Everyday Heroes: The on-ground Staff that keep the Indian Railways running

Meet Mr. Sudharshan Kumar, Mr. Swarup Chand and Mr. Pankaj Kumar of Kangra Valley Railway.

By Kangra Valley Railway

A Train through the fields (2018-03-08)Kangra Valley Railway

The Kangra Valley Railway

The Kangra Valley Railway lies in the sub-Himalayan region of the Kangra Valley and covers a distance of 164 km from Pathankot in Punjab to Joginder Nagar in Himachal Pradesh, India. Take a glance into the lives of the on-ground staff members working at the Kangra Valley Railway, who ensure the safety and comfort of the train travellers.

A tour of Kangra Railway Station.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Sudarshan Kumar - Keyman at Samloti Station

Mr. Sudarshan Kumar works behind-the-scene as a keyman for the Indian Railways. He takes it upon himself to assure the safety of the trains and its passengers. A keyman's job is to regularly check sections of tracks for faults, to prevent any kind of accidents. Mr. Sudarshan's duty as a keyman is to verify that there are no faults in the rail tracks. 

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Sudarshan Kumar, keyman at Samloti Station, introduces himself.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

The two coloured flags (red and green) are used to alert the train drivers in time of emergencies.

With his career in the railway spanning over 33 years, Sudarshan started off as a trackman before becoming a keyman.

Mr. Sudershan Kumar, KeymanKangra Valley Railway

When asked why he likes his job, here's what Mr. Kumar had to say.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

In the picture: Mr. Sudarshan Kumar smiles for the camera as he poses for a photograph near the railway track around Samloti station.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

A keyman's work-kit usually consists of a hemp cord, meter stick, keying and/or spiking hammer, fish-bolt spanner, two flags (red and green), detonators, marking chalk and a rail thermometer.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Sudarshan examines the rail tracks for faults.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

A spanner is used to tighten the bolts that join the rail segments.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Sudarshan demonstrates how to tie a firecracker to a railway track. It is used to alert the train pilot in case of an emergency.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Sudarshan Kumar, the keyman, carries the tools of his trade as he continues to check the tracks.

Sudarshan Kumar (2018-03-11)Kangra Valley Railway

Swarup Chand (2018-03-16)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Swarup Chand - Gateman at Paror Station

Mr. Swarup Chand is employed as a gateman at a station near Paror. A gateman is in charge of 'level crossing' of a railway line. Level crossing is an intersection where a railway line crosses a road or a path. 

Mr. Swarup Chand, GatemanKangra Valley Railway

Mr. Swarup Chand introduces himself and talks about the duties and responsibilities of a gateman.

Swarup Chand (2018-03-16)Kangra Valley Railway

In the picture, Mr. Swarup shows a green flag to a train passing through the railway crossing near Paror.

In the video above, he reveals the details of what he does as a gateman.

Swarup Chand (2018-03-16)Kangra Valley Railway

One of the tasks of a gateman is to operate a wheel that controls the gate at a railway crossing.

In the video, Mr. Swarup Chand tells us why he thinks his job is special.

Swarup Chand (2018-03-16)Kangra Valley Railway

A gateman's daily task includes opening and closing the gate, by hand or machine, for trains, road vehicles and pedestrians. The gateman is provided with a cabin next to the crossing.

Swarup Chand (2018-03-16)Kangra Valley Railway

The gateman, Mr. Swarup Chand, talks on the phone and continues his day in his enclosure at the station.

Pankaj Kumar (2018-03-10)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Pankaj Kumar- Trackman at Nagrota Station

Mr. Pankaj Kumar works as a trackman at the Nagrota Station. A trackman maintains the tracks and other items of the railroad. 

Mr. Pankaj Kumar, TrackmanKangra Valley Railway

In an introductory video, Mr. Pankaj Kumar speaks about his job as a trackman in Nagrota.

Pankaj Kumar (2018-03-10)Kangra Valley Railway

Being a trackman for three years, Mr. Kumar talks about his favourite duties at work.

Pankaj Kumar (2018-03-10)Kangra Valley Railway

He uses metal tools to check the width of a railway track near Nagrota station and give an in depth description of the responsibilities as a trackman in the video.

Pankaj Kumar (2018-03-10)Kangra Valley Railway

Mr. Pankaj considers his job to be of utmost importance and believes that the lives of people traveling in the train depend on the kind of work he does.

Pankaj Kumar (2018-03-10)Kangra Valley Railway

A trackman's task includes everything from laying, repairing and maintaining the tracks, cleaning and checking on the track ballast, inspection and maintenance of the safety equipments.

Pankaj Kumar (2018-03-10)Kangra Valley Railway

Part of a trackman's job is to tighten the bolts on the rail joints. Mr. Kumar uses a spanner for this purpose.

Pankaj Kumar (2018-03-10)Kangra Valley Railway

In between his work, Mr. Pankaj Kumar takes a break and relaxes on the track with his friend before getting back to his duties.

A glimpse of the Nagrota Railway Station

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