How to become a Goods Guard in Indian Railways

Goods Guards and other posts in the hierarchy in Operating section (Brakesman, Passenger Guard, Senior Passenger Guard, etc.) are very important posts in terms of traffic movement for Indian Railways. This article discusses eligibility and selection procedure of Goods Guards in Indian Railway.

Railway Guards, like Assistant Station Masters in Indian Railway are very important considering the operational activities of Indian Railway. The posts of Guards are required to be filled up not only for expansion and addition of more trains, but also for maintaining the existing Railway traffic. Needless to state that every year, different zonal RRBs fill up the posts of Good Guards (the entry level post of Guards) in large numbers. This article discusses the eligibility conditions, examination structure and other aspects of appointment of Goods Guards in various zones of Indian Railways.

Job profile

The Guard remains at the rear of the train and can operate the emergency brake whenever required. He is also required to light flares and set up detonators in the site of accident to avoid other accidents during subsequent period. He also exchanges signals with the Station Masters and Drivers/Guards of other trains moving in opposite direction.


The vacancies of Goods Guards are generally filled by direct recruitment through various zonal Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs).

Pay Scale

The Goods Guards 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, Guards will draw Dearness Allowance, House Rent Allowance, City Compensatory Allowance, Night Duty Allowance, Running Allowance, etc. as per extant rate.

Eligibility for recruitment

The eligibility conditions are indicated below:-

Education Qualification

The essential qualification for Goods Guard is Graduation (in any stream) 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 is additional desirable qualification.

Eligibility: Vision

The eligibility conditions relating to eyesight are as under:-
Distance vision: 6/9 without glasses, Near Vision: Sn: 0.6 without glasses and the candidates must pass tests of colour vision, binocular vision, field of vision and night vision.


The upper age limit is 33 years. The lower age limit is 18 years.

Scheme of examination

The syllabus for the Goods Guard written examination is very similar to the syllabus of the ASM written examination of Indian Railway. The examination will be generally in a prescribed MCQ format as indicated below:-

Quantitative aptitude

Questions on Mathematics (Quantitative Aptitude) are designed to test accuracy and ability of rapid calculation. The paper would consist of questions on Percentages, Boats & Streams, Data Interpretation, Averages, Profit & Loss, Problems on Ages, Simplification, Interest, Time & Distance, Time & Work, Directions, Series, etc.

General Knowledge

Candidates are expected to possess a broad knowledge of current events and matters of general interest, especially relating to India and Indian Railways.

General Intelligence

The questions are designed to test the candidate's power of reasoning and his ability to draw conclusions. The questions on General Intelligence 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, etc..

General English

Questions on General English are designed to test the candidate's correct usage of prepositions, words and phrases. However it must be noted that this part of the examination is optional in some zones.

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 Trainee Goods Guard.


As the position of Guards (both of goods trains and passenger trains) is a very critical-level post requiring extensive knowledge of train movement, commercial rates of freight and various other aspects (even knowledge of flares and explosives), Guards have to undergo rigorous training before taking independent charge. Training is held at the Zonal Training School of every Zonal Railway. After successful completion of training, the trainee Guards get independent charge.


The position of Railway Guard is important in the entire scheme of traffic movement in Indian Railway. It requires hard work at odd hours with instant decision-making ability without consulting anyone. Every year a large number of posts of Guards is filled up. So, the interested Graduates must prepare themselves for the selection examination so as to avail the opportunity to become Guards in Indian Railway. A Goods Guard can ultimately become Senior Passenger Guard, a Class I position.

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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