Indian Railway Traffic Service

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

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, IRTS probationers undergo general foundation training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussourie. Following that they go for the Railway Foundation Course at Railway Staff College, Baroda. Further specialized training for the probationers is imparted at the Indian Railway Institute of Transportation Management (IRITM) at Lucknow. IRITM also undertakes courses for middle- and senior-level officers.

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. 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).


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, the operating a commercial departments are headed by IRTS officers - Chief Operations Manager(COM) and Chief Commercial Manager(CCM). They are of the rank of additional-secretary/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/Director grade officers -Dy COM, Dy CCM, Dy CCO.

At the divisional level, the operating 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/ 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. An IRTS direct recruit officer's first posting would be as an AOM or ACM in the division. Most of the officers in the DOM/DCM/AOM/ACM grade would be from the Group 'B' cadre of the traffic department.


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