RAWALPINDI, Aug 12: In view of Eid rush and shortage of locomotives, Pakistan Railways, Rawalpindi is weighing some options to take passengers from Rawalpindi to their hometowns.

The divisional railway has requested the headquarters to provide eight additional coaches to be run with regular trains.

A senior official of the Pakistan Railways told Dawn that Pakistan Railways had announced to run two trains for Eid to take the passengers to their hometowns but due to rush it would not be possible for these trains to accommodate them.

He said that they had sought eight additional coaches from the headquarters to accommodate the passengers during Eid days.

According to the plan, two additional coaches will be connected with Margallah Express (from Rawalpindi to Lahore), four coaches with Mehar Express (from Rawalpindi to Multan) and two coaches with train from Rawalpindi to Peshawar.

He said that the railways would ply two trains during Eid which would not be enough to bring the passengers for Lahore, Multan, Peshawar and adjoining areas. He said that the Eid special trains would be operated from Karachi to Peshawar via Rawalpindi.

According to PR schedule, the first special train would leave Karachi on August 16 for Peshawar, while on Aug 17 the second one would leave Karachi at 11am to reach Rawalpindi through Faisalabad and Wazirabad.

According to official figures, some 40,000 people travel by special and regular trains to celebrate Eidul Fitr in their hometowns every year, besides 8,000 to 10,000 regular passengers on daily basis.The reservation office staff said that booking for the trains had been closed and there was no additional seat for the passengers during last four days of Ramazan. They said that the only solution was to add some additional coaches.

However, some officials at engineering branch have suggested to the Pakistan Railways to keep locomotives standby at every station to meet any untoward situation as the old and outdated ones would develop fault if the additional coaches added to the trains.

They said that it would create problem for the people traveling through Pakistan Railways if the locomotive develops faults before the Eid.

“It will be the duty of Pakistan Railways senior officials including divisional superintendents to come out from the comfortable and cool offices and inspect the engines and coaches to avoid any untoward situation during last days of Ramazan,” they said.

When contacted, Divisional Superintendent Syed Munawar Shah confirmed that he had sought permission from headquarters to connect additional coaches with trains to Lahore, Multan and Peshawar.

He said that the permission would be granted soon and the Pakistan Railways would start the operation four days before the Eid.

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