Karachi-Lahore route: First non-stop train to start running on Feb 3

Published: January 7, 2012

The private sector company Four Brothers invested Rs225.79 million in the business train, which consist of 13 coaches including nine air conditioned coaches, two power vans, one luggage van and one brake van, said a Pakistan Railways official. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: 

Business Express, the first non-stop train between Karachi and Lahore, will start operations from February 3 in a public-private partnership venture.

The private sector company Four Brothers invested Rs225.79 million in the business train, which consist of 13 coaches including nine air conditioned coaches, two power vans, one luggage van and one brake van, said a Pakistan Railways official.

Pakistan Railways and Four Brothers International Private Limited signed an agreement on August 18, 2011 to operate the train between the capitals of Punjab and Sindh.

The train was initially scheduled to start operations within 120 days of the agreement but its inauguration was postponed as coaches could not be renovated to the standards of the private company in time.

One-way ticket costs between Rs5,000 to Rs6,000 while two-way ticket costs Rs9,000 and Rs11,000 depending on the class.

“All three classes offer the same facilities. Travel class depends on how early you pay and confirm your ticket,” says the official train website www.pakbusinessexpress.com. The ticket includes tea, snacks, breakfast and dinner. The contract for breakfast and dinner has been given to Pearl Continental, says a helpline official of Business Express.

Newspaper in the morning and unlimited supply of mineral water are some other services, he added.

Each cabin will have an LCD television with at least five channels along with charging points for laptop, mobile and other devices. The train is also working to offer internet service all along the journey.

The train will pay Rs1.57 million per single train journey and Rs1.15 billion annually to railways at the rate of 88% of carrying capacity of the train. The agreement will be extended for another term with the consent of both the parties.

The train will take 18 hours to start with, however, this will be brought down to 15 or 14 hours. This train will stop at Khanewal and Rohri railways stations for 20 minutes.

Reservations are underway at the business lounge adjacent to the Lahore Cantt Railways Station in Lahore, Karachi Cantt station, booking office of Railways headquarters along with the train’s official website.  Home delivery of tickets is also available in Lahore for Rs100 and Rs200 in Karachi.

At present three trains – Farid Express, Rohi Express and Hazara Express – are commercially operated by Pakistan Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services (Pracs), an organisation formed by retired Railway officers.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2012.

Reader Comments (6)

  • attique
    Jan 7, 2012 - 9:58AM

    Good work. Atlast the private sector intervened and gave a sigh of relief to passengers. I suggest this type of service should be introduced within big cities like lahore, Karachi and Islamabad for easy smooth traffic flow which would reduce cng driven cars on local congested roads.
    The PC menu is not of that Even if the company/PR could provide healthy-eatable well cooked food at reasonable orice from any local restaurant, that would be a big deal too for the poor passengers.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 7, 2012 - 8:23PM

    Ammazing story amazing pakistan retired officers running the trains on time but they had never come to work on time and who gonna travel trains when air lines offering night coach
    ticket price for 5500 rupee wah pakistan wah hahahahaha

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  • Jan 9, 2012 - 1:20PM

    Muhammad Z.Qureshi

    January 09, 2012- 1.05 P.M.

    Reply

    Not a bad idea. Pakistanis do need an alternative comfortable and committed to and come from in time, I mean punctuality to be strictly observed. Besides maintenance of all options to be firmly attempted and resumed without lost of precious time of the people. Fare seems to be high at this stage, until it is proved to be satisfactory against the service provided to the nation.There should be concessions in tickets for people over 60-years of age, widows, students and disables.

    Kind regards.

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  • Jan 9, 2012 - 3:38PM

    Dear Sir,

    It is a brilliant idea provided all the options are maintained timely and properly with out wasting the time. The schedules are strictly followed as per rules.Though the price of the tickets are high at this stage but as an alternative arrangement it will be acceptable by all with the course of time.

    There should also a policy for discount for senior citizens, students, widows and disables.

    Kind regards,

    Muhammad Z. Qureshi

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  • Optimist
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:11PM

    Ali, you aren’t factoring in the taxes on the night flights started by airlines. They are minimum 8000. 3000 is a lot to some people, mainly students etc. This train is going to be great for us, if the standard is maintained etc.

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  • Jawad
    Mar 4, 2012 - 12:05PM

    This is really superb … better alternative of airline tickets, just now when i was going to book airline ticket , one of my friend told me about this , at first i rejected this offer but after insisting , i searched on internet and now had got my reservation ……
    If my first experience goes well , i will prefer to go by this train ……

    Thanks to private sector for involvement in giving relief to Pakistani people.

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