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Career as Loco Pilot

Career as a Loco Pilot

About Loco Pilot

A Loco Pilot is a person who is responsible for driving the trains and ensuring the proper maintenance of trains during transit. It is a senior-level post in the Indian railways and no candidate is directly hired for the post of a Loco Pilot. Instead, Indian Railways conducts an entrance exam to hire Assistance Loco Pilots who can then be promoted to the Post of Loco Pilots and to more senior-level positions.

The job responsibilities of an Assitant Loco Pilot (ALP) include helping the Loco Pilot in running the train smoothly. An ALP does this by performing several key activities such as ensuring the proper functioning of the locomotive, carrying out minor repair activities in the train, checking for signal changes, communication with the other railway officials etc. It is very important for a Loco Pilot to carry out his / her duties responsibly as the safety of thousands of passengers depends on it.

Assistant Loco Pilots are hired as Group ‘C’ personnel through an exam conducted by the Railway Recruitment Board (RRB). Becoming a Loco Pilot in the Indian Railways is a very interesting career choice as it is a government job. The post ranks high in terms of job security and offers good pay as well as additional benefits. However, it is considered to be a tough job and requires high stamina, good endurance and an attentive mind.

Eligibility to become Loco Pilot

Candidates who are applying to become an Assistant Loco Pilot must keep themselves updated with the recruitment notification issued by the Railway Recruitment Board. Candidates must also ensure that they satisfy the eligibility criteria before applying for the recruitment exam for Loco Pilots. The details regarding eligibility have been provided below.

Nationality for Assistant Loco Pilot

A candidate applying for the post of Assistant Loco Pilot can be of the following nationalities.

  • A citizen of India.

  • A subject of Nepal.

  • A subject of Bhutan.

  • A Tbetan refugee who arrived in India before 1st January 1962 for permanently settling in India.

  • A person of India origin who migrated from selected countries for permanently settling in India.

Academic Qualification for Assistant Loco Pilot

  • Candidate must have passed Class 10th / High School / Matriculation / SSC examinations or equivalent from a recognized board.

  • Candidate must have completed any of the following courses:

    • ITI course from an institute recognized by NCVT or SCVT.

    • Diploma in Engineering in any of Electrical / Electronics / Mechanical / Automobile Engineering streams from an AICTE-recognized institute.

    • Act Apprentenship course

Age Limit for Assistant Loco Pilot

  • Candidate must be between 18 and 28 years of age to be eligible for the Assistant Loco Pilot post.

  • Age relaxation is provided to reserved category candidates (SC / ST / OBC / PwD / Ex-Servicemen etc.) as per the norms issued by the Government.

Entrance Exam for Assistant Loco Pilot

Candidates are required quality the entrance exam conducted by RRB to qualify for the post of Assistant Loco Pilot. The entrance exam is a Computer-Based Test (CBT) and is conducted in the following three stages.

  • CBT 1: 75 questions, 60 minutes

  • CBT 2:

    • Part A: 100 questions, 90 minutes

    • Part B: 75 questions, 60 minutes

  • Computer-Based Aptitude Test (CBAT)

Only the candidates who qualify in one stage are called for the next stage of ALP recruitment.

Medical Fitness for Assitant Loco Pilot

  • Medical verification is conducted of all candidates who qualify the CBAT.
  • Candidates must be physically fit and have good vision as specified under the different medical standards of RRB ALP.

Types of Job Roles Loco Pilot

An Assistant Loco Pilot may be promoted to senior positions in the Indian Railways after gaining certain years of experience. Given below are the job profiles of an ALP in increasing order of seniority.

  • Assistant Loco Pilot (ALP)
  • Senior Assistant Loco Pilo (Sr. ALP)

  • Loco Pilot (LP)

  • Power Controller / Crew Controller / Loco Fireman (Loco Supervisor)

Employment Sector/Industry for Loco Pilot

Indian Railways is the only recruiter of Assistant Loco Pilots (ALPs) in India. The Railway Recruitment Board is responsible for conducting the entrance exam and the subsequent document verification and medical fitness test for the recruitment of ALPs. The number of vacancies for ALPs is announced by RRB in its recruitment notification. Currently, there are 27,795 vacancies for ALPs in India. This is subject to change as per the notifications issued by the board.

Planning to choose Loco Pilot as your career?

Pay Scale/Salary of Loco Pilot

The pay scale for Assistant Loco Pilots is between Rs. 5,200 and Rs. 20,200. On top of this, a Grade Pay of Rs. 1,900 and several allowances are added to calculate the total salary of an ALP. An ALP is entitled to the following allowances:

  • DA (Dearness Allowance)

  • House Rent Allowance (HRA)

  • Transport Allowance

  • Running Allowance (a fixed amount per 100 km of travel)

  • Night Duty Allowance

On average, the starting in-hand salary earned by an ALP in India comes out to around Rs. 35,000 per month.

Books & Study Material to Become Loco Pilot


Author / Writer


Railway Assistant Loco Pilot and Technician

Arihant Experts

Arihant Publications

Lucent's General Knowledge

Dr. Binay Kamra

Lucent Publications

General Science for RRB Junior Engineer, NTPC, ALP & Group D Exams

Disha Experts

Disha Publications

Lucent's General Science

Ravi Bhushan

Lucent Publications

A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning

R S Aggarwal

S Chand Publishing

Pros of becoming a Loco Pilot

  • Excellent job security.

  • Good salary and growth prospects.

  • Respectable job.

Cons of becoming a Loco Pilot

  • Lots of travelling involved.

  • Requires a lot of stamina as work shifts can last for 3 days.

  • On-field job requires you to stay away from home.

Paths for Being Loco Pilot

Confused on what to choose as your career?