Administration determined to revive railways

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ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Railways (PR) has announced to increase the number of freight trains by eight during the current fiscal year 2013-14, enabling the department to generate substantial revenue.

Credible sources said that the railways authorities have initiated work on the plan to bring on tracks at least eight freight trains. At present, only two freight trains are operating against 10 in the Shaukat Aziz era. When the PML-N government took over the reins of power, ironically only one freight train was operating but later the other was added.

Similarly, through a plan, railways has kicked off the project of making dual the track from Karachi to Lahore and the work on it is likely to be completed by the end of December this year. With the completion of double tracks project, the speed of trains operating from Karachi to Lahore would increase from 70 km per hour to 120 to 130 kilometre per hour. With increase in speed of trains, the efficiency of trains would improve and it would save time of passengers traveling from Lahore to Karachi. They would reach the destinations two hours earlier.

Immediately after taking over, Federal Minister for Railways, Khawja Saad Rafique has evolved very effective and practical strategy to raise the status of the currently crumbling Railways.

According to the plan, the entire structure of railways would be revamped. The condition of passenger trains would be improved to the satisfaction of travelers.

All types of traveling facilities would be provided to passengers on all routes. It would take time but the revamping would be implemented in any case. According to sources, the first task of the minister is to take such measures which will enable the railways generate big revenue.

For providing relief to passengers, the minister would soon rationalise the fares of railways. Through this plan the fares of railways would be reduced and would not be increased. Fares of several trains have already been reduced by 33 to 10 per cent. Elaborating the sources conceded that during Ramazan, the number of passengers drop considerably.

In order to enhance their number, the minister has announced Special Ramazan package reducing the rail fares by 10 to 33 percent. The fare of Islamabad Express and Rail Car between Rawalpindi and Lahore has been reduced by 10-13%. This plan would remain effective for 15 days.

However, the package of 33 percent reduction in fares on the Attaullah Express would remain enforced for three months.

The newly-appointed General Manager of Pakistan Railways, Pervaiz Anjum confirmed the report.

He said that people would witness a great change in the functioning of Pakistan Railways. The plan for revamping Railways has been initiated in an effective way. Besides manufacturing locomotives at local level, Railways would also procure 150 new foreign made locomotives to improve the standard and of trains.

Courtesy: The News

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