Basic Function of control

Basic Function of control:

1. Train Control:

a) This job is done by SCOR(Section Controller).
b) Each SCOR is provided with the master chart of that section.
c) In the master chart the path of M/E and Passenger trains are charted in different colors.
d) This master chart helps in making advance planning by SCOR.
e) With the help of master chart, SCOR guides the SM and Yard Master relating to the movement of trains.
f) SCOR gets advices regarding train operation and optimum use of wagons and engines from the CHC and Dy. CHC.
g) Supervising & regulating movement of trains from station to station on the section to avoid delay to trains and to maximize utilization of the capacity of the section by :-
1. Monitoring movement of trains from station to station and recording
paths and detention on charts.
2. Arranging crossing and precedence of trains judiciously.
3. Arranging working of departmental and material trains.
4. Giving time signal to all stations on the section daily at appointed time.
5. Fulfilling interchange commitment.
6. Arranging proper movement of assisting/banking/light engines.
7. Clearance of sick wagons from Roadside stations.
8. Arrangement of relief for 10 hours duty staff.
9. Incident management on rail network & at station.
10. Arranging Engineering and/or power blocks in such a way as to involve
minimum disturbance to train running.
11. Maintaining fluidity of yards by controlling the flow of stock in and out
of yard.
12. Arranging Speedy relief in case of accidents.

2. Traffic control

Traffic control is the general and over-riding control of supervision of the movement of goods and coaching traffic on the section. It is exercised by:
a) Traffic Control means controlling and regulating the movement and distribution of coaching and goods stock and directing it’s loading, unloading, dispatch and arranges passage through yards.
b) The aim of traffic control is to maximize unloading and loading in the division, fulfill the interchanging of trains and effective utilization of the available resources such as engines, wagons and bankers etc.
c) This job is performed by Dy. CHC in the division such as ordering the movement of goods train, allotting the wagons to goods shed and station for loading, giving special attention to block rakes, giving inward traffic for loading, advise regarding running of loaded or empty wagon rakes.
d) Granting of blocks to engineering, OHE and S&T departments.
e) Look out for speed restrictions and running of material train and give blocks for repairs and maintenance in such a manner so that it would not affect train movement.
f) To admit trains in yard in such a way so that working capacity of the yard is not affected.
g) Collecting information from the various section in respect of -
i. Registration of wagons outstanding at stations and arrangements for supply of wagons.
ii. Number of wagons loaded and empty wagons/rakes awaiting despatch.
h) Arranging running, regulation, putting back and cancellation of trains. (both freight & coaching) and to ensure optimum utilization of loco and staff to derive maximum benefit..
i) Collecting stock position from the different stations, marshalling and terminal yards, arranging supply of wagons against pending registration and ensure optimum utilization of stock by securing maximum loads for trains with minimum detention
j) Arrangement of crew & Guard for freight trains.
k) Monitoring and coordinating working of yards, goods shed sidings, locoshed, TXR depots etc and to keep liaison with adjoining Railways and Division for interchange commitments.
l) Keep strict vigil on the wagons, which are unable to move and make arrangement for quick repair of them.
m) In case of accident inform all the concerned officials and the other staff.
n) To make arrangement of men for speedy availability of assistance at accident site including ART/MRV, crane etc and ensure quick despatch of the break down in case of accidents and other coordination.

3. Power control

Power control is responsible for provision of motive power to all trains by maintaining position of locomotive
(a) Requisitioning engines from loco sheds for all operating requirements, i.e. Train working. Shunting and Banking.
(b) Ensuring most economical use of engines by close supervision both in Traffic Yards and sheds.
(c) Ensuring the return of engines to “Home Sheds” at regular intervals for servicing and maintenance.
(d) Ensuring an even balance of engines and crews between running sheds for meeting demands of traffic,
(e) Ensuring that light engine kilometers is kept to the minimum.
(f) Provide guidance to running staff for troubleshooting.

