Profile of Civil Engineer in Indian Railways

Hello Everyone,

In this article we will be looking at the profile of a Civil Engineer in Indian Railways recruited through IES. It is necessary to understand the working of an organization before joining it. So, in this series, we will be looking at work profile of engineers in details starting with civil engineering. I will not discuss perks and allowances here, it will covered in the another article.

Work Profile

Railway is one of the best places for a civil engineer to be. It provides immense diversity of work which you can only think of in other organizations. Broadly there are four types of work profile which an engineer can access in IR (Indian Railway).

1. Open Line/P.Way – This is the core work which you will be doing in IR. This work consist of day to day maintenance of assets of IR which includes tracks, bridges, tunnels, buildings, and all other civil engineering assets that you can think of. It doesn’t mean that you physically have to do this work. There is whole army of people below you to command, it is up to you how you manage your subordinates. Out of all four engineering branches, Civil has the most of the resources of IR in terms of men, material and land. Typically you will start your career in this department of IR; also most of the facilities are here only. You will be establishment head of all the persons working below you. Apart from schedule work, you will deal with lot of other stuff too.

2. Construction- It is the construction wing of IR responsible for creation of new assets. After projects are sanctioned, you will be the executive head from Railways. You will have to check and inspect work done by contractors, issue them guidelines, punish them etc. In this department your technical skills are put to test, how much skill you have being an IES. You will have to propose solutions to many problems arising out technical difficulties such as slope failure, caving of tunnels, retaining wall failure, bridge foundation stability, erection of girders at critical locations, etc. Your subordinates will expect a lot from you, be ready to live up to their expectations.

3. RDSO- This is the research wing of Railways. If you have the aptitude for research you can take posting here for your work. If you really can contribute through your research then RDSO will provide you the opportunity to do so.

4. Deputation – There are various Psu working under ministry of railways, you can go to one of these if you so wish. Also, you can go to Railway Board, New Delhi to work on different policy matters for whole of Railways. You will also be able to visit foreign countries for training in technical matters but don’t expect it so early in the career.


Organizational Structure of Civil Engineering in Indian Railways

  1. At Board Level

 civil 1

  1. At Zonal Level

c23. At Divisional Level


Duties and Responsibilities in First Posting

Typically, a civil engineer through IES will be placed as the assistant divisional engineer in one of the sub-divisions of his allotted zone. Following are his duties:-

1) GENERAL DUTIES-responsible for the maintenance and safety of all Track and Building Works in his jurisdiction
2) ESSENTIAL DUTIES : Inspection and maintenance of track and all structures ,Preparation of plans and estimates execution and measurement of works including track works, Verification of stores held by stockholders, Submission of proposals for inclusion in the track renewal programme revenue budget and the works

3) KNOWLEDGE OF RULES AND REGULATION –  To observe the rules and procedures laid in the General and Subsidiary Rules, The Indian Railways Permanent Way Manual, The Indian Railway Works Manual ,The Indian Railway Bridge Manual, the Engineering Code and other codes, orders etc.

4) CO-ORDINATION WITH OFFICIAL OF OTHER DEPARTMENT: To co-operate effectively with officers and staff of other departments in matters that warrant co-ordination.

5) INSPECTION BY HIGHER OFFICIALS-  to accompany inspection of Chief Engineer, General Manager, CRS etc.

6) INSPECTION OF ADEN- To conduct inspection in his jurisdiction as per the Schedules laid down by the Administration from time to time and also maintains the records of the results of his inspection and ensure compliance of the same.

7) INSPECTION OF PERMANENT-WAY– Push Trolley / Motor Trolley Inspection, Fast Train Inspection, Inspection of Level Crossings, Checking of curves, Checking of Points and Crossings, Monsoon Patrolling, Track on Bridges, Scrutiny of Registers during Inspection, Inspections of Track .

8) EXECUTION OF WORKS- To ensure that all works are carried out according to plans and specifications laid down. Important works used to be set out personally by AEN

9) ACTION IN CASE OF EMERGENCIES – In the case of an accident to proceed to the site by the quickest available means. On the way he ascertains the requirements of materials and men at site and arrange for the same.

Amit Singh
IRSE 2013

21 Replies to “Profile of Civil Engineer in Indian Railways”

    1. You can choose zone based on your AIR and preference. Reservations are applicable as always. For the first few years , you will have to serve in sub division thereafter you will be at division. There are at present total 67 division in our country. You can check the list at wikipedia. Division is a major city depending on the state. So , if you get good zone then your divisional posting will in good cities.

  1. Sir, we often hear that life at Railways is hectic. What is your experience so far? How many hours do you put in everyday? Do you get at least Sundays off? Anytime for our pressure our hobbies?

    1. Life in railways is hectic , no doubt about it there are some people who enjoy and some who regret. In initial years , you will be responsible for action in field thereafter you will be in policy making at divisional level. Amount of working hours are not fixed for officers in railways. All services are not equally hectic. Those who come via civil service, their job is office job but for engg officers their job is more stressfull. However there is lot to learn in terms of engineering and technology. And I think you will enjoy in railways more if you join as engg officer rather than personnel or accounts officer. But in the end ,it all depends on attitude of the person if he is satisfied or not. Last but not the least , railways does provide recreational facilities.

  2. i would like to know work profile of IRSS i.e. in store services ,is there any difference in work profile,promotion etc… between IRSS(civil) and IRSS(mechanical)

  3. Sir,. I would like to know about the probable working of girls from civil engineering under ies .
    Does IRS recruits girls for field work ?

    1. As a civil engineer , you should be knowing already that how difficult it is work in core civil engineering industry.

      However ,Railways doesn’t discriminate between male and female officer. All are given same work. Infact girls get more respect and courtesy in this male dominated department.

      By the virtue of being government officer you will be treated with respect everywhere. But the workload is high and stressful. However ,there is lot to learn.

  4. Sir, I read through the article and wanted to know which branch of civil engineering you think will be the best for IES job profile. I will get into in a few days and have a goal of getting into IES (particulary IRS) in future. From what I understand about the job profile, it occurs to me that “Construction Management” is a field which is more apt for IES/IRS work profile. I shall be thankful if you would share your views about this.

    1. At present, probationers of civil engineers in railways get M.Tech degree in railway technology from SPPU if they successfully complete their probation. We will be the first batch to receive this degree. It is still unclear about effectiveness of this program.
      As a civil engineer , in construction management is very good decision. It will definitely help you in Railways, if you get posted in construction organisation. For day to day working of railways, no university in India provides specialized training.

  5. Sir,
    What kind of research work do we do in RDSO in civil branch.
    And sir how much technical is the field job… Like designing of structures, foundation, bridges etc etc.

  6. sir, first of all congrats to u and thankyou very much for this effective blog. Sir i recently selected in RRB Guwahati as SSE (yet I’m waiting for medical and joining). Since i have no option now so i have to join it but since it is a supervisor job not a officer level service so i want to do preparation for ies. after some queries i came to know that there is a 1-year training for SSE. I dont know how and where will be training but i have a question that can i do preparation for IES 2017 in training time. will i get time there. plz help me in this matter.

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