How to become Assistant Station Master in Indian Railway

Assistant Station Master and other posts in the hierarchy in Operating section (Station Master, Station Superintendent, etc.) are very important posts of Indian Railway. Every year many candidates are appointed as ASMs all over India. This article discusses eligibility and selection procedure of ASMs in Indian Railway. Read on....

The post of Assistant Station Master (ASM) is a very important operation-level post in Indian Railway. In fact, some experts say that this post is the backbone of Indian Railways. Assistant Station Masters, Drivers and Guards actually run Indian Railway. At the same time, it must be noted that although there is general curtailment of staff at all levels in Indian Railway, the number of posts of ASM has not been cut down. The reason behind this is very simple. Over the years Indian Railway has been expanding and as a result the number of stations is increasing. So, there is a steady requirement of ASMs in every zone. So, the posts of ASMs are filled up every year more than once throughout the country. In this article, we will discuss how a young man or in some cases woman can join as Assistant Station Master in Indian Railway.

Job profile

ASM will be the in-charge of running of trains at a station. He operates the signals, ensures that everything goes as per the rules laid out. He will be working in shifts. Big stations have more than one ASM.


(i) 60% of vacancies will be filled by direct recruitment through Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs).
(ii) 15% by Limited Departmental Competitive Examination (LDCE) from amongst group C & D staff of Operating and Commercial departments with an upper age limit of 45 years (50 years in the case of SC/ST) and qualification of Graduation subject to the condition that Group D staff have rendered a minimum of 5 years regular Railway Service. Shortfall in 15% LDCE quota may be made good by direct recruitment.
(iii) 25% by general selection from amongst employees possessing the qualification of Matriculation and working as Shunting Masters, Cabin men I, Switchmen, Sr. Signalers and Sr. Train Clerks and Lever man Gr.I, Points man Gr. I, Shunt man Gr.I, Cabin man Gr.II and Train Clerks with upper age limit of 45 years (50 years in the case of SC/ST). Shortfall against the quota may be made good by direct recruitment.)

Pay Scale

The ASMs are initially appointed at Level-5 of the new Pay Scale as approved by the VIIth Central Pay Commission (equivalent to PB: 5200-20200 + GP: 2800 of VIth CPC). The basic pay on appointment would be Rs. 29200/-. In addition, ASMs will draw Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance, City Compnsatory Allowance, Night Duty Allowance, etc. as per extant rate.

Eligibility for direct recruitment

The eligibility conditions are indicated below:-

Education Qualification

The essential qualification for ASM is Degree from recognized University or equivalent. Diploma in Rail Transport & Management, Transport Economics, Multimodal Transport (Containerization) awarded by Institute of Rail Transport, Rail Bhawan, New Delhi will be additional desirable qualification.

Eligibility relating to eyesight

The eligibility conditions relating to eyesight are as under:-
Distance vision: 6/9 without glasses, Near Vision: Sn: 0.6, 0.6 without glasses and must pass test of Colour Vision, Binocular vision, Field of Vision & Night Vision.


The candidates' age limit is between 18-33 years.

Scheme of examination

The syllabus for the ASM written examination will be generally in a prescribed format as indicated below:-


Questions on Mathematics are designed to test accuracy in rapidity in working. These will mostly be questions in Arithmetic. This paper would consist of questions on Percentages, Boats & Streams, Data Interpretation, Averages, Profit and Loss, Problems on Ages, Simplification, Interest, Pipes & Cisterns, Time & Distance, Time & Work, Directions, Series, Non-verbal Series, Cubes and Dice.

General Knowledge

Candidates are expected to possess a broad knowledge of current events and matters of general interest, particularly relating to India, including Indian Railways. General Knowledge paper would include Polity, Geography, Economic information, General Science, History & Culture and Current events (international and national events including sports).

General Intelligence

The questions are designed to test the candidate's power of reasoning and his ability to draw conclusions. These would include questions on Decision Making, Blood Relations, Clocks & Calendars, Analogy, Coding and Decoding, Number Ranking, Non verbal, Mirror Images, Number Series, Alphabet Series, Non-verbal Series, Cubes and Dice, Embedded Figures

General English (Optional for some zones)

Questions on General English are designed to test the candidate's correct usage of prepositions, words and phrases.

All successful candidates in written examination undergo psychological test and personal interview (very recently personal interview has been discontinued). Based upon the overall performance, candidates are finally selected for training.


As the position of ASM is a very crucial post requiring knowledge of train movement, commercial rates of freight and various other aspects, ASMs have to undergo training for a period of eight to ten months. Training is held at the Zonal Training School of every Zonal Railway. After successful completion of training, the trainee ASM gets permanent job.


The position of ASM/SM is a very prestigious position. It has already been stated that ASMs/ SMs are the backbone of Indian Railway. Every year a large number of posts of ASM is filled up. So, the interested Graduates must prepare themselves to avail this opportunity to become ASM. An ASM can ultimately become Station Superintendent (Grade I), which is a Class I Gazetted post.

Article by Partha K.
“Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.” - George Gordon Byron

Follow Partha K. or read 281 articles authored by Partha K.

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