Railways to start 20 more VIP passenger trains soon

Minister says Punjab lacks investment in the sector


Imran Rana February 06, 2019
The minister said that many people from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) had invested in the transport sector but Punjab is lacking investment in this important sector. He said Pakistan Railways could start new trains with a speed of 160km per hour after the completion of ML-1. PHOTO: FILE

FAISALABAD: The process for tendering is being initiated for the upgrade of 1,680km railway tracks of ML-2 and ML-4, in addition to dualiastion of Faisalabad-Lahore and Sialkot sections, said Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed.

Addressing the business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), he said that 20 more VIP passenger trains will be started soon.

Criticising previous governments, the minister said they had pushed the economy to the verge of collapse, but a stable economy is imperative for a strong defence and an independent foreign policy. He added that the current government has put the country back on track but it has to take bold and difficult decisions.  Talking about the financial affairs of Pakistan Railways, he said that Rs35 billion is  required to pay pensions, while Rs31 billion is needed for salaries, Rs18 billion for oil purchases and Rs25 billion to pay loan installments.

Karachi-Lahore route: Railways, private sector to launch new cargo train

He said that Pakistan Railways had purchased locomotives but there were not enough coaches. “We have to repair the old and abandoned coaches to start 20 new trains. Now, we are planning to launch yet another 20 new VIP and high-speed passenger trains,” he remarked.

The minister said that many people from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) had invested in the transport sector but Punjab is lacking investment in this important sector. He said Pakistan Railways could start new trains with a speed of 160km per hour after the completion of ML-1.

He further said that all over the world, passenger trains are not run for income generation but freight trains are meant for earning profit. Pakistan is the only country where we are earning a handsome profit of Rs2 billion from passenger trains, he explained.

Karachi-Lahore route: Railways, private sector to launch new cargo train

The railways minister said the Mohenjo Daro train and Rehman Baba train were functioning successfully, with and occupancy rate of 160% and 150%, respectively.

“A new VIP ‘Jinnah Train’ will be launched between Lahore and Karachi from March 23. “We are also planning to start ‘Sir Syed Train’, which could be run between Faisalabad and Karachi,” he disclosed.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2019.

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