Pakistan Railways Passenger Trains operation is Being Handed Over to the Private Sector Soon

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Syed Ejaz ul Hassan

To encourage the private sector, Pakistan Railways is determined to run more passenger trains through the private sector and to expand together, which will not only increase the revenue of the railways but also the passenger facilities.  Management of Passenger Trains Under Public Private Partnership Pakistan Railways plans to outsource express and passenger trains on various routes to increase private sector participation and passenger comfort.  Karakoram Express, Green Line, Hazara Express, Karachi Express, Pak Business Express, Shalimar Express under Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Awam Express, Bolan Mail, Bahauddin Zakaria Express, Mehr Express, Thal Express, Kohat Express, Chenab Express, Sukkur Express, Mehran Express, Saman Sarkar, Marvi Passenger, Attock Passenger, Mohenjo Daro, Chaman Passenger, Jund Passenger and Rawalpindi Passenger.  A regular advertisement has also been released.  Pakistan Railways is trying to achieve its set targets quickly with private partnership.

Pakistan Railways, in collaboration with the private sector, has provided a new facility to railway passengers by adding a premium lounge dining car to Tezgam Express, in which the seating area has been made more spacious at the request of passengers and can accommodate 35 passengers at a time. More than 40 food items are available for passengers including soup, burger, pizza, karahi, sandwich, paratha roll, french fries, biryani and more food in the menu. Previously, premium lounge dining in Bahauddin Zakaria Express. The car was installed.  On the success of the Bahauddin Zakaria Express, the scope of the new dining car was extended.

In view of the popularity of the premium lounge, it will be installed in Khyber Mail and Allama Iqbal Express in the next few weeks.  With the introduction of new dining cars in the trains, the traveling experience of the passengers will be much better than before as quality food items will be available in the dining car.

Adding further to the amenities of the passengers, air-conditioned executive washrooms have been opened for the public at Lahore Railway Station, which are clean and equipped with modern facilities.  Sanitizer and hand drying machine have also been installed in them.  In the washrooms, geysers are also installed to keep the water warm in winter. There is also a stand for changing the diapers of the children, providing convenience to the traveling mothers.  Cleaning staff will be present in the washrooms at all times to ensure cleanliness

For the convenience of passengers, separate arrangements have been made for men and women.  Seats and commodes are also available in the washrooms. According to the plan of Pakistan Railways, executive washrooms will be prepared and opened for passengers at thirteen more stations across the country in the next three months.  The washrooms have been built under public-private partnership and a uniform fee of Rs.50 has been fixed for their use. Further increasing the amenities of the public, a new AC standard coach has been fitted with the Allama Iqbal Express train running between Karachi and Sialkot, which has also fulfilled the long-standing demand of the public.  Important steps have been taken to ensure safety and security. The weekly performance of the Railway Police is exposed to the public through the media.

Pakistan Railways has significantly reduced the fares of all classes of trains from 1 km to 200 km from 21 May 2024 due to the reduction in diesel price twice in a month.  On Eid-ul-Adha, 25% discount on fares was given to the public on all three days of Eid on all classes of trains. In addition, Pakistan Railways launched summer special between Rawalpindi to Karachi and Karachi to Rawalpindi from July 5 to 30.  It has provided travel relief to the public by running the train till July 2024.

Pakistan Railways has locally manufactured wagons of international standards used in freight vehicles.  Wagons manufactured with Chinese technology have a modern design.  With the new design, freight vehicles will be able to move containers from one place to another. While inaugurating the new wagons at Lahore Cantt Railway Station, Chief Executive Officer Pakistan Railways Aamir Ali Baloch said that the local production of railway wagons is the responsibility of the department itself.  It is an important step towards dependence.  In the past, transportation of merchandise took a lot of time due to slow speed of freight vehicles.  The addition of new wagons to the railway fleet will increase the speed of goods vehicles to 100 kmph.

Now the railways will not have to import such wagons, so locally manufactured modern wagons will also help in saving domestic foreign exchange. The inclusion of these wagons will increase the freight income of the railways by more than 9 billion rupees annually.  which will make the organization financially stable. Wagons are designed in such a way that they can carry maximum load from one place to another.

Each newly manufactured railway wagon is capable of transporting 70 tonnes of load.  By the end of FY 2025-26, 820 new wagons will be added to the railway system.  The 820 wagons will include 300 open top, 300 flat wagons, 200 covered wagons and 20 brake vans.

At the end of the fiscal year 2023-24, Pakistan Railways broke all its previous records by earning a record revenue of more than 88 billion. Last year, the same revenue was Rs 63 billion. It should be noted that the railways had received a target of 73 billion revenue at the beginning of the financial year 2023-24 from the government.  Railways got Rs 47 billion in revenue from passenger trains while Rs 28 billion in freight sector i.e. goods vehicles. Similarly, more than Rs 13 billion in revenue came from railway lands and other sources.  Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Railways Aamir Ali Baloch termed this achievement as the result of tireless work of employees, better strategy and continuity of policies and has expressed determination to take the income to one trillion rupees in the next financial year.

Pakistan Railways has also started the work of upgrading the major railway stations across the country to modern lines, where a modern system based on international standards is also being introduced for the passengers so that the passengers traveling by train  As many facilities as possible.

Writer is Information Officer in Pakistan Railways

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