Permanent Way and Works

(Extract from IR General Rules : Chapter 15)


A. Railway Servants Employed on the Permanent Way or Works

      15.01 Condition of Permanent Way and Works

            Each Inspector of Way or Works shall be responsible for the
            condition of the permanent way and works under his charge.

      15.02 Maintenance of line
           
            Each Inspector of Way or Works shall -
            
                  (a) see that his length of line or works in his charge
                  are efficiently maintained, and

                  (b) promptly report to the Engineer-in-charge all
                  accidents to, or defects in the way or works, which he
                  considers likely to interfere with the safe running of
                  trains, at the same time taking such action as may be
                  necessary to prevent accidents.

      15.03 Keeping of material
                  
            Each Inspector of Way or Works shall see to the security of all
            rails, chairs, sleepers, and other material in his charge, and
            ensure that such of the said articles as are not actually in
            use are properly stacked clear of the line so as not to
            interfere with the safe running of trains.

      15.04 Inspection of Permanent Way and Works
            
            (1) Every portion of the permanent way shall be inspected daily
            on foot by some railway servant appointed in this behalf by
            special instructions :

                  Provided that the interval between such inspections may,
                  under approved special instructions, be increased to once
                  in two days in the case of lines with light and
                  infrequent traffic.

            (2) All bridges and works including signals, signal wires,
            interlocking gear, points and crossings, overhead equipment and
            any other equipment affecting the safety and working of trains
            shall be inspected regularly in accordance with special
            instructions.

      15.05 Patrolling of lines
            
            (1) In addition to the inspection referred to in Rule 15.04,
            whenever any portion of a railway is likely to be endangered by
            abnormal conditions such as heavy rains, breaches, floods,
            storms and civil disturbances, the line shall be patrolled in
            accordance with special instructions.

            (2) When a railway servant deputed to patrol the line notices
            any condition likely to affect the safety of trains or
            otherwise apprehends danger, he shall take action in accordance
            with special instructions prescribed for the purpose to protect
            the obstruction on line and thereafter inform the nearest
            Station Master by the most expeditious means. See also Rule
            3.62

      15.06 Work involving danger to trains or traffic
            
            A gang shall not commence or carry on any work which will
            involve danger to trains or to traffic without the previous
            permission of the Inspector of Way or Works, or of some
            competent railway servant appointed in this behalf by special
            instructions; and the railway servant who gives such permission
            shall himself be present to superintend such work, and shall
            see that the provisions of Rules 15.08 and 15.09 are observed:
            
                Provided that, in case of emergency, when the requirements
                of safety warrant the commencement of any such work before
                the said railway servant can arrive, the Gangmate may
                commence the work at once and shall himself ensure that
                provisions of Rule 15.09 are observed.

      15.07 Work in thick, foggy or tempestuous weather impairing visibility
                
            In thick, foggy or tempestuous weather impairing visibility, no
            rail shall be displaced and no other work which is likely to
            cause obstruction to the passage of trains shall be performed,
            except in cases of emergency.

      15.08 Precautions before commencing operations which would obstruct the line
            
            No person employed on the way or works shall change or turn a
            rail, disconnect points or signals, or commence any other
            operation which would obstruct the line until Stop signals have
            been exhibited and where prescribed detonators used; and if
            within station limits, he has also obtained the written
            permission of the Station Master and all necessary signals have
            been placed at 'on':

                  Provided that the exhibition of Stop signals may be
                  dispensed with, if such operations are performed or
                  carried out after the necessary signals, other than
                  Automatic Stop signals, have, in addition to being placed
                  in the 'on' position, been disconnected, so that such
                  signals cannot be taken 'off' again until it is safe to
                  do so and the corresponding adequate distance beyond such
                  signals is kept clear :

                  Provided further that when the are of work is controlled
                  by Automatic signals, the railway servant in charge of
                  the work shall post a competent railway servant at an
                  adequate distance in rear of the site of the work to stop
                  and warn any train approaching the affected area.

