101. Functions of the Commercial Department.—The Commercial Department is responsible for the sale of transportation provided by a railway, for creating and developing traffic, for securing and maintaining friendly relations with the travelling and trading public and for cultivating good public relations generally. The fixing of rates, fares and other charges and the correct collection, accountal and remittance of traffic receipts are also among its functions.

102. Chief Commercial Superintendent.—The Head of the Commercial Department is the Chief Commercial Superintendent who is responsible to the General Manager for the commercial policy and efficient working of the Commercial Department of the Railway.

103. Definitions.—Unless the contrary is evident from the context, the following terms have been used in the Commercial Manual with the meaning shown against each:—

(1) "authorised" means authorised by a railway administration;

(2) "baggage" means personal effects of a passenger entrusted to a railway administration for carriage; 

(3) "Booking Railway" means the railway on which traffic originates;

(4) "carriage" means the carriage of passengers or goods by a railway administration;

(5) "Claims Tribunal" means the Railway claims Tribunal established under section 3 of the Railway claims Tribunal Act, 1987;

(6) "classification" means the classification of commodities made under section 31 of the Railways Act, 1989 for the purpose of determining the rates to be charged for carriage of such commodities;

(7) "class rates" means the rate fixed for a class of commodity in the classification;

(8) "Commercial Staff includes joint staff employed on both commercial and transportation duties;

(9) "Commodity" means a specific item of goods;

(10) "Consignee" means the person, named as consignee in a railway receipt;

(11) "Consignment" means goods entrusted to a railway administration for carriage;

(12) "Consignor" means the person, named in a railway receipt as consignor, by whom or on whose behalf goods covered by the railway receipt are entrusted to a railway administration for carriage;

(13) "cross traffic" when used with reference to a railway means traffic which passes over that railway but neither originates nor terminates on it;

(14) "Day begins and ends at midnight;

(15) "demurrage" means the charge levied for the detention of any rolling stock after the expiry of free, time, if any, allowed for such detention;

(16) "destination railway" means the railway on which traffic terminates;

(17) "endorsee" means the person in whose favour an endorsement is, made, and in the case of successive endorsements, the person in whose favour the last endorsement is made;

(18) "endorsement" means the signing, by the consignee or the endorsee after adding a direction on a railway receipt to pass the property in the goods mentioned in such receipt to a specified person;

(19) "excess value" in respect of any, consignment means the amount by which the value declared by a consignor exceeds the amount of liability of a railway administration as specified or calculated under the rules;

(20) "fare" means the charge levied for carriage of passengers;

(21) "forwarding note" means the document executed under section 64 of the Railways Act, 1989.

(22) "freight" means the charge levied for the carriage of goods including transhipment charges, if any;

(23) "General Manager" means the General Manager of a Zonal Railway appointed under section 4 of the Railways Act, 1989.

(24) "goods" includes—

(i) containers, pallets or similar articles of transport used to consolidate goods; and (ii) animals;

(25) "Government railway" means a railway owned by the Central Government;

(26) "Indemnity Note" is an agreement executed between the railway administration and the consignee where the Railway Receipt is lost, mislaid or is for other reasons not forthcoming, and wherein the consignee undertakes to indemnify the railway administration against liability for delivery of consignments to other than the rightful owner;

(27) "intermediate railway" means any railway between the booking and the destination railway.

(28) "in transit", in relation to the carriage of goods by railway means the period between the commencement and the termination of transit of such goods, and unless otherwise previously determined—

(a) transit commences as soon as the railway receipt is issued or the consignment is loaded, whichever is earlier;

(b) transit terminates on the expiry of free time allowed for unloading of consignment from any rolling stock and where such unloading has been completed within such free time, transit terminates on the expiry of the free time allowed, for the removal of the goods from the railway premises;

(29) "local traffic" when used with reference to a railways means traffic originating and terminating at stations with in the limits of that railway, without passing over any other railway;

(30) "luggage" means the goods of a passenger either carried by him in his charge or entrusted to a railway administration for carriage;

(31) "lump sum rate" means the rate mutually agreed upon between a railway administration and a consignor for the carriage of goods and for any service in relation to such carriage;

(32) "memo way-bill" is a way-bill prepared from particulars available on the vehicle labels, marks on packages, guidance, etc., in the absence of the Guard foil or Railway Receipt;

