Running of Trains:
Instructions for Guards:

Instructions for Guards issued from time to time must be kept in one file at Guards Headquarter stations. Guards must make themselves thoroughly acquainted with these instructions and should sign the circulars and assurance register of safety literature file, while “signing on” for duty.

The normal period for which Records are required to be preserved:

  • Caution order register and Caution order books 1 year
  • Guards Signature Book 3 years
  • HQ leaving permission register 1 year
  • Uniform register permanent
  • Register of important circulars permanent
  • Bio-data and address register permanent
  • Guards arrival register 3 years
  • Guards Duty register 3 years
  • Guards Rough Journal 3 years


In calculating the one year or the three years period, the year to which the books and documents relate, and the year in which they are to be destroyed should be excluded.Record pertaining to Court Cases, departmental inquiries should not be destroyed till three years from the date the case is decided.

Record pertaining to public claims etc., or those under reference from Home or other railways, should not be destroyed without permission from DRM concerned. Most of these registers can be computerized, clubbed & some can be eliminated.


Examination of Trains :

Each train shall be examined by a competent person from the rolling stock/electrical maintenance department before being offered for passenger, goods/or any other service.The purpose of the examination is to ensure that all functions of the train and its constituent carriages/wagons etc are working correctly, particularly safety devices including brake systems, passenger alarm –etc to be listed by the competent authority.The competent staff (the Guard) shall sign a certificate of safety test indicating the duration of its validity.

Classification of Trains:

Trains are either scheduled as shown in the Working Time Table or non scheduled trains and are run on the following account:

Traffic Account:
  • Mail/ Express/ Passenger Trains
  • Commuter trains EMU/DMU/for Suburban, regional passengers.
  • Military Specials including troop trains.
  • Parcel trains of carriage of coaching traffic only.
  • Goods trains for movement of conventional freight cargo
  • Container Trains
  • Mixed trains carrying both passengers and freight
  • Other trains include Exhibition Trains, Mobile Hospital on wheels etc.
Engineering Account:
  • Ultrasonic and other track testing trains:
  • Material trains.
  • Track maintenance trains like Tie Tamping Machines, Rail grinding trains PQRS, BCM, DGS etc.,
  • Wiring Special / Tower wagons.
Miscellaneous Account:
  • Staff shuttles.
  • Water specials.
  • Workmen’s specials.
  • Accident Relief Train (ARTs)
  • Accident Relief Medical Equipment (ARMEs).
  • Crane Specials.
Train Ordering:
  • Scheduled passenger trains do not require train ordering
  • Train advice is necessary only when these are required to be canceled, put back or there is any change in the schedule shown in the Public /Working Time Table.
  • In case of unscheduled trains, train advice should be issued. Trains are ordered by CTNL in conjunction with the Power Control and or Lobby Supervisor.
Train Preparation:

The time at which train is required to be in readiness in all respects for departure from the starting station will be laid down by the Divisional Railway Manager/SR.DOM.

In case of passenger trains, the rake duly examined and fit in all respects with the full complement of coaches (at least to meet reservation requirements fully) should be placed on the platform well in time to allow all pre-departure functions to be completed.These include:

  • Loading of mails, booked luggage, and parcels
  • Loading of linen
  • Pantry car provisions
  • Watering
  • Cooling of AC coaches
  • Display of reservation charts
  • Deployment of train staff
  • Attaching of locomotive

To facilitate passengers boarding, generally, an important long-distance passenger train should be placed on the platform 30 minutes/15 minutes before its scheduled departure, depending upon the terminal layout.Every Loco pilot of a train while starting from the starting station must verify the adequacy of brake power as certified in train examination document.In addition, he must conduct a “feel test” to ensure that train brakes respond to brake application. In case of failure, he will report to the control and bring his train to a stop as directed by the Control. The train shall move only after the defect has been rectified.


Importance of Freight Operation:

  • The freight business is the major source of revenue for the Indian Railway.
  • Main activity centers of Freight operation include terminals, yards, control office and stations.
Broad Classification of Goods Trains:

End to End:

Trains, generally run from the train-originating Terminal to the final destination. This is an express stream of freight trains and does not require any stoppage en route, except for crew change.Such trains will normally include container trains, air braked block rakes for the single destination. These trains are planned to run like nonstop Rajdhani trains and may have a fixed timetable and guaranteed transit time. This group may include trains of private freight operators.

Other through trains –Are also block rakes or may have two or more destinations on the same or adjacent section. These may have conventional bogie stock.

Work Trains, Shunting Trains, Pilots etc:

These train movements are for short distances for clearance of damaged wagons made fit or for supply/removal of rakes to and from the sidings or important terminals served by a yard.

Departmental trains:

These include Material Trains, Track maintenance trains, Ballast trains, Relief Trains, Wiring Special, and Crane Specials etc. are known as departmental trains.

The complexity of Freight operations:

Freight operation is generally more complex than passenger train operations for the following reasons:

  • The changing pattern and fluctuations in demand for rakes/wagons due to changes in the level of production, changes in the pattern of distribution and changed consumption centers.
  • The variety of commodities to be moved, with different characteristics & type of wagons required
    Preferential traffic schedules, rationalization scheme& other public policy regulations
  • Seasonal variations in demand
  • Time is taken in loading/unloading–whether manual or mechanical
Train examination Systems:
  • End to End/Intensive Examination
  • Premium end to end
  • C.C. rake
  • This, in turn, results in Sick Wagon detachments & attachment of fit wagons for completing the rake composition.
Following is the series of operations for empty rakes being offered for loading:
  1. Examination
  2. Supply/placement
  3. Loading
  4. Dispatch

For inward loaded trains which after placement and release have to be backloaded at the same terminal or at other location, withdrawal from loading points may require an outward examination unless the rake is fit for round trip or for a prescribed distance.Once the train is fit in all respects and commercial formalities have been complete a set of activities are initiated these include:

  • Preparation of train documents
  • Train ordering
  • Arranging train crew & locomotive
  • Monitoring train movement
  • Arrival at the destination
  • This cyclic operation requires constant monitoring and coordination.
The ordering of Goods Train:

Each freight Train is required to be ordered to run under a unique number/name or Train ID for monitoring its movement through intermediate divisions, zones etc as also to facilitate all processes at control offices, yards, C&W depots station and Crew/Guard booking Lobby Power Controller/Traction Loco Controller.

The message from Divisional Control that a train is scheduled to leave from a Station or Yard at a certain time. is known as the Train Notice. The message is, in turn further conveyed to all concerned. The availability of suitable

  1. Locomotive
  2. Load
  3. Crew/Guard
  4. The path has to be kept in view for the ordering of goods trains.

Co-ordination between the Traffic Controller/and the Power Controller (the shed, if fresh power is required) the Yard/Station, C&W staff and the Crew/Guard booking lobby is thus required.Regular conference with yards, terminals, and the adjoining Division is held by the Control and for the exchange of information regarding forecast of trains in yards; completion of loading/unloading at sidings etc. and interchange with adjoining Divisions. This monitoring should be enforced through FOIS so that time of staff spent on the phone is reduced and more productive work is done by better planning.

Constant monitoring for expediting loading/unloading at major sidings/goods sheds is also done by Control and the Station Staff for ensuring the availability of load.