherwise LP/C shall be required to work in an exemplary manner by keeping every thing in his mind before starting to work a train. LP/Goods are required to adhere to current rating, load meter reading while starting, running. LP/Goods they are very much expected to coasting the train by cutting or the power given to the load which he works in the interest of nation’s pride of saving the   energy namely electrical energy (or) costliest high speed diesel oil consumption.

We would like to put forth the following vital parameters which shall be taken into  consideration while arriving at a conclusion to fix a pay scale to LP/Goods. 

1. LP/Goods are expected to work beyond 13 Hrs or so as there are no dedicated path for running the train which one necessitated to give preference for Mail / exp, Super Fast, Rajdhani, Shadabdi trains.

2. LP/Goods are expected to work a freight service both from Industrial area which may cause health hazards or
                otherwise from a marshalling yard where LP / Goods may expose themselves to snake bite, irritation in eyes due
                to smoke pollution exhausted by the industries.

3. LP/Goods are expected to show patience in the wayside station where no basic amenities are inbuilt since the train being regulated hours together for making path for other prestigious or regulated at the inconvenient station for want of path to receive the train at harbour  or other marshalling yards.

4. Above all, the LP/Goods are required to have a through knowledge about the signals in the section which affects the movement, roads and type of classification of railway station coming in their journey, (or) layout of the station

Duties and Responsibilities of LP/Goods

1.             LP/Goods are expected positively to report to their base depot on completion of 16 Hrs/12 Hrs/ 8 Hrs rest as the case 
                may be which one now a days has been a very impossible aspect taking into consideration the volume of social
               obligation inducted to this modern world.

2.             Even after reporting to their base depot LP/Goods are expected to wait for their nominated unscheduled train to reach their destination (or) crew changing point which may sometimes consume most the LP/Goods  energy (or) yields  fatigue.

3.             Lp/Goods are required  to conduct certain brake continuity  test as well as brake power test as laid down by the Railway Board and in addition to satisfy himself to ensure the load connected to his train   being well within the allowed/stipulated level as prescribed  in the working time table 

4.             LP/Goods are expected to check the train at the first opportunity to have first hand knowledge of the  brake power of the train and also at the same time very much expected to have judicial brake application in their way in order to adhere to fuel consumption  and energy saving  as the case  may be.

5.             LP/Goods are expected to rise the occasion to run to the prescribed speed of the Goods train in the section in order to run more number of trains in the section since no dedicated path as like exp / mail trains has been incorporated in the Working Time table.

6.             During their run they have to come   across various systems of working adopted in the section without compromising the speed of the train and at the same  time compliance of rules in force  in the particular section.

7.             Lp/Goods are required to deliver positively any type of dislocations in the section while on run, like obstruction in the section, failure of normal signaling, failure of communication between station, adhering to monsoon speed limits, picking up signals  at the time of foggy weather, in addition to their routine procedure of following neutral section speed,  speed restrictions due to engineering work.

                Further the pay fixed in the earlier commissions needs relook for enhanced level fixation of pay since LP/Goods  are expected to work train services in unscheduled manner like exposing themselves against nature (or) otherwise LP/Goods are ordered to report to duty any time irrespective of morning or midnight, whether road/rail transport facility is available or not to reach their crew reporting point in time.

                And also LP/Goods are required to compromise social obligations with their family since their service is likely to be utilized for 96 hrs. being at once ordered to work a train from their base depot and to return to the home, which one in this modern world seems to be very much a sin taking into consideration their lifestyle adopted in the society and also their volume of responsibility at the time of working  a train.

                Railways expect the LP/Goods to maintain the Aye one medical standard throughout the career even though LP/Goods are working against the nature and in more chances ailing with constipation, body pain, like many health  related short comings.  Because of the Railway Board’s guidelines of expecting LP/Goods to work 3 (or) more consecutive nights in their train working definitely affects functioning of pancreas which plays an important role in maintaining the glucose level in the blood of a human being and more importantly no replacement for the pancreas has been invented.

Loco Pilot(Passenger) and Motorman

                The category of Loco Pilot(Passenger)/Motorman are utilized  to drive the locomotive (passenger)/Electric Multiple Unit(EMU) to haul the passenger carrying trains from one place to another place duly ensuring safety.  

                To become Loco pilot (passenger)/Motorman, one has to undergo a promotional course, highest medical  standard (Aye – one) Aptitude  Test and successfully complete the same without any relaxation. 

                The duties of the Motorman are enormous while working in EMU/MEMU since it is a single man operation and the journey beat covers up to 200 kms. The total journey has more number of halts and the Motorman has to maintain punctuality as well as safety. The Motorman has to face the pressure from the travelling public when the train is running late due to some reasons which is beyond his control and tackle the situation and continue the train working safely.

                The seating arrangement condition of cab, noise pollution, location of speedo meter and other indicative gauges, breakers are not fit for the requirement of the Motorman today. The provision of look – out glass grill will spoil & affect the eye sight of the motor man.  Since the permanent way is not dedicated only for train services and open for all so many trespassers and cattle trespassing the track, especially on level crossing gates which is really horrible for theMotorman till he passes that particular place.

                While operating the EMU, he has to press the DMH(Dead Man handle) with air pressure more than 6 kg/cm2 and both hands to be operative, the legs have to be used to sound the horn, eye should see the signal and mouth has   to call out the aspect of the signal. It is nothing that the Motorman has to work as robot from the time of starting his train working and till the end of the trip even without permitting to attend nature’s call and drinking of water/food in time which will lead to ulcer and constipation problems.

