Marshalling is attaching of vehicles on a train in a predetermined manner to ensure train safety, provide operational expediency and to maximize customers convenience.

Marshalling of Mail/Express/Passenger Trains:

The general principles kept in view while marshaling are

I position of upper-class coaches, ladies compartment, dining car, in respect of easy accessibility Normally the dining cars or the catering compartments, air-conditioned and upper-class coaches, shall be marshaled in the middle of the train or as near to it as possible and ladies compartment will be near Guard’s SLR.Non-passenger carrying stock shall preferably be marshaled next to the engine or in the rear of the train, defining the area for stacking, loading, and unloading of parcels packages and mails on platforms

The Marshalling of SLRs and Anti-Telescopic/Steel- Bodied Coaches on Passenger Carrying Trains:

Marshalling of Mail and Express trains:

  • In case of SLRs which have passenger portion on one side, the luggage-cum-brake portion on the other, the SLR should be marshaled in such a way that the luggage and brake portion is trailing outermost or next to the engine.
  • In case of new design of SLRs with Passenger portion in the middle, these can be positioned in either way
  • In case, anti-telescopic/steel-bodied SLR is marshaled with passenger portion next to the engine or rear SLR with the passenger portion towards the end of the train” the passenger portion of SLR should be locked
  • In case of shortage of SLRs, any other suitable coaching vehicle or a VPU may be provided, and in case a coaching vehicle is attached its doors should be locked to ensure that passengers can not occupy it.
  • However on the M.G., if it is not feasible to position the SLR as mentioned in Item.
  • Above due to coupler arrangements marshaling, as operationally convenient may be allowed
  • Two anti-telescopic or steel-bodied coaches should be marshaled inside the anti-telescopic or steel-bodied SLRs at both ends.
  • After providing anti-telescopic or steel bodied SLRs for Mail/Express trains, all the available anti-telescopic or steel-bodied SLRs should be used on mainline passenger trains and after meeting this requirement, the rest should be used on Branch line passenger trains. Anti-telescopic or steel-bodied SLRs should be marshaled in the same way as in the case of Mail/Express trains.
Marshalling of Short Service trains:

The Railway Board has permitted marshalling of three coaches in front and rear of the SLR on short trains, provided they have working brakes and subject to two end coaches at either side are anti-telescopic.An Inspection Carriage may be attached as fourth trailer coach on such trains.

Non-Passenger Coaches:

VPs LRs, WLRRMs, and other coaching vehicles, which do not carry passengers may be marshaled as operationally convenient. Inspection carriage, whether anti-telescopic/steel-bodied or not and occupied or being worked empty may be marshaled as operationally convenient.

Reserved Bogies and Saloons Occupied by VIP:

Reserved bogies occupied by passengers and Inspection Carriages/ Saloons occupied by VIPs should be treated as a passenger coach and marshaled accordingly. If they are anti-telescopic or steel-bodied they can be marshaled anywhere as operationally convenient. If they are wooden-bodied, they should be marshaled inside the required number of anti-telescopic/  steel-bodied coaches.

Sectional/Through Service Coaches:

Sectional/through service coaches, if they are anti- telescopic or steel-bodied, may be marshaled as operationally convenient.

  • POH/Sick coaches returning to Shops:
  • In the case of POH/sick coaches, which are returned to shops for major repairs and are attached to passenger trains, such coaches should be properly locked and windows secured, so as to prevent entry of any passenger into these coaches.
  • In that case, it is not necessary to attach these coaches according to safety marshaling instructions and can be attached next to the train engine or rearmost as convenient.
  • If for any reason, it is not possible to lock up these coaches, such coaches should be treated like other passenger coaches in the train formation and should, therefore, be marshaled inside the required number of anti-telescopic/steel bodied coaches.
  • It is also desired that the above instruction on safety marshaling of passenger carrying trains should be made known to all the staff and officers concerned and these should be followed strictly.
Block Rake Composition:

For block rake composition and marshaling order, ‘Normal composition and marshaling order and rake link of passenger trains’ are issued by COMs of respective railways from time to time.

Mixed Trains:
  1. Classifying a passenger carrying train as a mixed train needs authorization by COM.
  2. On such a train, coaching and goods stock shall normally, remain in one block (except where a deviation is permitted) and their marshaling will also be laid down by the COM.
  3. Normally goods stock should be attached next to engine and coaching stock inside the rear brake van.

