The Organisational Structure of the Indian Railways

The Organisational Structure of the Indian Railways

The Indian Railways is one of the largest organisations in the world. With the 4th largest railway network in the world, it serves a country of 1.3 billion people, with a majority of them using trains as their primary mode of interstate and city transport. More than thirteen thousand passenger trains ply between the 7349 stations across the country, and facilities are available allowing passengers to check for train berth availability, online bookings, the live status of trains and so on.

Managing such a large organisation is not easy. Without structure and planning, ensuring timely arrivals of trains is impossible. With over 13 lakh employees, a broad gamut of roles and responsibilities must be filled. Various modes of recruitment must be used to hire candidates for these roles.


The staffs of the IR are divided into four groups, A, B, C, and D.

Group A: This includes gazetted employees. They carry about the various executive and managerial tasks. Since a significant amount of training in administration is required, the Union Public Service Commission or UPSC conducts exams for recruitment.

Group B: This group also is for gazetted employees. However, these employees are not recruited through the UPSC examinations. Instead, the best performers of Group C are promoted to this level.

Group C: This group includes non-gazetted employees. Junior engineers, telephone operators, head clerks, typists and depot superintendents fall under this category, and the recruitment is conducted by the Railway Recruitment Boards.

Group D: This consists of positions such as peon, traffic controller, guards, watchmen etc. They are non-gazetted posts and are selected through the Staff Selection Committee entrance examinations.

Cadres in Group A

Non-Technical Services: These posts are hired through the Civil Services Examination that is conducted by the UPSC.

  • IRPS (Indian Railway Personnel Service): They are tasked with managing the human resources of the IR, which has nearly 14 lakh employees. The cadre size is approximately 400.
  • IRTS (Indian Railway Traffic Service): They are responsible the optimal utilisation of the resources of the IR and ensure a seamless, swift and safe transportation service throughout the country while upholding the social obligations of the IR.
  • RPF (Railway Protection Force): They are entrusted with the protection of passengers, railway property and the passenger area of the Indian Railways. There are a total of 441 officers with 127 recruited through the UPSC and have 1.75 lakh active personnel.
  • IRAS (Indian Railway Accounts Service): They take care of the finance and accounts management of the IR. Presently, there are about 650 officers, with about 10-15 officers being added every year through the UPSC examinations.
Technical Service:

These positions are hired through the Indian Engineering Services (IES) Examination that is also conducted by UPSC.

  • IRSSE (IR Service of Signal Engineers) – They are the signal and telecommunications engineering wing.
  • IRSME (IR Service of Mechanical Engineers) – They take care of the mechanical engineering operations of the IR.
  • IRSS (IR Stores Service) – They are the logistics specialists, taking care of procurement and transportation of material within the IR.
  • IRSE (IR Service Engineers).
  • IRSEE (IR Service of Electrical Engineers).


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