When we talk about various jobs in this world, feeling a cushy office job spells a hot cup of tea, sales accounts some files and a chair to relax and sit on it.An everyday affair for most people to pick the bag and go to the office.Return our home with the same neat and tidy appearance.But on the other side of the city, there may be a man like a train Guard who is fighting against all the odds to fill the larder in his house.It is the toughest job to perform in open to all weather conditions with spells working beyond limited hour shouldering various responsibilities small and large like:
- Carrying out control and information activities on the train and ensures the safe transportation of goods and passengers.
- Accompanying all types of trains – inspecting and monitoring of the carriages and wagons assigned to it and their equipment’s, checking on possible defects that might jeopardize the safety of the operation or the passengers.
- Participating in the brake test, carrying out shunting of carriages and wagons.
- Providing information on routes and travel times.
- Operating and checking the amenities like lights, fans, watering and cleanliness in coaches
- Taking care of the safety and comfort of passengers.
- Working Inside and outside the train, and working shifts in bad weather, noise, dust and sometimes bad behaviour from passengers.
To laymen and laymen only, the working of a Guard may appear to be superfluous since the only impression most people have of the Guard consists of his sitting in the brake van and enjoying a ride. It is just like judging a book by its cover.However, the facts are otherwise. The Guard has important duties to perform in the course of the normal train running and even more important duties either in case of any abnormal working or in case anything untoward happens to the train.
The working of the Railway system is such that in case of most other categories of staff, there are checks and balances available in the system for detecting and correcting a mistake made during the course of their working. But this was not true in case of the train running staff.
Discharging the duties of a guard on a running train requires continuous alertness and watchfulness, a single lapse may be sufficient to cause an accident, depending on circumstances. Added to this is the further shortcoming that the working alone in a brake van , By Keeping all the six senses awake always is the most difficult and monotonous one.Under these circumstances, remaining alert and watchful on the part of Guard becomes the entire difficult. To make sure the trains run safely and on time, the Guards are needed who can handle a wide range of responsibilities remaining customer focused and approachable. It is needed to be highly customer oriented, answering queries, assisting with boarding and overcrowding on the trains, providing accurate information and above all promoting a feeling of safety, security to all of the passengers travelling on the train. In addition to this, make sure passengers get on and off the train safely and dealing with unexpected delays or emergencies.
It is a highly responsible job that requires a level of flexibility, good concentration skills and an ability to deal with pressurized situations.
The guards have to normally work 48 to 52 hours a week and working hours vary depending on the route they are assigned to and, as trains run through the day and night, they work shifts covering scorching days and freezing nights, weekends and even on national holidays.
To become a guard, there are series of assessment tests and a full medical for fitness, eyesight, colour vision, hearing. There is a rigid safety policy on drug and alcohol abuse and random alcohol and drug tests may be conducted.New entrants will be given initial training normally lasts up to 45 days which includes sessions both in the classroom and onboard trains. The training includes information on the operating rules and regulations, commercial rules, mechanical and electrical knowledge on carriage and wagons, accident rules and first aid, firefighting etcetera. Training will then continue on the job under the supervision of a senior guard normally for 21 days.
To complete their training to become a Guard, they need to demonstrate knowledge of the rules and regulations then undertake the practical and theoretical guarding examination.Further regular reviews take place throughout the guarding career.Guards should be clean, tidy and identifiable as Railway staff, and will be provided white uniform, coat, cap, equipment’s including safety equipment and comply with the railway rules.
Here we have tried to uncover the various responsibilities, required knowledge in every Railway fields for Guards. Hope every working guard and all new entrants will enjoy and learn many things from this site.