(33) "month", the calendar 'month' begins at zero hour on the first day of the month and ends at midnight on the last day of the month;

(34) "non-Government railway" mean a railway other than a Government railway;

(35) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;

(36) "paid-on charges." are the charges outstanding at the rebooking station in connection with consignments rebooked from that station to another. These include (beside freight) wharfage, demurrage etc., which may have accrued at the rebooking station;

(37) "parcel" means goods entrusted to a railway administration for carriage by a passenger or a parcel train,

(38) "pass" means an authority given by the Central Government or a railway administration to a person allowing him to travel as a passenger, but does not include a ticket;

(39) "passenger" means a person travelling with a valid pass or ticket;

(40) "percentage charge" means the percentage charge payable on excess value calculated in accordance with the rate specified;

(41) "period", for the purpose of closing the coaching and goods accounts, the month is divided into three periods i.e., from 1st to 10th, 11th to 20th and 21st to the last day of the month;

(42) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under the Railway Act;

(43) "printed ticket", includes all card and paper tickets on which fare is printed, such as, tickets issued from self printing machines and computers, printed journey extension tickets of fixed denomination, etc.;

(44) "railway" means a railway, or any portion of a railway, for the public carriage of passengers or goods, and includes—

(a) all lands within the fences or other boundary marks indicating the limits of the land appartenant to a railway;

(b) all lines of rails, sidings, or yards, or branches used for the purposes of, or in connections with, a railway;

(c) all electrical traction equipments, power supply and distribution installations used for the purposes of, or in connection with, a railway;

(d) all rolling stock, stations, offices, warehouses, wharves, workshops, manufactories, fixed plant and machinery, roads and streets, running rooms, rest houses, institutes, hospitals, water works and water supply installations, staff dwellings and any other works constructed for the purpose of, or in connection with, railway;

(e) all vehicles which are used on any road for the purposes of traffic of a railway and owned, hired or worked by a railway; and

(f) all ferries, ships, boats and rafts which are used or any canal, river, lake or other navigable in land waters for the purposes of the traffic of a railway and owned, hired or worked by a railway administration, but does not include—

(i) a tramway wholly within a municipal area;

(ii) lines of rails built in any exhibition ground, fair park, or any other place solely for the purpose of recreation;

(45) "railway administration", in relation to—

(a) a Government railway, means the General Manager of a Zonal Railway; and

(b) a non-Government railway, means the person who is the owner or lessee of the railway or the person working the railway under an agreement;

(46) "railway receipt" means the receipt issued under section 65;

(47) "railway servant" means any person employed by the Central Government or by a railway administration in connection with the service of a railway;

(48) "rate" includes any fare, freight or any other charge for the carriage of any passenger or goods;

(49) "regulations" means the regulations made by the Railway Rates Tribunal under Railways Act;

(50) "station master" includes station Superintendent, Goods Superintendent Inspector/Supervisor, Chief Goods Clerk or any other person incharge of a booking, parcels, goods or other offices;

(51) "station to station rate" means a special reduced rate applicable to a specific commodity booked between specified stations;

(52) "through traffic" means traffic carried over two or more railways;

(53) "traffic" includes rolling stock of every description, as well as passengers and goods;

(54) "Tribunal" means the Railway Rates Tribunal constituted under section 33 of the Railways Act, 1989.

(55) "Wharfage" means the charge levied on goods for not removing them from the railway after the expiry of the free time for such removal;

(56) "Zonal Railway" means a zonal Railway constituted under section 3 of the Railways Act, 1989.

104. Duties of commercial staff.—(a) All members of the commercial staff must make themselves thoroughly conversant with the relevant rules and regulations laid down in the various Tariffs, Codes, Indian Railway Commercial Manual and other manuals, books and circulars issued from time to time by the railway administration for the performance of the respective duties.

(b) Duty lists showing the duties of each category of commercial staff on the Division will be laid down with the approval of the Divisional Commercial Superintendent. Station Masters should ensure that the Duty lists are properly displayed at appropriate places and the staff fully understand their duties and discharge them efficiently.

