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Indian Railways: Duties and Responsibilities of a Station Master

Railway Stations, worldwide, are located in prime city centres, as railways were started at a time when expansion of cities was yet to start. Railway station continues to be the focal point of central business district in every city. Every description of rail business is transacted at the station. Passengers start their journey or complete it, outward parcels are booked and inward parcel consignments are received which are made ready for delivery. In their historic evolution, the stations now have catering establishments, resting facilities in retiring rooms or a budget hotel. A world-class station may look or in fact be more like a mall with shops and catering establishments with attendant information, ticketing and reservation counters.

As Indian Railways, is one of the most important modes of transportation in India, there’re many operational forces working behind to run the trains on tracks. There’re guards, officers, TTE’s, GRP/RPF force, loco pilots and many other designated officers. In Indian Railways station master plays an important role in train operation and station management. He has to ensure effective coordination for safe train operation. He is the first person in charge of a railway station responsible for station management which includes security of passengers, availability of passengers’ basic amenities at the station premises. From live tracking of trains to maintain the arrival and departure of trains, here’re some of the duties and roles of station master who is on duty for 24 hours.

  • Station Master is responsible for the efficient discharge of duties by different members of staff at his Station. (General Rules 5.01)
  • Ensuring that the general working of the station is being carried out in strict accordance with the current rules, procedures and instructions
  • Providing prompt and courteous service with utmost safety and security of passengers and employees
  • Availability, helpfulness and good conduct of station porters
  • He shall be responsible for general up-keep of the station.
  • He shall be responsible for keeping the safety and operating literature including circulars, pamphlets, gazette etc. up to date and these must be explained to the staff working under him and got noted by them.
  • He shall be responsible for maintaining Accident register and Accident charts and keeping these up to date.
  • He shall maintain figures in respect of the stock and get them relayed to the control in time.
  • He shall investigate all public complaints and send the extracts of the complaint with explanation of the staff and his own remarks to Divisional Office in time. In case of complaints concerning the other department, intimation may be given to the subordinate In-Charge of that department immediately so that action may be taken to avoid recurrence.
  • He shall promptly attend all accidents, assume charge of the site to and assist in relief measures ensuring prompt evacuation of injured & stranded passengers. He shall take note of all the information available and protect the clues/evidence, which may be helpful in the enquiry. He shall intimate the control office at regular interval for current information and ask for the required assistance i.e., Relief Train, Medical van etc. He shall investigate yard accidents, obtain statements of the staff responsible and submit his report with conclusions and joint note to the Divisional office.
  • He must ensure that burners and wicks of the hand signal lamps are daily cleaned, trimmed and oiled properly.
  • He must ensure that the essential safety equipment at his station are the same, complete and, if there is any deficiency should be made good without delay.
  • He shall conduct night and surprise inspections to check the alertness of staff and working of signals, and points and visibility of the signals.
  • He shall see that train signal register, station Diary, Inspection Note Book, reference books and other station record is property maintained and preserved for a minimum period as prescribed later in this chapter. xviii. At the bigger stations Health Inspector is incharge of sanitation the Station Manager shall conduct daily inspections and bring out deficiencies. He shall conduct daily inspections of waiting rooms, bath rooms, lavatories, refreshment rooms and catering trollies, platforms, tracks and other station premises from sanitation point of view and ensure that arrangements in this regard are adequate and effective. Availability of safe drinking water to passengers & employees is joint responsibility of JE/SE (works) and health department he should check that same is available.
  • He shall ensure that sufficient stock is available for the requirement of the day. He shall keep in touch with the running of trains so that, in case of late running of connecting train, scratch rake can be turned out, if necessary. He shall also keep a check – on reserved stock available/allotted to his station.
  • He shall take personal interest in arranging quick clearance of reserved carriages of troops, public, prisoners, treasuries etc.
  • Whenever special trains are arranged to run from his station, he shall ensure that stock for the same is secured and certified placed on the proper line in time. xxii. He shall fix up responsibility in case of detention to trains outside or at the station and submit full report to DRM office.
  • He shall be responsible to ensure that all the operating staff working under him is relieved in time for their periodical NVT/ Competency/ Safety camp and special competency programs. No one, overdue NVT/Competency shall be allowed to perform his normal duties.
  • The Station Master should regularly test and record in the charge book, the working of Points, Signals and Track Circuit to ensure that the signals are back to ‘ON’ position when the relevant slide/button/ lever is put back or intended train movement has been completed.
  • At stations provided with continuous track circuits or at stations having solid state interlocking the method of testing shall be prescribed jointly by Signaling and Operating Branch which shall be described in the Station Working Rules to be followed by station masters.