The Railway Board, the top executive body of the Indian Railways organization, was formally restructured earlier this month.
Following the restructuring, areas of responsibility for each function and the CEO have now been defined. In the revamped structure, the number of top officials has been brought down to five.
As the per new dispensation, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Railway Board will be the topmost bureaucrat.
Four members – Member- Infrastructure, Member (Operations and Business Development), Member-Finance and Member-Traction and Rolling Stock will report to the Chairman & CEO.
In addition, several officers directly report to the CEO, namely; Director-General –HR, Director-General (Railway Health Services), Secretary (Railway Board), Director-General (Railway Protection Force), Principal Executive Director (Vigilance), Principal Executive Director( Infrastructure), Additional Member (Planning) and Director General (Safety).
Under the re-organized set up an officer from any background will be eligible to head any department going forward as all the 8 department -based cadres will be merged to be known as Indian railways Management Service (IRMS).
The modalities of inter-departmental and cross-functional shifts that an IR officer will be allowed to, during the course of his career are still in the process of being finalized. Also being finalized is the methodology of selection of the IRMS officers.
As on date, IR officers are recruited via the Union Public Service Commission’s Civil Services and the Engineering Services Examination.
The accounts, personnel and traffic branch officers qualify the civil services. Engineers specializing in branches namely Civil engineering, Mechanical engineering, Electrical engineering and Electronics and Telecommunications engineering vie for the five branches which include the Stores service are recruited via the Engineering Services exam.
Division of Responsibilities in the Newly Revamped Railway Board
The Chairman and CEO will be responsible for HR, Safety, Security, Health, Planning, Infrastructure, Efficiency &Research, Public Relations, Heritage, Secretary’s branches Transformation Cell and Corporate Coordination.
Member – Infrastructure will look after works, civil engineering (track), bridges, signal & telecom, land & amenities, station development & railway electrification.
The Member – Traction and Rolling Stock will be in-charge of production units, mechanical workshops, coaches, locomotives, train sets, environment & housekeeping, electrical maintenance of coaching stock, traction distribution, power supply & renewable energy and materials management.
The Member (Operations and Business Development) has the mandate to take care of the business of Traffic Transportation, Coaching, Tourism & Catering, Commercial, Non-Fare revenue, Marketing & Business Development and Information Technology.
Finally, the Member (Finance) will be accountable for Finance, Accounts, Budget, revenue, Statistics & Economics and the Economic Unit.
Prior to re-organization, the CRB had eight Members reporting to him in addition to several direct reportees. They were heads of departments as follows:
Member Engineering: The officer was from the Indian Railways Service of Engineers (IRSE) cadre with Civil Engineering background. He was responsible for tracks, bridges, gauge conversion, doubling, new lines. track machines and other civil works.
Member Rolling Stock: The officer was from the Indian Railways Service of Mechanical Engineers ( IRSME )cadre with Mechanical Engineering background. He looked after for Coaches, Wagons, MEMU, DEMU and train sets
Member Traction: The officer was from the Indian Railways Service of Electrical Engineers (IRSEE )cadre with Electrical Engineering background. He took care of Diesel and Electric Locomotives, Overhead Equipment (OHE), Tower wagons, train & station lighting, traction distribution and electrification.
Member Traffic: The officer was from the Indian Railways Traffic Service (IRTS )cadre with a graduation in any discipline. He was in-charge of passenger and goods train operations, besides handling loading and unloading of cargo, parcels and containers and the like along with their commercials.
Member Staff: He looked after Human resource management of Indian Railways.
Member Signal: He was responsible for everything related to construction, operations and maintenance of all signalling and telecom infrastructure on IR. He was an officer of the Indian Railways Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE), with Electronics & Telecommunication engineering as background.
Member Material: This officer was an engineer from the Indian Railways Stores Service (IRSS) cadre responsible for material & stores.
Member Finance : The officer was from Indian Railways Accounts Service (IRAS) cadre looking after everything related to the finance function.