4. Carriage and Wagon control 

Carriage and Wagon control is responsible to assist the train and traffic control and to-
(a) Ensure timely examination and fitness of all trains
(b) To keep a watch over the detachment of sick wagons/coaches and to arrange for their early repair and fitness.
(c) Keeping a watch over availability of vital C & W components, like Air Hoses, Washers, clamps etc. and efficient working of equipment & machines in C&W depot to avoid detention to trains.
(d) To keep a watch over placement of wagons/coaches in sick line and their release.
(e) To keep account of detention to trains on C&W account and take remedial action.
(f) To provide guidance to running staff for trouble shooting.
(g) For Electrical Multiple units, this function is performed by EMU controller.
(h) Monitor the movement of POH due stock to workshops.

5. Commercial control

Commercial control  assists the Traffic control.
(a) To expeditiously dispose off unclaimed and unconnected wagons. Parcel consignments.
(b) To keep a watch on detention to trains on commercial account like Alarm chain pulling. Carriage watering, parcel working etc., and take remedial measures.
(c) To ensure quick transshipment of sick wagons by arranging matching stock and labour.
(d) To keep a watch over submission of station returns.
(e) Monitoring of public complaints lodged at the stations.
(f) To ensure proper maintenance of public amenities available at stations.
(g) Any other job entrusted by Sr. DCM/DCM.

6. Traction power control

Traction power control is provided to assist in Traffic and Train control for -
a) Arranging maintenance blocks for OHE
b) Arranging alternative power supply in case of tripping etc., though remote control.
c) Monitoring OHE failure and taking remedial action.
d) Monitoring detention of trains on OHE accounts.
e) Guiding running/station staff in trouble shooting.

7. Engineering control:

Monitors imposition & cancellation of Engineering Restrictions, working of track machines & monitoring integrated maintainable blocks, co- ordinates works during maintenance blocks and running of Material trains.

8. Signal control 

Signal control assists Traffic and Train control and is responsible -
(a) To keep a watch over the S&T failures and take remedial action.
(b) To ensure efficient working of communication channels.

9. Security control 

Security control is responsible for prevention of theft of property and assists
passengers in trains/stations.

10. Crew Control:

a) Crew control ensures availability of Train crew (Loco Pilot).
b) He has got the details of all kinds of loco pilot available in the division like Goods & passenger.
c) Issue instruction to all depot/Lobbies regarding movement of crew so that crew may be available for the traffic in all directions as per forecast.
d) Maintain the balance of crew with all adjoining divisions.
e) Arrange relief for loco pilot and avoid bursting of 10 Hour rule.

12. ETL Control:

Issues instructions to ETL staff if complained regarding fan, light, Battery and dynamo in train.

Functions of Traffic control:

The main functions of Traffic Control are:
a. Continuous supervision of the movement of all traffic in the controlled area with a view to achieve the maximum possible operating efficiency.
b. Correct ordering of trains and use of locomotives so as to reduce to a minimum the productive time of power and personnel, and losses on account of wasted haulage capacity on trains and thus to keep the "turn round" as low as possible;
c. Systematic maintenance of accurate charts of train movement and the arrangement of crossing and precedence to the greatest advantage.
d. Analysis of detentions to trains
e. Planning, ordering and running of goods trains to the best possible paths.
f. Maintaining the fluidity of marshalling yards/freight terminals.
g. Taking remedial action in the event of yard/terminal congestion.
h. To allot and distribute coaching and goods stock and direct its loading, dispatch, and movement, particularly through intermediate marshalling yards, and to so direct its placement and quick release so as to attain the quickest possible "turn round" and ensure elimination of avoidable detentions to goods stock at loading and unloading points and at transshipment stations.
i. To keep in the closest touch with the operation of continuous sections and divisions so as to avoid congestion and lack of fluidity;
j. Supply of information to adjoining controls, terminals and engine changing stations regarding the movement of trains to enable adequate timely arrangements for their reception and onward dispatch.
k. Arranging engineering and other department blocks with minimum detention to traffic.
l. Running of material trains and other track machines, tower wagons etc.
m. Arranging relief for engine crew and Guard.
n. Ensuring maximum utilization of locomotive.
o. Issuing instructions for train working in case of equipment failures and whenever abnormal method or working has to be resorted to.
p. Speedy arrangements for relief rescue and restoration in the event of accident.
q. To assist in the realistic planning of time tables and punctual running of passenger trains in co-ordination with various departments other divisions and other railways.
r. To keep a watch over damaged stock at road side stations, yards and sick lines and to ensure that they are promptly attended to.
s. To rectify immediately the irregularities on the part of line staff and provide them necessary guidance.
t. To provide operations management information.
u. To ensure smooth functioning of FOIS and other IT applications.
v. To provide an impulse of human energy and brain power throughout the section and by coordination and direction ensure the free movement of traffic and thereby obtain the maximum output from each unit involved at the minimum cost to the administration.