      15.09 Showing of signals

            (1) Whenever due to lines being under repair or due to any
            other obstruction it is necessary to indicate to the Driver
            that he has to stop or proceed at a restricted speed, the
            following signals shall be shown and, where prescribed,
            detonators used, if on a double line in the direction from
            which trains approach, and if on a single line in each
            direction

                  (a) When the train is required to stop and the
                  restriction is likely to last only for a day or less -- A
                  banner flag shall be exhibited at a distance of 600
                  metres on the Broad Gauge and 400 metres on the Metre
                  Gauge and the Narrow Gauge and three detonators shall be
                  placed, 10 metres apart, at a distance of 1200 metres on
                  the Broad Gauge and 800 metres on the Metre Gauge and the
                  Narrow Gauge from the place of obstruction. In addition,
                  Stop hand signal shall be shown at a distance of 30
                  metres from the place of obstruction, at the banner flag
                  and at a distance of 45 metres from the three
                  detonators. The railway servant at the place of
                  obstruction shall give Proceed hand signal to indicate to
                  the Driver when he may resume normal speed after the
                  train has been hand-signalled past the place of
                  obstruction.

                  (b) When the train is required to stop and the
                  restriction is likely to last for more than a day -- A
                  stop indicator shall be exhibited at a distance of 30
                  metres from the place of obstruction and a caution
                  indicator at 1200 metres on the Broad Gauge and 800
                  metres on the Metre Gauge and the Narrow Gauge from the
                  place of the obstruction. In addition, termination
                  indicators shall be provided alt the place where a Driver
                  may resume normal speed.

                  (c) When the train is not required to stop and the
                  restriction is likely to last only for a day or less --
                  Proceed with caution hand signals shall be exhibited at a
                  distance of 30 metres and again at a distance of at least
                  800 metres from the place of obstruction. The distance of
                  800 metres shall be suitably increased by special
                  instruction. The distance of 800 metres shall be suitably
                  increased by special instructions, where required. The
                  railway servant at the place of obstruction shall give
                  Proceed hand signal to indicate to the Driver when he may
                  resume normal speed after the train has been
                  hand-signalled past the place of obstruction.

                  (d) When the train is not required to stop and the
                  restriction is likely to last for more than a day -- A
                  speed indicator shall be exhibited at a distance of 30
                  metres from the place of obstruction and again a caution
                  indicator at a distance of at least 800 metres from the
                  place of obstruction. The distance of 800 metres shall be
                  suitably increased by special instructions, where
                  required. In addition, termination indicators shall be
                  provided at the place where a Driver may resume normal
                  speed.

            (2) In case the place of obstruction is within station limits

                  (a) the provision of sub-rule (1) may be dispensed with
                  if the affected line has been isolated by setting and
                  securing of points or by securing at 'on' the necessary
                  manually controlled Stop signal or signals, and

                  (b) approach signals shall not be taken 'off' for a train
                  unless the train has been brought to a stop at the first
                  Stop signal, except in cases where the Driver has been
                  issued with a Caution Order at a station in rear,
                  informing him of the obstruction and the details thereof.

            (3) If the place of work is situated in Automatic Signalling
            territory, and if the distance between the place of obstruction
            and the Automatic signal controlling the entry of train in the
            signalling section concerned is less than 1200 metres on the
            Broad Gauge and 800 metres on the Metre Gauge and provided the
            Automatic signal has been secured at 'on'

                      (a) the banner flag and three detonators referred to
                      in clause (a) of sub-rule (1) may be provided at 90
                      and 180 metres respectively; and
            
                      (b) the caution indicator referred to in clause (b)
                      of sub-rule (1) may be dispensed with.

            (4) The shapes and sizes of the indicators referred to in
            clause (b) and (d) of sub-rule (1) may be prescribed by special
            instructions.

      15.10 Assistance in protection of trains

            Every railway servant employed on way or works shall, on the
            requisition of the Guard of a train or the Driver thereof,
            render assistance for the protection of the train.

