There are approximately 7190 vacancies of loco pilots and 89024 vacancies in safety categories on Zonal Railways as on April 01, 2009.
Loco pilots on Indian Railways are classified as 'Continuous' and are statutorily required to work for 54 hours a week on an average, in a two weekly period of 14 days. The rostered hours of this category of employees has, however, been fixed at 104 hours in a two weekly period of 14 days including preparatory and complementary time.
As per extant instructions, running duty at a stretch should not ordinarily exceed 10 hours from departure of the train and overall duty should not exceed 12 hours from 'signing on' to 'signing off' except in emergent circumstances like accidents, floods, agitations, equipment failures etc.
For coaching trains, crew links are prepared which comply with the provisions of Hours of Employment Regulation (HOER) as stated above.
Passenger trains are normally run by loco pilots (passenger). However, in exceptional situations suitable loco pilots (goods) are deployed, to work in passenger trains.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways, Shri K.H. Muniyappa in a written reply in Lok Sabha today on 12/08/2010.