The functions of the Control organization may, for the purpose of understanding be conveniently classified under the heads of planning, execution and review, though in practice, of course, all three activities would be going on simultaneously.


1. forecast of interchange;
2. forecast of trains to be run section wise;
3. forecast of supply of empties for bulk loading transshipment, etc.;
4. forecast of unloading;
5. planning for engineering blocks and special moves.

Information required for this purpose:

1. power availability
2. availability of loads
3. disposition of empties and planning for loading
4. analysis of midnight divisional wagon balance

The plan is made by CTNL daily at 0800 hrs. and reviewed by Sr.DOM and HQ is informed by 1000 hrs. both immediate and antecedent, for taking remedial action to prevent their recurrence.


The day's plan is to be executed by yards, loco sheds, TXR depots, transshipment supervisors, area controls, SMs and must, therefore, be communicated to them as soon as it is finalized.

Instructions are given in the course of the morning conference, modified as necessary after conference with the HQ. The performance is reviewed once at 1600 hrs and briefly at night.


1. Analyzing shortfalls of previous day to take remedial measures and pin point weak spots;
2. Provide basic data for planning for current day.

The following are the main features of the previous day's performance which are reviewed:

Divisional wagon balance
Train running
Disposition of empties
Particulars of stabled loads
Yard balances
Unloading on division
Registrations and loading
Transshipment performance
Power utilization
Sick line working
Accidents, unusual occurrence
Special type stock
Crane wagons (heavy lift)

Telecommunication-Facilities in Control:

Extensive, efficient and reliable communication network is necessary for the efficient functioning of the Control organization. The following telecommunication network is available in control offices.

1. FOIS Network
2. Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC)
3. Dual Phone Modulation Frequency (DPMF)
4. Hot lines are provided between:
a) Headquarter and divisions
b) Adjoining Divisions and Railways
c) Intercom facility to various officers and other functionaries concerned with the control is connected with important work with STD or Trunk exchanges.

3. Deputy Control lines:

This circuit is provided between various functionaries in the control office, stations and important work centers like yards, loco sheds, crew booking lobbies.

4. Section control circuit:

This circuit is connected to all the stations and the section controller, Chief controller etc.

5. Traction Power control circuit:

This additional circuit is available on the electrified sections; this is connected to T.P.C. in OHE remote control centre, all stations, control offices and selected work places. The section controller or T.P.C. can also be connected from the emergency socket provided over the sections of line by means of portable telephone of the control point with indication on the electric mast, direction
wise, to the nearest circuit.

