Foundation at National Academy Of Indian Railways(NAIR)


National Academy of Indian Railways is the alma mater of all the officers of Indian Railways.It is situated in a sprawling campus of 55 acres of the Pratap Vilas Palace at Lalbaug, Vadodara. NAIR has adequate hostel,sports and recreational facilities. It provides training to all levels of Indian Railway officers, from probationers to General Managers. Every railway officers visits NAIR at-least once in his life time.Campus of NAIR consists of variety of flora and fauna which includes languars,peacocks,birds,snakes etc. The campus is all green and atmosphere is always alive, filled with singing of birds and dancing of peacocks. This campus provides a serene environment for budding poets and writers. Late evening and early morning is the best time to take tour of the campus. Sometimes, the Arabian winds blow right across the campus which mesmerizes and says something in your ears that winds of change are about to come…


Different batch of probationers from various services reached NAIR on 26/2/2015.In the beginning itself we were  allotted AC rooms in Pahune Hostel. Arrangements were  made in such a way that probationers of different service were made as room partner. Similarly, all the officers were divided in 4 groups. Group was made as heterogeneous as possible. This was done to promote intermingling among various services so that we may get to know each other very well. Inter-departmental harmony is very essential for railways functioning and therefore all these measures were a step forward in the right direction.

Pahune Hostel for Probationers.
Pahune Hostel for Probationers.

First day at NAIR was all about joining formalities but in the evening there was ice-breaking ceremony. We were given few hours to prepare something and then present in front of everyone by the evening. On the very first day,when we barely knew each others’ name, probationers of different services had to perform as a team. As the name suggests , ‘Ice-breaking’ was all about breaking the hold of unfamiliarity but when we performed in the garden of Lalbaug, it didn’t seemed like we had been strangers to each other. Probationers from technical and non-technical services performed as team and ultimately all the ice was not just broken but it evaporated too.

Within few days, classes picked up the pace and test and quizzes started happening at regular interval. Foundation course is all about knowing something about everything related to Railways. So our subjects were civil,electrical,mechanical,signalling telecom,safety,accounts,personnel,commercial,operating,medical,Material management,law and Rajbhasha. In Rajbhasha you are taught the working knowledge of Hindi. For non-Hindi speaking candidates this is a kind of challenge but in the end they performed brilliantly in Hindi oratorical skills .So, if you come to NAIR for foundation course ,be prepared to study all these subjects in brief. Classes timings were from 9.00am to 4.15pm but in the morning we had PT and yoga sessions. Everybody used to get up around 6.00am and then report for their respective sessions. One absent was considered as one-fourth leave,so we took it seriously. In retrospect , i can say that forcing us to do yoga and PT was a good idea but. Now  probationers know various exercise and yoga position for their physical fitness.

Officer’s mess is quite spacious here with adequate dining facilities. The quality of food is average as per the opinion of majority of the probationers. Mess staff and workers are co-operative and work hard to feed us three times a day.Cleaning and hostel staff also deserve a mention here because in the noise their hard works remains unnoticed.

Mess building
Mess building
Dining facilities in the mess
Dining facilities in the mess

After around one month of classroom teaching, it was time for the tour. Again we divided in five groups  to tour different parts of country. I was in Shimla-Chandigarh trip.
A separate coach was attached to the train for carrying us to our destinations there by eliminating the need of doing reservations. Let me tell you that very few people get this privilege i.e travelling in the coach of your own. There are many memories to be shared from that trip but space and words becomes limit me for that.  Travel in Shimla toy train was ultimate experience of its kind.This train passes through valleys,curves and tunnels giving you visual delights which are rare to be found.

Inside Kalka-Shimla Toy Train
Inside Kalka-Shimla Toy Train

While contemplating the beauty of surrounding hill, i also marveled at the engineering expertise of Indian Railways , and whose part i was becoming. The beauty of hill becomes even more enchanting when looked through the windows of this train.   Second most memorable occasion was Wagah Border beating retreat ceremony, let me tell you that all probationers were given VIP passes and clearance. All this came to be so because we were part of Indian Railways.

Probationers at Wagah Border
Probationers at Wagah Border

This trip served a great deal in bringing us closer to each other. There were similar trips organised for other parts of country as well in which other groups participated. Overall, this practice of sending us to trips is a healthy tradition in Indian Railways and it should be continued for future probationers as well.

At this point, i must mention that cultural and sports talent in probationers was on full display during the foundation course.You can play lot of sports on NAIR Campus. Sport events were organized regularly and a probationers was given every opportunity to excel in the sports of his choice. Some of our probationers were multi-talented and they won medals in diverse fields.

