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2018-04-12 12:31Catering

Catering Services in Railway

Catering And Vending Services:

Scope of catering and vending services and arrangements therefore.
  • Vegetarian
  • Non-Vegetarian
  • Restaurant Dining Buffet cars
  • Vending
  • Stalls
  • Trolleys
  • Train Side Vending

The catering and vending services are run departmentally or through the agency of contractors appointed by the railway administration for this purpose. No other person should be permitted to hawk or expose for sale any article, whatsoever, on any train, station platform or other railway premises.

The passengers desirous of being served meals, etc., from Restaurants or Refreshment Rooms will advise their requirements to the Guard or Conductor of the train, who should arrange to issue a telegram to the Manager of the concerned Restaurant Refreshment Rooms. Such telegrams should be accepted free of charge and delivered to the addressees promptly.

Covering of Thalis and Trays Containing Meals.

Every thali or tray containing food must be covered by a separate lightweight aluminium stainless steel thali tray functioning as a cover to avoid contermination of food in the thali tray by the dirty underside of the thali /tray above it. This is especially necessary when meals are served from Restaurants Refreshment Rooms Dining Cars to several passengers at a time in one operation and in the train compartments. When one thali tray is served to a passenger in a train compartment,

Staff Employed on Catering and Vending Units.

  • All the persons engaged in the catering and vending services should wear clean and tidy uniforms together with badges and other insignia prescribed by the railway administration.
  • They should behave with the public courteously and civilly and should not take any intoxicant while on duty or while coming for duty.

Quantity and Quality of Foodstuffs.

  • The quantity of cooked rice, chapattis, vegetables, etc.,
  • Served should be according to the standard measurements prescribed by the railway administration.
  • The foodstuffs served must be wholesome and always kept covered against flies, insects and dust.
  • Stale foodstuffs or over-ripe and unripe fruits and vegetables should not be offered for sale.
  • Articles found unsuitable for human consumption or otherwise injurious for public health should be removed and destroyed immediately.
  • Bottled drinks and canned provisions should be properly labelled so that the brand and origin can be easily ascertained.

Articles Authorized for Sale and Tariff Therefore.

The articles which each catering and vending unit should put up for sale will be prescribed by the railway administration. It should be ensured that only the articles so notified are sold at each such catering and vending unit and that there is no shortage or absence of any one or more of such articles in the catering vending establishment.

Utensils and Crockery.

The utensils used in the catering and vending units for storing or cooking edibles should be stainless steel or other material approved by the railway administration. In the case of units catering both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, the utensils and service for vegetarian items must be kept separate from those used for non-vegetarian food.

Drinking Water.

  • Adequate supply of clean drinking water should be kept in clean vessels and in a congenial place. Wherever necessary.
  • The water should be boiled and cooled before storing.
  • Ladles should be used for recovering water from the storage puts.

Cooking Media.

  • The edibles should be cooked in vanaspati products,
  • Pure ghee or any other edible oil,
  • Approved by the railway administration and the cooking media or any other oil that is used should conform to the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
  • A notice board indicating the cooking media should be conspicuously exhibited in the concerned catering and vending units.

Vending at Night.

  • Although there is no restriction on venders for hawking at night,
  • Tt should be ensured that such hawking is done at a subdued voice so as to cause least disturbance to passengers.


All the meals, refreshments, etc., taken out from the catering and vending establishments, excluding stalls and train-side vending, should be accompanied by relevant bills, which should be presented to the passengers along with the supplies. Similarly, bills should be issued and presented to passengers for articles served in such establishments.

Display of Advertisements

Any kind of advertisements, pictures, notices or other literature should not be displayed in the catering and vending units without prior approval of the railway administration.

Prohibition of Communal Distinctions.

The catering and vending units on the railways should cater to the needs of all the passengers irrespective of their caste or community. No sign boards or other notices indicating that the unit caters to a particular caste or community should, therefore, be displayed on or near any of the catering and vending unit.

Supervision and Inspection.

The Station Mater, Catering Inspectors and Commercial Inspectors as also Catering and Commercial Officers should give special attention to the inspection and supervision of the catering units coming under their jurisdiction. Railway Officers of all departments have also been advised by the administration to undertake frequent inspections of catering and vending units at convenient intervals.

Catering Inspectors.

Catering Inspectors are responsible for the general supervision and control over the catering and vending units under their jurisdiction. They should ensure efficient service to the travelling public and should also see that the instructions issued from time to time in regard to the maintenance of accounts and other related matters are correctly understood and carried out by the staff concerned.

Complaints and Suggestions.

Complaint and suggestion books should be maintained at all catering and vending units. The procedure regarding the maintenance of these books and the action to be taken on the complaints and suggestions recorded.