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Indian Railways hold within itself, a vast plethora of opportunities. One may be absorbed in any of the related fields, depending on the skill-set of the individual. Broadly speaking, the Indian Railways is sub- divided into 9 major zones, each of which comes under the purview of the Railway Board, Ministry of Railways. Along with a fixed salary and a pension after retirement, an employee of the Indian Railways is entitled to a variety of other perks, including free train passes for themselves and their families, accommodation at very minimal prices at railway guesthouses throughout the country, as well as educational and healthcare facilities for their family and children. Owing to these benefits, employees of the railways are successfully able to maintain a good work- life balance.

Career Opportunities in Railways

  • Indian Railway Personnel Service (IRPS)
    As an IRPS officer, one is accountable for all affairs regarding the personnel working in a particular division. The responsibilities of an IRPS officer include recruitment of new staff, training the new employees, and handling the promotions of employees. They also look after the welfare of the staff as well as matters regarding their transfers.
  • Engineering Sector
    The railway is a good career option after a degree in engineering. One can be employed as a locomotive engineer, responsible primarily for inspection of the train as well as its mechanics during the operations, or as a locomotive superintendent, who assesses the overall performance of the train as well as maintains a record of the delays in the services, if any. A third option is railroad engineer or the engine driver.
  • Revenue Sector
    One may be employed as a train ticket examiner (TTE), ticket controller or a revenue protection inspector (RPI), responsible for patrolling the public modes of transport. Also, the RPI maintains decorum by issuing penalties to the passengers who are travelling on the train without a ticket.
  • Station Master
    The station master and the assistant station master are in- charge of the entire daily schedule of the trains arriving at and leaving from a particular station. They coordinate among the various departments such as signals and operations in order to ensure a smooth management and delivery of services. Since this requires a lot of work, big stations may have more than one station master.
  • Others
    Other career options in railways include track inspector, rail navigator, conductor, guard and fireman.

How to Pursue a Career in Railways

Stream Graduation After Graduation After Post Graduation
Path 1
Clear Class XII with PCMGraduation in Physics, Mathematics or ChemistrySpecial Class Railway Apprentices' Examination, Civil Services Examination-
Path 2
Clear Class XII with Science streamPursue B.Tech for 4 years (any specialization)Combined Engineering Services Examination (CES)-

Important Facts

Age limit for employment in technical roles for railways is 18 to 32 years.
Age Relaxation:
  • For SC/ ST candidates: 5 years
  • For OBC candidates: 3 years
  • For PWD candidates: Up to 15 years
  • For Ex- Servicemen: 3 years in addition to the extent of service rendered
  • For candidates with a domicile of Jammu & Kashmir (between 1980 to 1989 only): 5 years
  • The degree must be obtained from a recognized institution, or one which has been approved by the AICTE.
  • Information regarding the vacancies at various levels can be found on the website of the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS).

Railways Entrance Exams

College Tentative Date Important Elements Website
UPSC SCRA Forms - October Paper1- General Ability (GK, English, Psychological test)
Paper2- Physical Sciences (Physics and Chemistry)
Paper3- Mathematics
Followed by a Personality test and Interview
Institution Tentative Date Important Elements Website
UPSC CESE/ IES Forms Start- October, Last Date- November Stage1:
Paper1 - Preliminary Exam- General Studies and Engineering Aptitutde
Paper2- Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic & Technology
Paper1 & Paper2 - Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronic & Technology
Personality Test/ Interview
Railway Recruitment Board Exam - General Awareness, Mathematics, General Intelligence, Reasoning

Work Description

  • Maintain the trains including mechanical working and sanitation of the compartments
  • Keep a track of the schedule of the trains
  • Supervise the traffic control, dispatchers and cargo teams
  • Provide highest level of convenience to passengers while they are travelling
  • Make sure that all the safety measures are in place
  • Employ the latest techniques and equipments in railway department for efficiency
  • Monitor speed, air pressure, battery use, and other instruments to ensure a smooth ride

Pros & Cons of a Career in Railways

  • Respect in the society, job satisfaction & security
  • Opportunity to serve your nation
  • High remuneration as well as perks
  • Frequent transfer and disturbance in children's education.
  • Can't change your job at your will.
  • Can be sometimes stressful to work in such environment.
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