      15.11 Gangmate in each gang

            Each Inspector of Way or Works shall see that in every gang
            employed in his length of line there is a competent Gangmate.

      15.12 Knowledge of signals and equipment of gang

            Each Inspector of Way or Works shall see:
            
                  (a) that every Gangman and Gangmate employed under him
                  has a correct knowledge of hand signals and detonating
                  signals; and

                  (b) that every gang employed in his length of line is
                  supplied with a a permanent way gauge, two sets of flag
                  signals, two hand signal lamps and twelve detonators, in
                  addition to such other tools or implements as may be
                  prescribed by special instructions.

      15.13 Inspection of gauges, signals, tools and implements

            (1) Each Inspector of Way or Works shall at least once in every
            month inspect the permanent way gauges, flags, signal lamps,
            detonators, tools and implements supplied to the gangs under
            clause (b) of Rule 15.12 and ascertain whether the above
            equipment is complete and in good order.

            (2) He shall also see that any defective or missing articles
            are replaced.

      15.14 Responsibility of Gangmate as to safety of line
            
            Each Gangmate shall:

            (a) see that his length of line is kept safe for the passage of
            trains ;

            (b) that the signals supplied to him under clause (b) of Rule
            15.12, are kept in proper order and ready for use;

            (c) that the men in his gang each have a correct knowledge of
            hand signals and detonating signals,

            (d) endeavour to prevent any trespassing by persons or cattle
            on his length of line or within the fences thereof, and

            (e) when repairing, lifting or lowering the line or when
            performing any other operation which shall make it necessary
            for a train to proceed cautiously, himself be present at the
            sport and be responsible that the caution signals prescribed in
            Rule 15.09 are shown.

      15.15 Blasting

            No railway servant employed on the way or on any works shall
            carry on any blasting operations on or near the railway except
            as permitted by special instructions.

      15.16 Putting in or removing points or crossings

            Except in cases of emergency, no railway servant shall put in
            or remove any points or crossings otherwise than as permitted
            by special instructions.

      15.17 Duties of Gangmate and Gangman when apprehending danger

            If a Gangmate and Gangman considers that the line is likely to
            be rendered unsafe, or that any train is likely to be
            endangered in consequence of any defect in the way or works or
            of abnormal rain or floods or any other occurrence, he shall
            take immediate steps for securing the stability of the line and
            the safety of trains, by using the prescribed signals for
            trains to proceed with caution or to stop, as necessity may
            require; and shall as soon as possible report the circumstances
            to the nearest Station Master and the Inspector of Way or
            Works.

B. The Working of Lorries, Trollies and Motor Trollies.

      15.18 Distinction between trolly, lorry and motor trolly

            (1) A vehicle which can be lifted bodily off the line by four
            men shall be deemed to be a trolly and any similar but heavier
            vehicle shall be deemed to be a lorry.

            (2) Any trolly which is self-propelled, by means of a motor, is
            a motor trolly.

            (3) A trolly shall not, except in cases of emergency, be used
            for the carriage of permanent way or other heavy material ; and
            when a trolly is so loaded, it shall be deemed, for the
            purposes of these rules, to be a lorry.

      15.19 Red flag or light to be shown

            Every lorry or trolly when on the line shall show a red flag by
            day and a red light by night, during thick, foggy or
            tempestuous weather impairing visibility or in a tunnel in the
            directions from which a train may come.

      15.20 Equipment of trolly, lorry or motor trolly

            Each trolly, lorry or motor trolly shall have the following
            equipment:

            (a) two hand signal lamps,

            (b) two red and two green hand signal flags,

            (c) sufficient supply of detonators,

            (d) a chain and a padlock,

            (e) a copy of the Working Time Table and all correction slips
            and appendices, if any, in force on that section of the railway
            over which the trolly, lorry or motor trolly is to run.

