Members of the All India Loco Running Staff Association are advocating for a reduction in their working hours to six hours and urging the classification of loco pilots’ jobs as intensive, as demonstrations were held on Jan 18.
The move highlights the current demand for loco pilots to work up to 12 hours continuously, emphasizing the increased speed of trains, posing challenges for pilots’ concentration on tracks and signals.
In the past, trains operated at speeds ranging from 50 km/h to 75 km/h, but the current speed has increased from 110 km/h to 130 km/h, lowering the travel time between stations from 15 to only five minutes.
The increased focus demanded from loco pilots in managing tracks and signals in the shortened timeframe is worrisome, as it leads to early mental fatigue, jeopardizing the safety of operating trains.
Additionally, the pilots called for limitations on consecutive night shifts and the reinstatement of the old pension scheme.
The pilots also sought that they should not be made to work continuously for more than two nights so that they get adequate rest. The association also sought revival of the old pension scheme.