Pakistan Railways re-launches e-tickets for online booking

Published: October 3, 2016
File photo of a Pakistan Railways train.

File photo of a Pakistan Railways train.

LAHORE: After a gap of almost nine years, the Pakistan Railways (PR) launched once again the e-ticketing system on Monday in an effort to facilitate passengers in booking their seats from anywhere in the country.

“Initially, the online system has been introduced for the railways flagship train ‘Green Line Express’, besides five rail cars,” announced Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique at a news conference.

“The e-ticketing facility will be introduced for all passenger trains in the next eight months,” Rafique said, adding the online booking system would not only end black marketing of tickets but would also improve PR’s accounting system.

Pakistan Railways suffers another loss-making year

Earlier, the Pakistan Railways had undertaken the e-ticketing initiative in October 2007 in collaboration with Citibank. However, the project lasted only till January 2008 due to disagreement with the bank over a couple of clauses of the contract signed with it.

Soon afterwards, MCB Bank showed interest in becoming a partner in the e-ticketing initiative and it was asked to submit its proposal. However, by the year 2014, no development could be made on the matter primarily due to poor performance of the railways.

The current management has now re-launched the e-ticketing system in collaboration with United Bank Limited.

Awami Express incident

Turning to the Awami Express accident that collided with a freight train on September 15, the minister said the federal government inspector of railways had submitted a detailed report to the Ministry of Railways about the incident.

Departmental action against nine employees found responsible for the accident would be initiated within a couple of days.

“The driver, assistant driver and guard of Awami Express are found directly responsible while the goods train driver and guard, station master of Shershah station, Multan chief controller and his deputy besides the section controller will be issued show cause (notices) and will be given an opportunity to defend themselves,” Rafique said.

PR’s share in CPEC

Regarding his recent visit to China, the railways minister said it was aimed at reviewing PR’s share and role in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

$8.2b railtrack upgrade project wins go-ahead

“Modalities of an agreement on the framework of phase-1 of Main Line-I were discussed,” said Rafique. “We informed our Chinese partners that we did not require a commercial loan as it had never been viable for the railways, instead, we insisted on a long-term concessionary loan.”

Rafique said they also asked the Chinese to allow Pakistani companies to become part the project, though the Chinese wanted to complete the entire work themselves.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 4th, 2016.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Israr
    Oct 4, 2016 - 10:25AM

    Excellent report on launching of an online facility. The only thing missing is a website address.Recommend

  • Abdul Aleem
    Oct 4, 2016 - 10:38AM

    Good job. Finally we see pakistan railway on the improvement trackRecommend

  • BrainBro
    Oct 4, 2016 - 11:13AM

    A basic functioning website without the 404 or 500 internal server errors would be a good start before venturing into e-tickets.Recommend

  • سے Shaam (Hanafi)
    Oct 4, 2016 - 12:08PM

    Being skeptical, one website is not enough, the webmaster and administrators will start selling confirmed tickets before hand with lot of margin money. Better to outsource to smart/secured reliable e-ticketing/travel site of Pakistan (In-case it has one!!). Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed
    Oct 4, 2016 - 5:31PM

    Well back in 90’s i was working for a company in Pakistan that implemented e-ticketing and reservation for Pakistan railways. But crooks keep crashing the systems so they can make money from bribes.

    then every government has to make money so they relaunch now and then. this is PMLn kick back turn again so hence relaunch :)
    carry on! Recommend

  • Vineeth
    Oct 5, 2016 - 8:51AM

    Perhaps Pakistan can learn from the IRCTC’s experience in India in this regard.Recommend

  • Abdul Rehman
    Dec 15, 2016 - 2:43PM

    Aslam o Alaikum

    Railway system have great importance in the economy of any country. Pak Railway is back bone of Pakistan which play an important roll in Cargo transportation, passengers transportation. The improvement of Pakistan Railway is a appreciable thing. I hope in next few years Pak Railway system will be best in world Inshallah.Recommend

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