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Traffic Running Staff Demands By AIRF


Traffic Running Staff

The categories of Traffic Running Staff comprise of :
                (i) Assistant Guard.
                (ii) Guard Goods.
                (iii) Guard Passenger.
                (iv) Guard Mail/Express.               

                According to the provision of Rule 1.0 (2) of General and Subsidiary Rules of the Indian Railways the Guard means the railway servant in-charge of a train and includes Asstt. Guard.               

                The Guard is to perform duty round the clock.  The duty hours of Guard Goods has no limit.  He is to work for 16/17 hours at a stretch.  In a Goods train which is normally running with a trailing load of 60/70 wagons he is all alone.  When at the dead of night the train, passing through a difficult terrain, jungles etc. has to stop in mid section for signal, the mental agony through which he has to pass cannot be understood by any common man. Even when the train stops at a station, the Brake Van remains far away from the station platform so that he cannot even fetch a cup of tea for himself.  He has to remain away from the headquarters for 96 hours.  He cannot take proper rest.  Even after going through all the ordeals,  he has to convey the freight and  passenger trains safely to their destination.

Recruitment Qualification
Asstt. Guard.

He is  promoted from other traffic operating category.  The promotion is made through a process of selection.  He has to pass medical examination in A2 and also the prescribed training in the Zonal Training School.  He has to work in Passenger and Mail/Express trains.

The Goods Guard is recruited through the Railway Recruitment Board. The minimum recruitment qualification is Graduation. Recruitment is done on all India level.  The written examination for recruitment is very stuff.


                On being selected, the candidates are sent to the Zonal Railway Training Institute (ZRTI) to be trained in:
· All aspects of General and Subsidiary Rules pertaining to train operation in normal and abnormal conditions.
· Commercial Rules with respect to acceptance and booking/carriage of parcels and luggage as well as ticket selling.
· The essentials of different types of signals and Signalling System along with Interlocking arrangement.
· The essentials of checking rolling stock before taking charge of a train; so as to ensure safety of the train.
· Functioning of the air and vacuum brake system along with trouble shooting in the event of unusual happening to his train.
· Essentials of train formation and marshalling.
· Essentials of electrical train lighting, overhead equipment and permanent way.
· Handling effective emergency equipment like fire extinguishers, field telephone, emergency lighting equipment, detonators, fog signals etc.
· Rendering first aid to the injured passengers and ensuring safety of their belongings.
· Various aspects of disaster management.

                From the training content, it is evident that the Guard is trained to adopt a very affirmative inter departmental approach involving operating,  commercial, signal & telecommunication, carriage and Wagon  and safety wings of the railway.

                 On successful completion of training, the Guard is required to take sectional learning during which he is expected to fully familiarise himself with technical aspects such as station and yard lay outs, signalling and inter locking arrangements, sectional capacity, system of train working, etc.

                On completion of sectional learning the incumbent takes charge as Goods Guard.

Duties and Responsibilities of Guard

                The duties of Guard can be broadly classified as below and the relevant rules are indicated in brackets.
                Before starting the train:     (4.34, 4.35 & 4.36 of GR)
                While working the train :    (4.42, 4.43, 4.44, 4.45, 4.46, 4.47 & 4.48 of GR)
                On arrival of the train :        (4.56, 4.59 & 4.60 of GR)
               The above-cited rules are General Rules and require the Guard to comply with the following:

1.         After the engine has been attached to a train and during journey, the Guard

(If there be more than one Guard, the Head Guard) shall be incharge of the train in all matters affecting stopping or movement of the train for traffic purpose.

2.             While taking over charge of a train the Guard shall satisfy himself before starting his train.
· That the train is properly coupled.
· That the train is provided with the prescribed brake power.
· That the train carries tail board or tail lamp.
· That the appliance, if any, for communication between Guard and Driver is in proper working order.
· Generally, as far as possible he should ascertain that the train is in a state of efficiency for travelling.  According to rules, the Guard of the train should also examine the setting of the handle of the empty/load gear on BOX and BCX wagons when taking over the train and ensure correct setting. 
3. While taking over charge of a train the Guard has also to see that the train has been properly marshalled.  In addition to this, he has to see that the seal and rivets are intact and no wagons are being wrongly dispatched.  On empty wagons he must ensure that the wagon doors are properly closed and secured.
4. If the Guard happens to take charge of the train at a place which is not a train examination depot, he, along with the loco pilot shall prepare the Guard/Driver report as a token of his train being safe to proceed.
5. In case of passenger trains, he has also to ensure that the lights and fans in compartments are in proper working order,  in addition to ensuring other essential amenities to passengers.
6. While on the run the Guard has to ensure safe, proper and punctual running of his train.  In the event of a mishap or accident, the Guard is required to take necessary steps for the protection of the train, and the property of the passengers, as well as giving succour to the injured and taking other relief measures.
7. While on the run the Guard has to keep a sharp look out to see that the train is running in a safe and proper manner.  While passing through each station and after passing a ghat section/engineering works spot he has to exchange the “Alright” signal with the cabinmen/switchmen, the station master and the driver.
8. Where shunting is involved, the Guard has to supervise shunting for attaching and detaching wagons and coaches safely and properly.  He must ensure correct setting and locking of points and command persons who are not subordinate to him.  He also must ensure securing of vehicles in sidings by pinning down adequate number of hand brakes and using skids/ chains.
9. The Guard has to ensure that the maximum permissible speed is not exceeded and that all permanent and temporary speed restrictions are strictly observed.  On a gradient section, he must assist the driver in stopping the train by applying the hand brake, if called upon to do so.
10. In addition to the normal transportation duties concerning train working, the Guard has to perform commercial duties by ensuring proper packing, labelling and marking of parcels and luggage, carrying cash chests, insured parcels etc. He has to keep the record of parcels in L.C. of his train.
11. Recording FIR in case of thefts reported by passenger or filing FIR in case of ACP.
12. In trains provided with public address system he is required to make announcements for the guidance and assistance of passengers.
13. Transportation of cash safe or insured parcels.
14. Issue of Guards Certificate if the situation warrants.
15. In case of unusual  happenings or inability to proceed, he shall ensure protection of his train and the adjacent track.
In addition to these responsibilities covered under the General Rules, other responsibilities as covered by the Subsidiary Rules, which are framed by Zonal Railways have also to be compiled with by him.  Increase in speed, tonnage and train length have considerably increased the integrity required in performing these responsibilities.

