South Central Railway claims only 40 loco pilot posts vacant for passenger trains

Published - July 10, 2024 08:14 pm IST - HYDERABAD

South Central Railway (SCR) has claimed that there are only 40 vacancies in the loco pilots running the Express and Passenger trains and none of those in the rolls are being made to work more than the mandatory eight hours per shift.

Addressing a press conference at the crew booking lobby and running room at the Secunderabad station here on Wednesday, Assistant Divisional Railway Manager (ADRM) M. Gopal, divisional engineer — traction rolling stock operations B. Venkatesh, Chief public relations officer (CPRO) A. Sridhar and other informed that the recruitment is a continuous process and vacancies could arise due to transfers and retirements too. The Railway Board had recently cleared 18,999 posts, they pointed out.

The loco pilots being the frontline staff and responsible for safe running of trains are given the best of facilities on and off duty with 500 locomotives cabins getting air-conditioned and 100 vacuum toilets fitted with more on the anvil. The running staff accommodation here has been fully air-conditioned with 60 comfortable beds, reading rooms, hygienic food, space for yoga and meditation and the likes.

Similar facilities are available at divisional headquarters and other places where the crew change over happens. Crew booking lobby here has 800 staff signing on/signing off to the duties every day as they are involved in running trains in several directions from Secunderabad area to Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal, Balharshah, Sholapur, Parli etc., he said.

“The chief loco inspector keeps tab on the well being of the loco pilots. Even the senior officials, including the General Manager, often interact and review the facilities for them. The loco pilots are also made to undergo regular fresher courses and are constantly brought up to date about changes in instruction manuals,” asserted Mr. Gopal.

Mr. Venkatesh explained about the checks made by the administration before the loco pilots takes charge of any train, including breath analyser, biometric and other tests. Later, the loco pilot himself does elaborate mandatory checks for lights, brakes, emergency equipment, coaches link, etc., before starting the train. The loco pilot once again checks the brakes at slow and medium speeds when in motion. Divisional Commercial Manager Vishal was also present.

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