In a significant move, the Railway Board has changed the classification of ‘High-Speed’ for the purposes of deployment of loco pilots and assistant loco pilots.
According to the new notification, 130 km/h and below will not be treated as ‘High-Speed’ for the purposes of crew allocation. Zones will no longer have to allot two loco pilots for any train that operates at a maximum permissible speed (MPS) of 120 km/h and above. A loco pilot and a sufficiently qualified assistant loco pilot will be adequate. ... more...
The directives are valid for a period of six months on a trial basis.
The shift to 130 km/h
Large parts of the Golden Quadrilateral and Golden Diagonals are already declared fit for 130 km/h operations. Many more sections are set to be certified for operation at an MPS of 130 km/h over the coming few months.
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Besides, several premium and high priority trains have switched to high-speed LHB rolling stock and are being permitted to operate at 130 km/h on the newly upgraded sections. With 130 km/h becoming the new normal, the Railway Board was widely expected to revise the classification to reflect the situation.
Experienced assistants to be deployed on 130 km/h trains
The Board has also directed zones to ensure that assistant loco pilots (having competency of Loco Pilot Goods) deployed on such trains be sufficiently experienced. The ALP should have the capability to take charge in the event of the loco pilot becoming unable to operate the train for any reason, according to the notification.
Co-loco pilots will continue to be deployed on trains that operate at speeds higher than 130 km/h.
‘High-Speed’ allowances to continue as before
To make sure that the crew do not lose out on benefits as a result of the reclassification, the Board has also directed that “extant guidelines for passing psychological examination, eligibility for payment of trip allowance etc. for loco pilots for working trains above 110 kmph shall continue.”
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