Attaching of Four Wheelers on Passenger, and Mixed Trains:

  1. Rules on the subject contained in GR 4.08 and in the current Working Time Table should be followed.
  2. On MG and NG the single empty or loaded 4 wheeler must not be marshaled between an engine and bogie vehicle/wagon or between two bogies /wagons.
  3. However, on BG the above restrictions do not apply to match trucks along with Break Down trains and whenever under special instructions four-wheeled brake-van is attached next to engine provided that such stock is fitted with center buffer couplers.
Attaching of Vehicles outside the Rear Brakevan :

Vehicles outside the rear Brakevan can be attached in accordance with the provision of the following SRs:

  • Attaching of vehicles in rear of Brakevan in fully vacuum train
  • Attaching of power plant bogies
  • Attaching of damaged vehicles
  • Marshalling Chart for Passenger/Mixed/Goods Trains: S.No, Type of Stock Marshalling order
  • Empty coaching stock covered motor trucks etc.

As operationally convenient but preferably marshaled as the outermost vehicle at either end.Motorcar etc. loaded in open wagons covered with wagon sheets. In the rear of the Train either as the last vehicle or inside the rear brake van.

Banking Engine :
  • On ascending gradients in the rear of the train.
  • On descending grades in front
  • Both gradients in quick succession.if any then in front

(Railway Board’s letter: 1. No.. 99/Safety(A&R) /19/ 10 dated 10.12.2001 and 2 No.2000/M(L)/466/803 dated 1/9th March 2004)

Conditions for attachment of dead locomotive:
  1. Certificate for ‘Fit to run is issued by Section Engineer/Loco Inspector/Power Controller for Passenger/Goods
  2. Maximum permissible speed of the train shall not be less than maximum permissible speed of the dead locomotive
  3. Arrangements have been made to ensure that brakes can be applied on dead locomotives in synchronization with working locomotives
  4. Running of double/triple headed is permissible on the section over which the dead locomotive is to be hauled
  5. When a dead electric locomotive has to be moved on a non-electrified section, the special check shall be made regarding its infringement to the schedule of maximum moving dimensions. In the case of any infringement, the dead locomotive shall be treated as an ODC.
  6. As a final check, the coupled locos should be run for about 500 meters and the driver shall check for any abnormal rise in the temperature of the wheels of the dead locomotive and shall also check it at subsequent stops during the journey
  7. In addition to freight/passenger trains, a dead locomotive can also be attached to Mail/Express trains including Superfast trains but excluding Rajdhani and Shatabdi if the locomotive brakes including proportionate brakes are operational and maximum permissible speed of the locomotive is not less than the booked speed of the train in which it is being attached. Locos with inoperative brakes can be attached subject to the brake power of the train being within the permissible limits. Locomotive with defects in undergear equipment can be attached only to  freight trains.
  8. Attaching / hauling of dead locomotives by Mail/Express/Superfast/Passenger trains
  9. Only one dead locomotive (diesel/electric) can be attached
  10. Brake power of the train should be 100% excluding dead locomotive
  11. As far as possible, the brake should work on the dead locomotive. However, if it is not possible, then in the case of an air-braked train, brake pipe and feed pipe of working locomotive shall be connected to brake pipe and feed pipe of trailing stock and the dead locomotive will work as a piped vehicle.
  12. In the case of vacuum braked train, vacuum pipe locomotive shall be connected with vacuum train pipe of trailling stock and the dead locomotive shall be treated as a piped vehicle. If the locomotive is fitted with pure air braked system and vacuum pipe is not provided on locomotive then it should be attached to air braked trains only.
Attaching/Hauling of dead locomotives by goods trains:

Movement of maximum three locomotives (2 working+1 dead) with load is permissible subject to observations of all restrictions on the operation of double/triple headed working locomotives in the section provided that brakes in dead locomotives are operational. The above instructions should be strictly followed and it is, therefore, advised that these guidelines be supplemented by the respective Subsidiary Rules also.

Escorting of dead Locomotives:
  • Escorting of locomotives (diesel as well as electric) attached to freight and passenger carrying trains is not necessary if the brakes including proportionate are fully operational and the dead locomotive is attached next to the train engine. The dead locomotive will continue to be escorted if attached to the rear of brake van or has the defect in undergear equipment.
Medical Relief Van:
  • Can be run without brake van (Local SR should be followed for Ghat Section)
Inspection Carriages attached to Light Engine:
  • Maximum three inspection carriages occupied by the officers can be attached. In case more than 3 Inspection carriages are attached, rules regarding running of goods trains without brake van will apply.