Railway Protection Force

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Railway Protection Force
Railway Protection Force Logo.png
Mottoयशो लभस्व (Sanskrit)
"Attaining honor"
Agency overview
Formed27 July, 1872
Employees75,000 active personnel[1]
Jurisdictional structure
Federal agencyIN
Operations jurisdictionIN
Governing bodyMinistry of Railways (India)
Constituting instrument
  • Act, 1957
General nature
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India

Minister responsible
Agency executive
Parent agencyGovernment Railway Police

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) is a security force, established by the Railway Protection Force Act, 1957[2] ; enacted by the Indian Parliament for "the better protection and security of railway property".

It has the power to search, arrest, investigate and prosecute, though the ultimate power rests in the hands of the Government Railway Police[3]. The force is under the authority of the Indian Ministry of Railways.


  • "to protect and safeguard railway property and to combat crime against it;
  • "to do any other act conductive to better protection and security of railway property;
  • "to remove any obstruction in the movement of railway property; and
  • "to perform other functions of an armed force of the Union and to exercise powers of a railway servant as conferred by or under the Indian Railways Act, 1890."[4]
  • To identify potential situations where crime can take place (against railway property, be it static, in-transit or mobile) and effect remedial measures
  • Facilitate passenger-travel and security by removing all anti-social elements from trains, railway premises and passenger area.
  • Remain vigilant to prevent trafficking in women and children and take appropriate action to rehabilitate destitute children found in Railway areas.
  • Co-operate with other departments of the Railways in improving the efficiency and image of the Indian Railways.
  • Act as a bridge between the Government Railway Police/local police and the Railway administration.
  • Adopt proactively all modern technology, best human rights practices, management techniques and special measures for protection of female and elderly passengers and children, in the pursuit of these objectives.
  • To register and take up enquires under the Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act 1966, apprehend the offenders & participate in subsequent legal proceedings.[4]



The maintenance and security of Railways, the vital artery of national communication and economic progress has been a major concern of the Government of India that goes back to the times when the Railway commenced their operations in India in 1854. Since railways have a linear territory traversing inter-state lines, a foolproof security system has been hard to provide. Nevertheless, the genesis of such an endeavor can be traced back to 1854 when East Indian Railways employed certain staff designated as ‘Police’ to denote its own force by enacting the Police Act, 1861 and deployed a contingent for the security of the railway with the owner companies bearing their upkeep. The Railway Companies exercised full control over the Police Force.[5]


On the recommendation of Railway Police Committee, 1872, the Railway Police was organized into the Government Railway Police (the precursor of GRP) for law enforcement, and "Company Police" (the precursor of RPF) for Watch and Ward duties in railways. The actual separation of duties came into effect in 1881. By 1882, as a result of formal division of the Police Force deployed on the railways into "Government Police" and "Private (Companies) Police", the Railway Companies directly assumed the responsibility of protection and Security of their property as well as of the goods entrusted to them by public for carriage. For this, they appointed "Chowkidars" for various departments and placed them under control of their local departmental heads. With an increase in commercial traffic and consequential steep rise in the incidence of theft of goods entrusted to railways for carriage, the "Chowkidar" system was reorganized after the first World War onto Watch & Ward organization under a single superior officer designated as Superintendent, Watch & Ward – a system which continued up to 1954.Thus the Railway Police Administration functioned under three different systems viz the district system, as a part of District Police; the provincial system, for each province and the Railway Administration system, separate Railway Police for each Railway Administration in spite of recommendations of Indian Police commission, 1902–1903. The provincial system found acceptance on recommendation of Railway Police Committee, 1921 and the present GRP came into existence. The Company Police evolved into the present RPF in 1957, passing through "Watch and Ward" phase from 1872 to 1954, and as "Railway Security Force" from 1954 to 1956. The RPF was also given limited legal powers under the Railway Stores (Unlawful Possession) Act.


Thus, for a full 100 years, the Force, though being used for providing security to the vital artery of national communication and economic progress, did not itself have any legislative status. Therefore, the Government instituted a special enquiry through Director, Intelligence Bureau (Ministry of Home Affairs) who in his report in 1954 forcefully brought out the necessity of organising the Watch & Ward on a statutory basis. The Railway Board also appointed a Security Adviser to the Railway Board in July 1953 to work out the details for the reorganisation of the Watch & Ward department. It was decided in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs that there should be an integrated, well organised force on the model of the police with adequate supervisory staff specially trained to meet the particular aspects of crime that were relevant to railway property, and to work in close collaboration and act as a second line to the States Police with whom, under the Constitution, policing on railways rested. This led to the R.P.F. Bill for the better protection and security. It was only on 29 August 1957 that a Railway Protection Force Act was enacted by the Parliament and Railway Security Force was renamed as Railway Protection Force. The RPF Rules were made on 10 September 1959 and RPF Regulations were formulated in 1966. In the meantime in 1962 "Special Emergency Force" has been raised from the existing strength of RPF during Chinese Aggression, which was especially entrusted the task to protect trains in border districts. In 1965 it has been renamed as "Railway Protection Special Force" (RPSF). In 1966 RPF has been given legal powers for better protection of Railway property by enacting Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act.

