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Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers


Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers

The Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineering (IRSME) is a Indian Railways


  • Recruitment 1
  • Role and Function 2
    • Train Operations 2.1
    • Production Units 2.2
    • Repair and Manufacturing 2.3
  • Organisation 3
  • See also 4
  • External links 5


The recruitment to the cadre is done through two sources

Conducted for the selection of top ranking officials at the government of India (GROUP A). Both of these selection exams are conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) of India. The UPSC is responsible for recruiting middle and top-level bureaucrats for the Government of India.

Role and Function

The main areas of responsibility of IRSME officers are

  • Train operations
    • Motive Power availability
    • Crew Management
    • Rolling Stock Management
    • Traffic restoration in case of accidents
  • Production Units - Locomotives, Coaches, Wheel sets, etc.
  • Repair and Manufacturing workshops

This organisation was central to all rolling stock operations when the only modes of traction were Steam Locomotives and Diesel Electric Locomotives. With the use of electric traction on the trunk routes, the responsibility of traction operations has been shared with the Electrical Department.

All the coaches and wagons are maintained by the Mechanical Department. The air-conditioning part of the coaches on the system was maintained by the Electrical Department. A Railway Board order to bring the entire rolling stock under unified maintenance of the Mechanical Department in 2003 was held in abeyance under pressure from Electrical Department Unions.

This awkward (and sometimes arbitrary) split of responsibilities is a persistent source of organisational stress.

Train Operations

The responsibilities and assignments of train operations are loosely referred to as Open Line. A great deal of emphasis is placed on open line experience. Indeed, there are few cases of people who have succeeded in the organisation without a significant tenures on the Open Line.

From a general public's point of view the most exciting tasks are related to accident relief and traffic restoration. IRSME is responsible for designing, acquiring / building and maintenance of the accident relief infrastructure and organisation. In times of emergency, the appropriate officer is responsible for mobilising the Accident Relief Medical Equipment (ARME) and Accident Relief Trains (ART). Accidents are times of great stress and anxiety. Inquiries and investigation into the cause can carry on for months after a major accident.

Production Units

The Indian Railways does a great deal of manufacturing and would rival any other engineering house in India. The overall manufacturing is split between the managed by the zonal Railways)

Repair and Manufacturing

The zonal railways have workshops that manufacture and repair equipment. These workshops can be very large (e.g. organisational structure that prevents them from being called Production Units.


The IRSME is headed by a Member (Mechanical) in the Railway Board (Ministry of Railways). Member (Mechanical) is better known by the acronym MM.

In each of the zones the organisation is headed by a Chief Mechanical Engineer. The CME reports to the General Manager of the Railway. The office of the Member (Mechanical) of the Railway Board guides the CME on technical matters and policy.

At the divisional level the Sr Divisional Mechanical Engineers head the organisation. The Sr DME reports to the Divisional Railway Manager of the Division. Technical supervision is provided by the zonal Chief Mechanical Engineer. at entry level ADME (assistant divisional engineer ) commands 500-15000 staff and 100- 250 trains;

Workshops are headed by Chief Works Managers. Since workshops are managed by the zonal Railways, the CWMs report to the CME.

Production Units, the manufacturing plants of the Indian Railways, are managed directly by the ministry. The General Managers of the PUs report to the Railway Board. The Production Units are

See also

Jamalpur Gymkhana

Centralised Training Institutes of the Indian Railways

Indian Railway Organisational Structure

Indian Engineering Service

External links

  • Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers
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