6. Section control board:

The section controller of each section is provided with control board with telecommunication facilities for coaching stations, certain important cabins, big freight terminals, loco shed etc. over a section. For the guidance of section controller, the lay out of all the stations and sidings is painted on a large board.
The station lay out diagram is also provided with details of holding capacity of each of the running & non-running lines, gradients and signals. In electrified area, OHE sectioning diagram is provided. This depicts element section in different colours & other details of sectioning post (SP) and Sub-sectioning post

7. Graphs and Plotting:

1. Trains are plotted on control graphs which consist of horizontal and vertical lines representing distance and time respectively. Along side vertical lines stations are each and each unit is further sub-divided into 5 smaller units of 2 minutes each.

2. Each control graph at the end of the shift may have the following information on it.
a. Name and total distance of the section in Kilometers.
b. Distance in Kms between each station on the section.
c. Weather condition in each shift.
d. Engineering restrictions on the section.
e. Code names of each station of the section.
f. Time lost by each train on loco, traffic or engineering account at or between stations.
g. Section controller’s remarks against item (f).
h. Time made up each train on loco, traffic or engineering account.
i. Guard’s record of time lost on loco, traffic or engineering account at or between stations and remarks.
j. General remarks.
k. Signal failures.

3. In plotting various types of trains the coloured pencils shall be used as per extant convention. All up trains are plotted from the bottom of the chart upwards and from the left diagonally towards the right; and all down trains are plotted from the left diagonally towards the right; and all down trains are plotted from the top of the chart downwards and also diagonally from the left towards the right.

4. For judicious crossing and precedence, it is necessary to have plotting of passenger trains at least one hour in advance depending on traffic density in easily erasable lines. Now through computerised charting this is automated. On certain selected controls, this function has been automated.

8) Master Charts:

For every section, Master charts indicating trains run in 24 hours are prepared which show the running of each Mail, Express or passenger trains over the section according to its scheduled running. In between the running of the trains carrying passenger, paths for goods trains are worked out and plotted. They are helpful in revision of Time tables and planning the running of any extra trains and guidance of SCORs and should be displayed on the board to which they refer.

Preparation of Master Charts

Trace out the paths of Passenger/Mail/Express Trains keeping in mind the timings necessary at divisional and zonal interchange points.

The following points are to be kept in mind while preparing Master Charts:

(a) The Capacity of originating yard in forming trains and starting them.
(b) The capacity at the terminals to receive the trains (Availability of platform lines, Pit line, TXR lines etc)
(c) Facilities at enroute for crossing or precedence.
(d) Spreading out evenly occupation of Block Section to avoid bottlenecks, if trains run late.
(e) On Double Line sections, grouping of trains of uniform speed so that detention and precedence becomes minimum.
(f) On single line sections, if the paths of Up and Dn direction trains can be traced at different periods the number of crossings can be reduced.
(g) Running time of Trains suiting to 10 Hours duty of running staff.
(h) Keeping in mind the time for crew changing, fueling, watering the coaches, passenger lunch/dinner.

Integrated Blocks:

In order to ensure safety and reliability of the system the maintenance and repairs to the track, points and crossings, Bridges, Signals and Overhead equipments etc. is inevitable. To make best use of available time integrated blocks are planned in co-ordination with different departments to undertake the maintenance works simultaneously instead of piecemeal blocks taken by different departments separately. Duration of the integrated blocks is determined on the basis of margins available in the Master charts and passenger operations. The details of integrated blocks are notified in the working timetables separately for each division indicating the section up and down lines, duration of block period and their implications, if any. These blocks are subject to minor adjustments depending upon running of trains. However, all out efforts should be made to ensure that the blocks are permitted as prescribed in the working time tables. The running of trains
particularly goods trains should be adjusted by the Sr.DOM and Chief Controllers of respective divisions to avoid detentions during the block on account of temporary single line working and precedence being given to passenger carrying trains. Except for the works given in the TWOs, no other maintenance block shall be given to any department. All works shall be allowed within the Engineering allowance provided for each division.