But, while the provisions of RPF Act were soon found wanting for the maintenance of an effective and disciplined Force, the RPF Rules and Regulations too were found judicially unsound. The RPF Act, 1957 was accordingly modified by Parliament vide Act No.60 of 1985 on 20 September 1985 for the constitution and maintenance of the Force as an armed force of the Union. For carrying out the purposes of the Act, RPF Rules 1987 was framed.

Pay structure (gazetted officers)[edit]

The RPF utilises a similar rank structure to the IPS (Indian Police Service). Non-gazetted ranks are the same as those used in the State Police Services. The job profile differs for each position [6]

Grade RPF Position Salary (monthly) Equivalent Position or Designation in the Government of India (GOI)
Above Super Time Scale (Apex Scale) Director General of Police 80,000 (fixed) plus grade pay-Nil Director (GOI), Director General (GOI), Secretary (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), Director General in CAPFs. Lieutenant-General (army commander, three-star rank).
Above Super Time Scale (HAG)(Pay-Band-4) Additional Director General (ADG) 67,000–79,000 plus annual increment of 3%. Additional Director General of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Special or Additional Director (GOI), Special or Additional Secretary (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), ADG in CAPFs. Lieutenant-General (three-star rank).
Super Time Scale (Senior Administrative Grade)(Pay-Band-4)(IG after 5 years of service as DIG) Principal Chief Security Commissioner (PCSC)
Inspector-General (IG), RPSF
37,400–67,000 plus grade pay of 10,000 Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Joint Secretary if empaneled as such (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), IG of CAPFs. Major-General (two-star rank).
Super Time Scale (DIG/Conservator Grade)(Pay-Band-4)(DIG after 5 years of service as Sr. DSC/Sr. Commandant RPSF) Additional Chief Security Commissioner (ACSC)
Deputy Inspector-General (DIG), RPSF
37,400–67,000 plus grade pay of 8900 Deputy Inspector General of Police, Commissioner of Police (City), Director (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), DIG in CAPFs. Brigadier (one-star rank).
Selection Grade (Pay-Band-4)(After 8 years of service as DSC/Commandant RPSF) Deputy Chief Security Commissioner (Dy.CSC)
Sr. Security Commissioner, Sr. Divisional Security Commissioner (Sr.DSC) (Division)
Sr. Commandant RPSF
37,400–67,000 plus grade Pay of 8700 Senior Superintendent of Police, Director (R) Cabinet Secretariat (GOI), Commandants of CAPFs. Colonel.
Senior Time Scale (Pay-Band-3)(After 5 years of service in cadre) Divisional Security Commissioner (Division)
Security Commissioner RPF
Commandant RPSF
15,600–39,100 plus grade pay of 6600 Additional Superintendent of Police, Deputy Commandants of CAPFs. Major (pay grade).
Junior Time Scale(Pay-Band-3) Assistant Security Commissioner (ASC)
ASC (Division)
Assistant Commandant RPSF/Adjutant
15,600–39,100 plus grade pay of 5400 Deputy Superintendent of Police, Circle Officer, Senior Field Officer (R) Cabinet Secretariat. Lieutenant (pay grade).


The governance of RPF is based on the following[2] relevant legislation, rules and directives.

  • Railway Protection Force Act, 1957
  • Railway Property (Unlawful Possession) Act, 1966
  • Railway Protection Force Rules, 1987 – Laid, by the central government, as per provisions under RPF Act, 1957.
  • Railway Protection Force Directives, 1987
Command Structure[6]
Designation – Superior Officers
HQ Zonal HQ Division Battalion
Director General (DG)
Additional Director General Principal Chief Security Commissioner
Chief Security Commissioner Inspector General (IG) & Chief Security Commissioner/RPSF
Addl Chief Security Commissioner Deputy Inspector General (DIG)
Dy. Chief Security Commissioner Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Sr. DSC) Sr. Commandant
Divisional Security Commissioner (DSC) Commandant
Assistant Security Commissioner (ASC) Assistant Security Commissioner (ASC) Assistant Commandant / Adjutant
Designation – Subordinate Officers and below
Assistant Sub-Inspector
Driver / Head Constable
Units under RPF[4]
Breeding and Training Center for police dogs
Central Crime Bureau
Central Weapons Store
Railway Protection Special Force


  1. ^ http://mha.nic.in/sites/upload_files/mha/files/EnglAnnualReport2016-17_17042017.pdf
  2. ^ a b http://www.nwr.indianrailways.gov.in/uploads/files/1331705691014-RPF_Act1957.pdf
  3. ^ Press Trust of India. "MoS Railways dubs Railway Protection Force as 'toothless', demands more power for it". economictimes.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b c http://www.indianrailways.gov.in/railwayboard/uploads/directorate/security/downloads/2018/RPF_Rules_1987_Updated_March_2018.pdf
  5. ^ https://konkanrailway.com/uploads/editor_images/1479980685_History%20of%20Railway%20Protection%20Force.pdf
  6. ^ a b "Service Profile for Group "A" Officers in Railway Protection Force" (PDF). RPF. Retrieved 2 August 2015.

External links[edit]