 Probaioners' Cricket Team  at Divisional Groud
Probaioners’ Cricket Team at Divisional Ground

Cultural performances were a delight to watch. The abundance of talent and willingness to perform was evident during cultural events. From monolouge to group dance, from singing to mimicry,probationers surprised everyone with their sheer talent. It is not just about books but railways teaches you to enjoy every part of your life.

At the end of this 10 weeks course,it was time to say goodbye and start the next journey for our separate destinations. We parted, but with the promise of meeting again in the future. For me it was totally trans-formative experience. I would thank all those who came across my life at this juncture. Memories of past will linger and hope of the future will persist in my life where NAIR would have played a great role.

Thanks for reading this post. In the end I am leaving you with the complete group photo of our foundation course.

Complete Batch Of Probationers at NAIR
Complete Batch Of Probationers at NAIR

16 Replies to “Foundation at National Academy Of Indian Railways(NAIR)”

  1. waiting for my turn to become a probationer.. reading about the experiences have always boosted us ies aspirants… and on personal note has helped me secure AIR 18 from electrical stream in ese 2014

  2. Sir,Its all like dreaming when i was reading your post..was virtually floating..i dont know whether i would be part of that campus or not..but it is for sure that it will keep me motivated till the last moment of exam ..congratulations to everyone in that group photo..thanks sir for sharing your experience..

  3. sir….i wanted to ask whether service bond from ‘central govt (group B)’ to state govt. is transferable or not….

  4. Hello Sir,

    What kind of project is to be submitted in training period??? Is it like the projects we do in MTech and BTech??? Is it related to railways and are there any dedicated labs for implementing the projects??

    1. Projects are to be submitted at the end of probation period and it is expected to be of the level of M.TECH. There are specialized training institutes all over the which impart training related to various railway technology..

  5. Hello Sir i am a physically disabled candidate preparing for ESE and i have my one leg and one arm affected (OLA) .As per ese notification there are no vacancies for OLA candidates , there are vacancies for OL and OA candidates only.Even though i fulfill various requirements for disabled candidates like bending,sitting, writing, seeing etc.I called UPSC,they told me that these are tentative vacancies,there are chances that final vacancy list might have vacancies for OLA candidates. So i am not sure whether i should continue preparation for ESE as there are no vacancies for OLA Candidates in PSUs too.

    It Would be a great help from your side if you tell me would medical board consider me for post/service in ESE as final list vacancies are not available anywhere over the internet.

    PS: sir please do reply because my career is at stake because if i am not eligible for any post then i would have to choose for any other career option. But if i am eligible then i need to join coaching batch from 22nd june.
    I already filed a rti for this but the response would take almost a month and i don’t have that much time to make the decision.

  6. I’ll be preparing for GATE, ESE and CSE (with Civil Engineering as optional). I’m pretty confident that I’ll crack GATE and ESE in first attempt. My ultimate dream is to be an IAS so I’ll keep on preparing for CSE until my last attempt. So I have few queries, please answer them. It would be beneficial for me and my friends who all are preparing fpr these exams.

    1. Which services allows us to stay in Delhi at least for the starting 2-3 years? (except CWC)

    2. Which services has less burden and work load so that one can prepare for the CSE solely?

    3. What should be the service preference keeping about two things?

    Thanks in advance sir.

    1. IF you want to prepare for IAS then best thing would be take extension in joining. Select a service which gives very late joining and then further extend it by giving application. CWC is the best job for what you are looking for. After that Cpwd,CES(roads),….but staying in Delhi and lesser work load can’t be guaranteed anywhere. All group A training are dynamic in nature. IT is no classroom teaching only. Field visit are in every probation…So try to clear IAS in first attempt itself.

  7. Thank u sirjee for detailed information… Sir I have been allotted irts through cse 2014 exam…sir there are some questions.. I wud b highly indebted if u help me out with it…1. How hectic is irts..does it involve physical movement very much or is it like whole night out in control room in cases of breakdowns or accidents.
    2. Do we get some time for family…
    3. Which route is better through cse or ESE…to work in railway
    4. How is the overall status n perks of irts vs IRAS..

    Thanking u.

    1. In IRTS , there are two departments..1. Operating and 2. Commercial,

      Operating is directly related to running of the traind therefore it is more hectic than commercial department.

      If i were to choose between two , i would go for commercial.

      You will definitely get time for family members, you will get all the privileges of your departments in addition to what every officer gets.

      IF you have taken CSE route than IRTS is the best and if you take engg service route than IRSE is the best.

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