Requirements when in service
                Traffic Running staff, during the span of their carrier, are required to undergo periodical medical examination as below.
Age Period of Examination
Up to 45 years                            Once in four years.
45 to 55 years                            Once in two years.
55 to 60 years                            Every year.
                They are also subjected to refresher courses and safety camps at the zonal railway training institute after every three years.
                In addition to these, they are required to keep themselves up dated about the latest instructions, safety circulars, operating guidelines, etc., which are issued in connection with train operation from time to time.
                On medical decategorisation they are  absorbed in inferior services loosing all the benefits attached to the post of guard and, on retirement, they get less pension and family pension in relation to what they would have got had they continued as Guards.

Occupational Risks and Hazards

Exposure to Acute Noise Pollution:     Since the nature of duties of the Running staff inherently involves running of trains, it is quite natural that they are  continuously exposed to the continuous crackle of metal, which is further aggravated when running through tunnels or over-girder bridges.

Exposure to Vibration/Oscillation :    The duties of running staff offer them no respite from the continuous whole body vibration over an extended period. At times, this continues at a stretch during the entire duty period.   
Exposure to Dust :               High-speed trains by virtue of their movement throw up a lot of dust.  The Guard, positioned at the rear is forced to inhale iron and coal dust, cement and particles of the articles, the consignments of which happen to be on his train.  This exposure also continues over the entire period of his run.

Exposure to Extreme temperatures and strong winds :               
The brake van being nothing more than an iron box without lighting and security, the Guard is fully exposed to the extremes of climatic and weather conditions, as the temperature may vary from 50° Celsius in summer to -5° Celsius in winter.  With some goods trains now moving at 80 Kph, the Guard is exposed to high velocity winds and rains, especially when looking ahead of his train or exchanging signals.

Exposure to Electrically induced magnetic fields: With most of the sections being electrified and the traction being 25Kv AC, the Guard is continuously exposed to electrically induced magnetic fields.

Un-natural Duties:              Train operation being a 24 hour x 7 day affair, running staff do not have any fixed schedule for duty or rest.  They are forced to be on duty at the most awkward time and also compelled to avail rest  virtually at any time of the day.  They cannot adhere to a fixed routine and each day is followed by another day where periods of rest and duty vary as much as 12 hours from the preceding day.

Consequences :   
Since the above exposures are not over a limited period, but over the entire career span, these hazards individually and collectively adversely affect the health and well being of the running staff.
                 Running staff are therefore, found to develop hypertension, insomnia, restlessness, high blood pressure, diabetes, reduced vision, slip disc, etc. which finally lead to their medically de-categorisation.

Promotional prospects :
Goods Guards are promoted as Passenger Guards as per seniority through a process of selection and training.  They are further promoted as Mail/Express Guards.  Mail/Express Guards also man all high-speed trains as well as Rajdhani and Shatabdi Class trains.
                Though 27% of Goods Guards and 27% of Passenger Guards have been kept in the next higher grade, Traffic Running staff can seek only a maximum of two promotions in their entire carrier span.
                Though the recruitment qualification is Graduation, they can seek promotion only up to the Grade of Rs. 5500-9000 RSRP, i.e. two stages below the highest grade of Rs.7450-11500 in Group C.  Assuming that a direct recruit Graduate is inducted at the age of 22 years, he would be required to  render 38 years of service and yet be entitled to only two promotions, i.e. one promotion at the average of 19 years.  This does not happen in any other Group ‘C’ category.  Even in the case of assured career progression (ACP) one promotion is assured every 12 years.
                Since all the cadres have their own inspectorial cadre, the Guards have been persistently demanding the creation of a few posts of Guard Inspectors and Guard Counsellors.  This, they feel, would take care of their administrative needs such as lobby management, crew booking, deputing for periodical medical, refreshers, safety camps, periodical intensive training (6 monthly), renewal of first aid box etc.  Incidentally the concept of Guard Councillors had been introduced on an experimental basis on some zonal Railways including the Central Railway and was quite successful.
                This will also ensure availability of timely assistance and counselling during unusual occurrences, updating knowledge on new technologies and working techniques, enquires, DAR etc.  The demand being genuine it may please be given due weightage.
                It is submitted that considering the duties, responsibilities, vagaries of life and ‘drudgeries and miseries with which they had to pass during their service, the categories of Asstt. Guard and Guard be allotted the following pay scales by the Commission.  Their promotional prospects be also taken care of.

Categories       Existing Pay Scale      Proposed Pay Scale

1. Asstt. Guard     Rs.2750-4400                      18000  
2. Sr. Guard         Rs.4000-6000                      20000
3. Guard Goods     Rs.4500-7000                     23000
4. Sr. Guard Gds    Rs.5000-8000                    25000
5. Guard Pass        Rs.5000-8000                    25000
6. Sr. Guard Pass   Rs.5500-9000                    30000
7. Guard Mail/Exp   Rs.5500-9000                    30000
8. Guard Councillor                                        35000

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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.