105. Conduct of commercial staff.—(a) All commercial staff must—

(i) be alert, prompt, helpful, courteous and obliging;

(ii) furnish correct information, or when not able to do so, be helpful and direct enquirers to the official who can do so;

(iii) attend to the comfort of all passengers, specially women and children unaccompanied by male members;

(iv) maintain a close watch on the movement of traffic and suggest ways and means to promote flow of traffic to the railways;

(v) pay special attention to the general cleanliness of the station platforms, offices, refreshment rooms, waiting rooms, waiting halls, bath-rooms, lavatories, etc.;

(vi) give, when asked, their names, designations and/or distinguishing numbers without hesitation.

(b) All commercial staff must not—

(i) solicit or accept gratuities;

(ii) be in a state of intoxication on duty;

(iii) smoke on station platforms while on duty, or in uniform.

106. Discipline.—Station Masters and other supervisory staff must inculcate a strong sense of discipline amongst the staff not only constant vigilance but also by example. Lapses of a minor nature must be promptly corrected on the spot and serious ones taken up.

107. Reporting for duty.—Staff must report for duty in time as prescribed.

108. Hours of duty.—Station Masters and other supervisory staff must ensure that all staff work strictly in accordance with their rostered duty hours, and unauthorised changes in duty are not allowed. 

109. Appearance of staff.—All commercial staff when on duty must—

(i) wear clean uniform, wherever prescribed, and put on distinguishing number badge, armlet, headgear, etc., where supplied; and

(ii) be smart in appearance.

110. Use of summer and winter uniforms.—Station Masters and other supervisory staff must ensure that the staff wherever supplied with uniforms change over to the wearing of summer to winter uniforms and vice versa from the actual dates notified for these changes by the Administration. The appearance of some staff in summer uniforms and others in winter uniforms on the same day must be avoided. Like-wise, a combination of winter and summer uniforms such as winter coats and summer trousers should not be allowed.

111. Display of posters and notices.—Station Masters should be attentive to the cleanliness and orderly arrangement of public notices and posters. No unauthorised posters or notices should be displayed or pasted on notice boards or station walls etc. When a notice is superseded by one of the later date, or is cancelled, it should be removed. When a poster or notice is disfigured by rain or due to any other cause, it should be replaced by a new one.

112. Display of notices showing the hours of business—Notices showing the hours of business in regional languages, Hindi and English.rnust be prominently displayed for the guidance of the public at all booking and parcels offices and in goods sheds.

113. Exhibition of time tables, fare list, etc.—Every railway administration shall cause to be pasted in a conspicuous and accessible place at every-station in Hindi and English and also in regional language commonly in use in the area where the station is situated.

(i) a table of times of arrival and departure of trains which carry passengers and stop at that station, and

(ii) list of fares from such station to such other stations as it may consider necessary.

At every station where tickets are issued to passengers, a copy of the time table inforce shall be kept in the office of the station master. Copies of the Railways Act, Goods, Coaching Military and Red Tariff should be made available to the public for reference on demand.

114. Books of reference.—The following publications containing rules, conditions, rates, fares and distances for charge for the carriage of coaching, goods, military and other traffic for which the station is open should be maintained by the station staff duly corrected up-to-date:—

Coaching Traffic

(i) Indian Railway Conference Association Coaching Tariff Part I containing general rules for the conveyance of passengers and the rules, rates and conditions for the conveyance by trains carrying passengers and other coaching traffic such as luggage, parcels animals, etc.;

(ii) Indian Railway conference Association Coaching Tariffs Part II and III containing: (a) Passenger fare table, (b) rates for parcels traffic, and (c) rate tables for certain other descriptions of coaching traffic;

(iii) Coaching Tariff issued by individual railways containing supplementary rules, station to station rates for parcels traffic, etc.;

(iv) Local distance tables issued by individual railways showing the chargeable distance from each station to every other station on the system, or any authorized publication facilitating calculation of distance between any two stations in local booking over each railway;

(v) Junction distance tables issued by. individual railways showing the chargeable distance from each junction of interchange to every other station on the system to be used in through booking of all descriptions of coaching traffic;

(vi) Passengers fare notebook for through traffic (see para 261).