Principal Chief Engineer, who shall co-ordinate the operation of blocks and maintenance works by all other departments, nominates one of the Sr.DEN of the division. The works to be executed shall be planned in advance in block meetings attended by officers of concerned department with all preparatory arrangements
made well in advance for the smooth and timely execution of blocks without causing undue detention of traffic and inconvenience to passengers.
All concerned should ensure that blocks are not burst as to avoid adverse effect on running of trains and inconvenience to traveling public.

Traffic Corridor Block:

1. It is the time interval between two successive scheduled Mail Express trains in the particular section on the Division available for maintenance work done by various departments.
2. It is mentioned in the Working Time Table of concerned division.
3. The corridor block is shown in the master chart of the concerned division.
4. This period of corridor block may also be used for running goods trains.
5. Maintenance schedules on the divisions are to be managed as per the corridor blocks.

C H A R T I N G:

It is nothing but plotting all the train movements in a time and distance chart by section controller. Master Chart is prepared and kept before him as a guide for plotting Passenger / Mail / Express movements. After tracing the paths for all Passenger Carrying Trains the paths of Goods Train can be traced and they are classified in to 3 kinds.

1) Goods Path - Requiring minimum running time.
2) Auxiliary Path- Suitable for short distances
3) Bad Path - Shall not be used except in case of emergency because it occupies maximum time.

For the purpose of Section Capacity the paths of scheduled trains and goods paths are only taken into consideration and the number arrived at, shall not be less than the number obtained by Scott’s Formula. If so, it is considered as lead charting and requires revision.

Method of Charting:

Every chart is printed for 8 Hours which shall by chart neatly and legibly in the following manner:

1. Station names are printed in vertical rows, as far as possible in proportion of main distances with required details like Kilometer, inter-station distance etc., in the left and station codes on the right.
2. The station name from Top to bottom refers down direction and bottom to top - Up direction.
3. In the horizontal row, broad lines refer to hours and these are further divided in to by thin lines in 6 parts. Every line is referring to 10 minutes each of which in further sub divided into 5 parts, by dots each dot referring to 2 minutes.
4. The timings of trains are marked by dots above the line for Up trains and below the line for Down trains usually.
5. The progress of Up trains is indicated by a line from bottom left to top right and progress of Dn train is indicated by a line from top left to bottom right.
6. Trains being received from other stations from other sections or going to other sections from a section or starting from a station in the same section or terminating in a station in a same section are to be shown by a line in the same Up and Down inclination either with vertical line or dissimilated inclination starting or ending.
7. Blocking of running line is indicated by drawing a continuous horizontal red line either below or above the line, as per its direction, from the time it is blocked till it is cleared.
8. Time loss or gain in a section is shown as plus or minus with minutes.
9. Temporary speed restrictions are indicated in the form of a small red triangle with prescribed speed restriction, on the right side between two station codes.
10. Attaching of loco is indicated by a semi circle up or down depending upon the
actual direction.
11. Train parting / dividing is indicated by showing detention in mid-section by drawing a horizontal line, the plotting movement of the first portion to the next station. The second portion is indicated by a dotted line in red. Arrival of engine, attaching and clearing second portion is plotted normally.
12. When scheduled trains lose time, in section, the schedule passage is shown in dotted line and actual passage is plotted.
13. Detentions to trains are to be serially written in remarks column.
14. Usually the following colours are used for plotting:
(a) Mail/Express Trains and other trains – Red
(b) For other passenger carrying trains - Blue
(c) Goods trains (Electric Traction) - Green
(d) Goods Train (Diesel Traction) - Lilac (Violet/Pale Purple)
(e) Other Goods Trains, Ballast Trains - Ordinary Pencil

Checking of Control Charts:

Control Charts have to be checked regularly to take up all cases of detentions that have taken place and also other irregularities. Chief controller to scrutinize the charts, AOM looks and gets a picture of it and DOM does test checks.

Chart reading brings out the following:

Late Starts; Wrong crossings and precedence; Wrong stabling of goods trains;
Cross working of light engines etc.,

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