New Delhi, Feb. 14 -- The Railway Board has decided to offer serving officers the choice to not opt into a new unified cadre after a major reorganisation plan triggered widespread unease among much of Indian Railways' officers who see the initiative as unfair since it would merge eight distinct services -- these are currently divided on the basis of domain expertise -- into the central service (Indian Railway Management Service).

Indian Railways has around 8,400 group A service serving officers. In January, civil services officers from 13 railway zones submitted written memorandums to the Railway Board Chairman and the Prime Minister's office alleging the decision was "unilateral" and will negatively impact the safety of train operations...