(vii) Junction distance tables and fare lists of non-Government Railways:

(viii) Time tables and Coaching Guides published by individual Railways 

Goods Traffic

(i) Indian Railway Conference Association Goods Tariff Part I containing general classification of goods and general rules for acceptance, carriage and delivery of goods;

(ii) Indian Railway Conference Association Goods Tariff Part II containing goods rate tables;

(iii) Goods Tariff issued by individual railways containing supplementary rules, charges and conditions, station to station rates (other than those mentioned in I. R. C. A. Goods Tariff) applicable both in local and through booking, etc.;

(iv) Supplementary Coal Tariff if issued by the local railway administration;

(v) Local distance tables issued by individual railways showing the chargeable distance from each station to every other station on the system or any authorized publication facilitating calculation of distance between any two stations in local booking over each railway;

(vi) Junction distance tables issued by individual railways showing the chargeable distance from each junction of interchange to every other station on the system to be used in through booking of all descriptions of goods traffic;

(vii) Goods Tariff, containing junction distances and calculated rate lists of non-Government railways;

(viii) Numerical decoding lists of all Government railways. 

Publications common to goods and coaching traffic

(i) Indian Railway Conference Association Red Tariff containing rules and rates for the conveyance by rail of explosives and other dangerous goods;

(ii) Indian Railway conference Association Military Tariff containing rules, rates and conditions for the conveyance by rail of traffic for the army, the navy, and the airforce;-

(iii) Indian Railway Conference Association Alphabetical list of railway stations in India;

(iv) Indian Railway Commercial Manual;

(v) Indian Railway Conference Association Telegraph Code Book;

(vi)" Subsidiary instructions issued by individual railways;

(vii) Railway map of India.

115. Scrutiny of tariffs, books, rate advices and circulars—The Station staff should carefully go through all new issues of the tariffs, weekly gazettes and traffic supplements to weekly gazettes, rate advices and rate circulars immediately on receipt. All changes in rates and fares, opening of stations, city booting agencies and sidings etc., conditions for booking, distance for charge, and related matters in local as also in through booking, notified by the railway administration from time to time, should be carefully studied and promptly posted in the respective tariffs, quoting reference to the number and data of the circular or advice and initialing them in token of having done so. These should be filed in serial order, missing advices, etc., being called for without delay.

If the staff have any doubt about the meaning of any items, or are not certain of the correct method of applying any rate or fare notified therein, an immediate reference should be made to the Chief Commercial Superintendent and clarification sought.

116. Accessibility of rate and fare advices to the public.—The files containing advices of changes in rates and fares referred to in the previous paragraph should be kept handy for reference by the public. A copy of all notifications affecting passenger fares should be pasted near the booking office window for the information of the traveling public.

117. Responsibility for ensuring that tariffs, etc. are correctly posted and assimilated.—The Station Master and the supervisor in charge of the booking, luggage, parcels and goods offices are personally responsible to see that the copies of the tariffs in use are kept up to date by the staff and that all orders and instructions notified from time to time are understood and correctly carried out by the staff under them. A certificate to this effect should be recorded in a separate register to be kept specially for the purpose in which the name and designation of the person whose tariffs, books and manuals have been examined should also be entered. These certificates should be checked by Officers and Inspectors of the Traffic/Commercial and Accounts Departments during their inspection and a suitable note recorded in the Inspection Book and in the Inspection Report.

118. Supply and use of postal stamps.—Stations are supplied with 'service postage stamps' required for issue of auction notices under sections 83 and 84 of the Railways Act and other postal correspondence.

Stamps will be supplied by the Divisional Railway Manager according to the scale fixed by him. Station Masters should keep a detailed account in a manuscript register of all 'service postage stamps' received and used for desptach of through invoices to destination stations, and other correspondence as necessary. The account will be closed periodically or monthly, as the case may be, and a copy of the account will be sent to the Divisional Railway Manager for recoupment

119. Attention to correspondence.—All correspondence should be attended to by the Station Master who should ensure that all communications are replied to without delay. All letters received should be entered in the prescribed correspondence register, duly indicating the number etc., in the relevant columns. When replied to, their disposal should also be marked, furnishing date of reply etc., against the relevant entries in the register.

Letters from the public asking for information, which it is usual for Station Masters to furnish, should be replied to promptly, couched in courteous language. In case there be any doubt as to the reply to be given, the letter must be acknowledged and the matter referred to the Divisional Railway Manager. All questions pertaining to delays to goods in transit, or loss of, or damage to goods, or questions of a nature likely to affect a claim case in any way should be acknowledged and the party informed that the information required will be furnished by the Chief Commercial Superintendent The letter with a copy of the reply sent should be forwarded to the Chief Commercial superintendent for further action.