Quetta-Karachi Bolan Mail train restored

Published December 2, 2021
In this file photo, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati speaks to the media in Lahore. — PID
In this file photo, Minister for Railways Azam Khan Swati speaks to the media in Lahore. — PID

QUETTA: Pakistan Railways on Wednes­day restored Bolan Mail passenger train after more than a year-and-a-half due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The train, comprising eight bogies, left Quetta at 6pm, carrying over 600 passengers, for Karachi.

Since March last year there was no train service between Quetta and Karachi.

Railways Minister Azam Khan Swati, along with Senators Sana Jamali and Naseeb­ullah Bazai, Divisional Superinten­dent Mohammad Ali Afridi and Addi­tional Regional Manager Arshad-ul-Islam Khattak, visited the Quetta railway station.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Swati said through public-private partnership Pakistan Railways could be made a profitable organisation and asked the business community to come forward for investment so that the railway system could be run on modern lines.

He said 230 new coaches would be provided to the Railways and the people of Quetta would also have a new rack for a comfortable journey.

The minister said the federal government was making efforts to make train journey more comfortable by introducing reforms. “Train is a means of journey for the poor and it is our desire to provide maximum facilities to passengers,” he said.

He said efforts were under way to end poverty in accordance with the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and to create job opportunities to overcome unemployment.

Mr Swati said Quetta was an economic hub and it was an important trade route as it had borders with Afghanistan and Iran. “I will visit the border town of Chaman soon.”

Earlier, a ceremony was held at Quetta station. It was attended by Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee for Railways Qasim Ronjho, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Khan Suri and MNA Rana Mahmood Al-Hassan.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ronjho said that it was necessary to restart suspended trains from Balochistan for other cities of the country.

Mr Suri said that with the restoration of Bolan Mail, train service between Quetta and Karachi had been restarted. He said Akbar Bugti Express would also be restored soon.

The train departed from Karachi’s City Station at 6pm on Wednesday and was expected to reach Quetta at 3.40pm on Thursday.

There are 23 stops on the way — Karachi Cantt., Drigh Road, Landhi, Jungshahi, Buradabad, Kotri, Sindh University, Sehwan Sharif, Dadu, Ehmani Nagar, Radhan, Budha, Larkana, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Dera Allahyar, Dera Murad Jamali, Bukhtiarabad, Domki, Sibbi, Aabegum, Muchh and Kolpur.

The fare for an economy class berth from Karachi to Quetta is Rs1,000 and that for AC lower is Rs2,400. It is said the train would generate a revenue of Rs583,200 per day from a single run.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2021

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