- Station superintendent is a very reputed post in Indian Railways. You are head of a railway station for all practical purposes. Therefore, you get a lot of respect.
- Cost of education is borne by the Government. You have to clear the exams conducted by Railway Recruitment Board.
- You are provided with a great salary package and a number of governmental perks.
- This is not a typical government job, as working hours are long because railway stations don’t shut.
- There are limited job vacancies, so one may have to try several times.
- Getting holidays and quality leisure time is really difficult as the work can’t wait.
Name – Mohan Singh Meena
Profession – Station superintendent at Dadri Railway Station
Age – 55
Gender – Male
Industry – Indian Railways
City – Dadri
Where have you been born and raised?
I was born in Shahjahanpur, Rajasthan. Later on, our family shifted to Hindaun city of Rajasthan. It was in Rajasthan that I spent most of my life before getting into any profession. My family was involved in agriculture. We were upper-middle class farmers.
Who had the most influence on you and how?
My father was a great parent and thus had the most influence on me. He was a very patient and calm man. While it was common for parents to be strict with their children and give physical punishments to them, he never even raised his voice at me and dealt with me with real love and care.
Please give a summary of your career and your journey to the superintendent of a station.
I completed my B.Com. and M.Com. from Kariuly College, Rajasthan and completed LLB from Jaipur. I worked in a bank for some time as a cashier but didn’t like the job.
So, I did Rail Transport Management Diploma from New Delhi.
I was first posted at Khurja junction of U.P as a Stationmaster and remained at the position for 16 years. Then I was posted in Somna. After 5 years of service there, I was promoted to the position of Station Superintendent and posted to Sikandarpur station where I remained for 8 years.
Then I finished a 1-year service in Chola, 3 years in Dadri, 8 months in Dankor, 1.5 years in Itawa, and 7 years in Tundla junction.
Now, I am in Dadri where I was posted last year.
Which institutes are best for the training/education of railway officers?
It depends on the area you may want to get in. North Central Railway has many training centers for its staff which is situated in many places like Chandosi, Udaipur, Jabalpur etc.
None of them can be categorized as solely the best as all of them provide the same kind of training to their staff.
How much does it cost to get trained as officers in Railway?
The costs of my training were completely borne by the Government.
How to get into the Indian Railway?
You need to appear for the entrance examination conducted by Railway Recruitment Board.
Eligibility criteria is a graduation degree and age between 18 to 32 years of age.
Indian Railways issues job notifications to fill up Station Master posts across India.
Railway Recruitment Board conducts a computer-based online examination to appoint Station Masters. The written examination comprises of two stages – Preliminary and Final Examination followed by Aptitude Test and Document Verification at last.
The candidates who qualify the prelims examination are called to appear for the main examination.
After that, a training of 5 months follows where we’re taught the basics of the work we’re going to do. It’s followed by line training of 2 months where we practically do the work and learn.
How does the promotion ladder work in Railways?
After the completion of this training, you’ll be first appointed as ASM (Assistant Station Master) then will be promoted to SM (Station Master). Then further promotions may follow up such as Station superintendent, Assistant Operations Manager, Divisional Operations Manager.
What is the salary in railways?
Starting out — 4.5 lakhs per annum
5 years of experience — 6 lakhs per annum
10 years of experience — 8 lakhs per annum
15 years of experience — 10 lakhs per annum
20+ years of experience — 12 lakhs per annum
Salary will keep on increasing irrespective of promotion.
Please describe your work as a station superintendent.
I’m responsible for every activity that happens in the railway station that I’m appointed to.
Every task inside the station premises needs to be supervised, guided and approved by me. I’m also responsible for smooth, safe and efficient running of the station. In short, I’m the all in all responsible official hired by railways for this particular railway station.
I take care of the day to day activities that go on at the station and deal with all the issues. I’m also responsible for ensuring the safety of the station and the people here. I have utter control of the financial resources of the railway station. I’m solely responsible for extracting and using that money in the development and management of the station.
I also address a number of complaints regarding the station on a daily basis and sort them out.
The office stays open from 9 AM to 5 PM. Though I need to be present in the office during these hours, however, the reality is different, and I have work beyond these hours on most days. Sunday is a holiday, yet I work on several Sundays.
What are some of the positives which would encourage someone to consider a career in Indian Railway?
The positives of this job are dominated by the facilities the government provides to a station superintendent.
- I get free medical care, lifetime job security, free residence with a personal servant, great pension plan, free transportation facilities like a car with driver, free access to great hospitals, and even a cash package of 10,000 INR every year for dressing and personal maintenance.
- Also, I get a free railway pass according to which my family and I can travel through the first-class trains anytime completely free of cost.
- I get a lot of respect in the society as I work at a good post in the world’s largest railway network.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering working in the railways?
As per me, there are really no great challenges in my job.
Dealing with a few complex issues can be hectic though as things may not go your way all the time but with your leadership skills and determination, you can easily surpass all the difficulties. They won’t even feel like challenges then.
Being responsible for the activities at the station means you can be blamed and questioned for everything even when it was not in your hands. You’ve to be really careful with your duties to avoid any such accusations and it will be alright.
Also due to the emergency nature of the duty, your social life and family-time may have to suffer. There are holidays provided by the government, but it’s not easy to extract them completely as the work can’t really wait.
What are the relevant skills required for a working as a station superintendent?
You just have to have great leadership skills and the ability to sway people. You’ve to be a good listener and really attentive regarding your duty. I don’t think there are any more skills relevant to this profession considering the work is only of supervision and responsibility.
What kind of a person would be happy working as a railway station superintendent?
A person who can deal with a lot of stress, hectic work hours and troublesome authorities or organizations which may create hurdles for the superintendent will do this job greatly. S/he has to be assertive and determined like a boss. The person must be carefree but not careless.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?
I chose this job after doing a job in a bank. It was my second and final choice. I don’t plan for anything else in the future. I’m really satisfied.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path like yours?
Keep your base in Math and English strong as these are two things which won’t stop following you wherever you go. Getting the job is uncertain as it’s provided only when there are vacancies, so just be patient and do other things if you’re not getting a chance.
Even if you start working, keep in mind that more power doesn’t mean you’ve got the right to misuse it. With power comes responsibility. Whatever you do is being watched and judged. If you’re involved in wrong things, found misusing your position or charged of corruption, you won’t be able to hide your mistakes. So be honest. India needs honest men in government services as they are the base of every progressive activity carried out in the nation.
Liked this article? You may be interested in checking out our conversation with Ashok Kumar who is a Lekhpal (Accountant) at Tehsil Dadha, UP.