                While considering new pay scale for Loco Pilot(Passenger)/Motorman,  the above nature of work may be taken into account and a proper equivalent of the pre-revised V CPC pay scale Rs.6500–10500 may be allotted.

Loco Pilot(Mail/Express) and Loco Pilot(High Speed)

                This category of Loco Running staff is utilized to drive locomotive of the Mail/Express/ Superfast/Rajdhani/Shatabdi and specials of ministers, CRB, Members Railway Board, GM and  DRM.

                The speed of the above said trains is more than 100 kmph and up to 140 kmph. If we are calculating the time and distance the Loco Pilot (Mail/Exp) passes one km within 27 sec to 36 sec. While running the train in the above said speed he has to concentrate on the permanent way, OHE structure, level crossings(manned/unmanned) gates, trespasses, stations and various kinds of signals, speedometer and all other indicative gauges in locomotive for proper working order, airflow indicator to ensure there is no ICC pulling in the train and maintain the running time as per the time table to bring his train to the destination safety and punctually. During the run he has to respond to the calls made by Asst. Loco Pilot and also to various queries and instructions made by the operating staff.  Normally a Loco Running man will come to this post when he has attained the age of 50 yrs. After that, he has to undergo medical examination once in two years and has to keep up health condition. The newly introduction of SIV Locos and ABB Locomotives have electronic controls so the Loco Pilot(Mail/Exp) has to acquire the required level of knowledge and skill to drive them.  

                The intensive nature of work load of this category is excessive and covers a beat at a stretch up to 500 kms/8 hours and overall beat more than 4000 kms. not only covering a single division/zonal railway but also covers 2 or 3 divisions and zonal railways.

                Loco Running staff plays a vital role in fulfilling the daily routine duties by themselves while other safety category staff are having skilled labour at their disposal in order to meet  the eventualities in abnormal circumstances, whereas the Loco Running staff have to deliver the thing on their own without the assistance of any other skilled staff by using their skill only, without compromising precious time. Thus the Loco Pilots(Mail/Exp) expect a respectable pay  commensurate with the work they deliver on normal and abnormal occasions.  

Due to the introduction of many Rajdhani/Shadabdi and other super fast trains running at 110-130 kmph and above, there is justification to create a special grade as Loco Pilot(High speed) for those Loco Pilots (Mail/Exp) who work the above trains.  Hence a new scale may be introduced.

Proposed pay scales for Loco Running staff


Existing Pay Scale

Proposed Pay Scale

Asst. Loco Pilot



Sr. Asst. Loco Pilot



Loco Pilot(Shunting)



Sr. Loco Pilot(Shunting)



Loco Pilot(Goods)



Sr. Loco Pilot(Goods)



Loco Pilot(Pass)/Motorman



Sr. Loco Pilot(Pass)/

Sr. Motorman





Loco Pilot(Mail/Exp/ Superfast)



Loco Supervisor



Sr. Loco Supervisor



Life Risk Insurance Scheme

                All Loco Running staff’s life is to be insured for Rs.15,00,000 since the Risk Factor is more and first victim will be the Crew only whenever accidents occurs as like the system adopted for the travelling public in case of death while on journey.

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PME Due Date

Master Circular No. 25

Copy of Railway Board’s letter No. 69/H/3/11 dated 06.12.1974

Subject: Implementation of the Recommendations of the Visual Sub-Committee.

6. Periodical re-examination of serving Railway Employees:

6.l. In order to ensure the continued ability of Railway employees in Classes A l, A 2, A 3, B l and B 2 to discharge their duties with safety, they will be required to appear for re-examination at the following stated intervals throughout their service as indicated below:

6.1.1. Classes A l, A 2 and A 3 —At the termination of every period of three years, calculated from the date of appointment until they attain the age of 45 years, and thereafter annually until the conclusion of their service.

Note: (l) The staff in categories A l, A 2 and A 3 should be sent for special medical examination in the interest of safety under the following circumstances unless they have been under the treatment of a Railway Medical Officer.

(a) Having undergone any treatment or operation for eye trouble irrespective of the duration of sickness.

(b) Absence from duty for a period in excess of 90 days.

(2) If any employee in medical category A has been periodically medically examined at any time within one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held one year from the due date of the last medical examination and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

If, however, such an employee has been medically examined, at any time earlier, than one year prior to his attaining the age of 45, his next medical examination should be held on the date he attains the age of 45 and subsequent medical examination annually thereafter.

Ammendment: It was ammended in 1993 as below

Age Group PME Due

Age 00-45 every 4yrs

Age 45-55 every 2yrs

Age 55-60 every year
As per Rly Bd's Guideline of Medical Exam issued vide LNo. 88/H/5/12 dated 24-01-1993

a) PME would be done at the termination of every period of 4 years from date of appointment / Initial medical Exam till the date of attainment of age of 45 years, every 2 years upto 55 years & there after annual till retirement.
b) Employees who has been periodically examined at any time within 2years prior to his attaining the age of 45years would be examined after 2years from the date of last PME & subsequent PME for every 2years upto 55years age.Of

NRMU 4 you

6.1.2. Classes B-1 and B-2—On attaining the age of 45 years, and thereafter at the termination of every period of five years.