Railway tracks are patrolled to ensure the safety of the track and of the traffic moving over it. Patrolling basically involves to and fro movement of the patrolman/ watchman along the track as per the specified programme in order to look out for any unusual occurrence that may threaten the safety of the track. The various types of patrolling that are in vogue on Indian Railways are presented below.
Keyman’s daily patrol The keyman inspects the track daily on foot. He or she normally inspects one rail as he moves forward and the other rail as he returns to the point from where he started. He or she tighten the keys and other fittings and ensures the safety of the track.
Gang patrol during abnormal rainfall or storm Either at his or her own initiative or under instructions from the PWI, the mate organizes the patrolling of the track length affected by rains or storm. He or she, along with other gangmen, patrols the track and looks for any unusual occurrences that may be harmful to the track.
Night patrolling during monsoon Night patrolling is done in a programmed way on specified sections of the railway track to detect damage such as breaches and settlements caused by floods to ensure safety.