The Indian Railway Traffic Service (Hindi: mso-ascii-font-family: Mangal; mso-fareast-font-family: Mangal; mso-hansi-font-family: Mangal;'>
भारतीय रेल यातायात सेवा
), abbreviated as IRTS is an organized Group 'A' Class 1 service (cadre)
of the Government of India. The selection for the service is done through coveted Civil Services Exam
conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).
The cadre functions under the administrative
control of the Government of India, Ministry of Railways. The officers of the service are responsible for administering
Railway Transport in the country. IRTS officers perform the leadership role among various technical departments and are
the public interface of the Indian Railways. Colloquially called Traffic Officers, they are the primary facilitators of
Railway services right from Policy Formulation, Design of Services, Planning of freight movement, Passenger transport,
Passenger amenities to Terminal
Management, Infrastructure Planning,
Marketing of Services, Pricing, Ticketing, Contract Management and Employee Welfare.
Traffic Department is responsible for optimum utilization of Railway assets and their
seamless integration to provide a swift and safe transportation service and consequent realization of revenues
in-line with the social obligations of the Indian Railways. Public Service Delivery and Asset Management are their forte.
Traffic Department comprises two branches -
from one branch to another based on organisational requirements throughout their career and are groomed for leadership role
in professional and personal life.
IRTS officers also perform in other functions like Safety, Public Relations,Media Relations, Sports Promotion, IT wing,
Infrastructure Development,Regulation, e-Governance, Public Private Partnership, Urban Infrastructure, Human Resource
In addition to these functions, IRTS officers get deputed to other Ministries/Departments of Government of India and various
State Governments across the country. Having hands on exposure of resource management and target oriented approach,
IRTS officers become asset for whichever sector they work for.
After selection, the IRTS probationers undergo Foundation training at Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration
(LBSNAA) at Mussoorie, along with trainees of other Civil Services.
IRTS probationers then report to their Centralized Training Institute (CTI) - Indian Railways Institute for
Transportation Management, Lucknow (IRITM) for joining formalities and induction into the cadre as Officer Trainees or
Probationary Officers. This is followed by visit to host of academies and institutions, over a period of next 78 weeks, to give
wide-ranging exposure to Officer trainees which would be useful in their career as Civil Services Officers in Railways.
History and Development
of Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) :
IRTS in its present form was reconstituted in 1967. When Railways first started in India, it was part of Public Works Department.
Initially the building of network was contracted to Companies and later on British Government itself started developing the
network as State Railways. The expansion of Railway network was high on priority of British. With this high growth of Railway
network and increasing traffic, the British Government recognized the need for a separate department for handling train
As per the record available in National Archives of India, "the whole scheme of traffic superiors establishment of 1889
was sanctioned by Secretary of State (notes, Railway Establishment A- Nov 1902 Railways 6 to 13)"
Unfortunately records of the period from 1889 to 1901 are not traceable and so the actual details of formation of
separate traffic department could not be found out.
Thus the first available written record about Traffic Organization is found in the above quoted records under the heading
"Revision of Rules for Recruitment and Training of Young men for the Superior Traffic Department of State Railways,
" wherein mention of recruitment details, training and pay for recruits for this department are mentioned. Given below the
links for the scanned copy of records taken from National Archives.:-
Revision of rules for recruitment and training of young men for the superior traffic dept. of State Railways [Pro. No. 6]
Revision of rules for recruitment and training of young men for the superior
traffic dept. of State Railways [Pro. No. 10]
After 5 years, the Board was worried that changes were required to be done in the mode of recruitment and training as "it is a matter of notoriety that the Traffic Department of State Railways are very weak at the present time and we may sympathize with the desire of the Board to bring about some improvement and the Board are distinctly of opinion that unless definite steps are taken to improve the class of men and their surroundings during their period of probation, great difficulty will be experienced at no distant time in finding suitable officers to fill the higher positions in the Traffic Department." (first paragraph of the Secretary, Commerce and Industry Department’s note of the 14th March 1906)
After series of correspondence between Railway Board , Commerce and Industry, Finance and Home Departments a draft memorandum was prepared for laying down rules for recruitment , service conditions and training was prepared which was finally put up to Secretary.
After few years, need was felt for bifurcating the activities of Traffic department into two separate heads. I) Traffic Transportation (2) Commercial and the department was then known as Traffic transportation and Commercial department of Superior Revenue Departments.
Finally on 4th March 1967 the service was named Indian Railway Traffic Service.