            (f) a motor horn and a search light (for motor trolly only)

            (g) two banner flags (for lorry only), and

            (h) such other articles as may be prescribed by the Railway
            Administration in this behalf.

            Note: The official in charge of the trolly, lorry or motor
            trolly shall also be in possession of a watch in addition to
            the prescribed equipment.

      15.21 Efficient brakes

            No lorry or trolly shall be placed on the line unless it is
            fitted with efficient brakes.

      15.22 Qualified person to be in charge of lorry or trolly when on the
      line

            (1) No lorry or trolly shall be placed on the line except by a
            qualified person appointed in this behalf by special
            instructions.

            (2) Such qualified person shall accompany the lorry or trolly,
            and shall be responsible for its proper protection and for its
            being used in accordance with special instructions.

      15.23 Attachment to train prohibited

            No lorry or trolly shall be attached to a train.

      15.24 Time of running

            A lorry shall ordinarily be run only by day and when the
            weather is sufficiently clear for a signal to be distinctly
            seen from an adequate distance, which shall never be less than
            800 metres.

      15.25 Motor Trolly

            A motor trolly shall only be run in accordance with special
            instructions.

      15.26 Protection of trolly on the line

            The qualified person in charge of a trolly shall, before
            leaving a station, ascertain the whereabouts of all approaching
            trains, and shall, when a clear view is not obtainable for an
            adequate distance -

            (a) on a single line, in both directions, or

            (b) on a double line, in the direction from which trains may
            approach. take such precautions for the protection of his
            trolly as may be prescribed by special instructions.

      15.27 Protection of lorry on the line

            (1) Whenever it is proposed to place a lorry, whether loaded or
            empty on the line, the line shall, if it is possible to do so,
            without interference with the working of trains, be blocked
            under the rules for working of trains.

            (2) Except under approved special instructions, when the line
            has not been so blocked and a lorry whether loaded or empty is
            placed on the line, the lorry shall be protected

                  (a) on double line, by one or two men as required, at a
                  distance of 600 metres on the Broad Gauge and 400 metres
                  on the Metre Gauge and the Narrow Gauge, carrying a
                  banner flag across the track and another man plainly
                  showing a Stop hand signal at a distance of not less than
                  1200 metres on the Broad Gauge and 800 metres on the
                  Metre Gauge and the Narrow Gauge from the lorry in the
                  direction from which trains may approach, or

                  (b) on single line, by one or two men as required,
                  following and preceding the lorry at a distance of 600
                  metres on the Broad Gauge and 400 metres on the Metre
                  Gauge and the Narrow Gauge, carrying a banner flag across
                  the track and another man plainly showing a Stop hand
                  signal at a distance of not less than 1200 metres on the
                  Broad Gauge and 800 metres on the Metre Gauge and the
                  Narrow Gauge from the lorry on either side.

            (3) Each man so following or preceding the lorry at a distance
            of 1200 metres on the Broad Gauge and 800 metres on the Metre
            Gauge and the Narrow Gauge shall be provided with detonators
            and place three on the line, 10 metres apart, immediately the
            lorry comes to a stand for the purpose of either unloading or
            loading or should any train be seen approaching, and continue
            to display the Stop hand signal.

            (4) The man oir men carrying the banner flag shall immediately
            fix the banner flag across the track immediately the lorry
            comes to a stand or a train is seen approaching, and continue
            to display the Stop hand signal.

            (5) In all cases where the flagmen in advance or in rear cannot
            be kept in view from the lorry, additional intermediate flagmen
            shall be posted to relay the signals.

            (6) The Stop signals and detonators shalll not be removed until
            the flagmen have received the orders to withdraw them from the
            official-in-charge of the lorry.

      15.28 Lorries and trollies out of use

            A lorry or trolly, when not in use, shall be placed clear of
            the line, and the wheels thereof be secured with a chain and
            padlock.


The material on this page is extracted from Indian Railways General Rules (Open Lines), 1976, published by the Government of India.
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