Indian Railway Traffic Service
- IRTS redirects here. IRTS may also refer to the Infrared Telescope in Space.
The Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) is an organized Group 'A' service (cadre) of the Government of India. The officers of this service are responsible for managing the Transportation - Operations and Commercial wings - of the Indian Railways. IRTS forms the interface between the Railways and the public, and also between the Railways and the corporate sector. It is also responsible for the generation of revenue for the organization.
Recruitment & Training
The direct recruitment to the cadre is done through the Civil Services Examination. As of 1 July 2004, the sanctioned strength of IRTS was 1122. The sanctioned strength of IRTS has decreased since cadre restructuring was undertaken in January–February 2006. At present the cadre strength of IRTS is around 830.
After selection, the IRTS probationers undergo general foundation training at one of the training academies, that is, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA) National Academy of Direct Taxes at Nagpur, RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration at Bhopal and Dr. Marri Channa Reddy Human Resource Development Institute of Andhra Pradesh at Hyderabad. Following this they go for the Railway Foundation Course at Railway Staff College, Baroda, now renamed National Academy of Indian Railways.
Further specialized training for the probationers is imparted at the Indian Railway Institute of Transportation Management (IRITM) at Lucknow. While based at IRITM, the probationers make extensive study and field trips to various centralized training institutes of the Indian Railways, workshops and organizations across the length and breadth of the country. The training also includes a Parliamentary attachment, visits to important Railway project sites, ports and short stints at other Civil Service academies and one of the Indian Institutes of Management.
IRITM also undertakes courses for middle- and senior-level officers in diverse areas including commercial management, operations management, logistics, public-private partnerships etc.
Role and Function
Indian Railway Traffic Officer is the public interface of railways. There are two main streams of Traffic Department, Operations and Commercial, where these officers are posted. Immediately after the training, the officers are designated as Assistant Operations Manager or Assistant Commercial Manager and posted to one of the divisions of Indian Railways.
The role of an IRTS officer in the operating department is that of ensuring smooth and fast transportation of freight and passengers. He or she ensures optimum utilization of assets maximizing output with least inputs. This is achieved by coordinating with the service departments looking after various assets of railways like track, wagons, engines, signals, etc. He/she then combines the outputs of the various departments maintaining the assets - rolling stock and fixed infrastructure to produce a service output - passenger or freight.
In the commercial department, an IRTS officer is connected with sales, pricing (including discounts) of passenger and freight traffic. The information technology requirement of passenger ticketing is also managed by an IRTS officer in the zonal headquarters in association with the Centre for Railway Information Systems.
The role changes depending on where an officer is placed in the organization - in the division (operational level), the zone (tactical level), or the railway board (strategic level).
The opening up of Indian economy has brought a paradigm shift in the role of IRTS officers - from rail transport to logistics. They have been instrumental in raising the earnings of Indian Railways through efficient freight movement and improved passenger transport which are conducted 24x7 non-stop.
Their extensive expertise in the handling of heavy logistics and complex operations related to freight and passenger movement has made IRTS officers much sought after in the private sector, especially in infrastructure and logistics companies. As a result, several senior IRTS officers have migrated to the private sector. The trend got strengthened after the Railway Ministry opened up the open container movement to private sector in 2006.
At the Railway Board level, the traffic department is headed by Member (Traffic), who is a Secretary level officer. He is assisted by Additional Members/Advisors who are of the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India. At present, there is an additional member/advisor, each for the commercial, traffic, safety, computerization and information systems, infrastructure, tourism and catering wings of the traffic department. Within each wing, there are directorates which are headed by an Executive Director, a Joint Secretary rank officer. Some of the directorates are traffic, commercial (rates), planning, coaching, passenger marketing, statistics and economics (under Financial Commissioner), freight marketing, public grievances, computerization and information systems, tourism, and catering.
At the zonal level, operations of commercial departments are headed by IRTS officers - Chief Operations Manager (COM) and Chief Commercial Manager (CCM). They are of the rank of Additional Secretary or Joint Secretary to the Government of India. COM is normally assisted by a team of Joint Secretary rank officers, viz., Chief Freight Transportation Manager (CFTM), Chief Passenger Transportation Manager (CPTM) and Chief Traffic Planning Manager (CPTM). Similarly, CCM is assisted by Chief Commercial Manager (Freight Marketing), Chief Commercial Manager (Passenger Marketing), Chief Commercial Manager (Passenger Services) and Chief Claims Officer. They are in turn assisted by Deputy Secretary or Director grade officers - Dy COM, Dy CCM, Dy CCO.
At the divisional level, the operations and commercial departments are headed by IRTS officers - Senior Divisional Operations Manager (Sr. DOM) and Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (Sr. DCM). In a large division, Sr. DOM/Sr. DCM would be supervising over 2000 employees. They are linchpins interacting with customers on a day-to-day basis and zonal headquarters. Sr. DOM/Sr. DCM are cadre posts in the Deputy Secretary or Director grade of IRTS. Each Sr. DOM/Sr. DCM is assisted by DOM/DCM/Assistant Operations Manager(AOM)/Assistant Commercial Manager (ACM) of the rank of Under Secretary to the Government of India. An IRTS officer's first posting, who is directly recruited through Civil Services Examinations, would be as an AOM or ACM in the division.
- "Present role and Future of IRTS". Irfca.org. Retrieved 2013-12-23.
- "Hefty pay driving railway officers to change track". Irfca.org. Retrieved 2013-12-23.