Travellers spend agonising hours waiting for trains

Published July 7, 2022
A large number of people camp out on the inhospitable platforms of the Karachi Cantonment railway station in miserable conditions on Wednesday during rains in the city and track repair works near Jhimpir that took many tedious hours to complete. —Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
A large number of people camp out on the inhospitable platforms of the Karachi Cantonment railway station in miserable conditions on Wednesday during rains in the city and track repair works near Jhimpir that took many tedious hours to complete. —Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: The repair work on the Pakistan Railway tracks between Jhimpir and Meting was completed on Wednesday evening as the trains stranded at various stations were allowed to depart.

Uncertainty was a big problem as the travellers, not knowing when or if their trains were leaving any time soon, decided to camp out right there on the platforms along with their luggage.

Many of them were going to be with their families for Eidul Azha. They most certainly didn’t want to miss their train as tickets for all the trains leaving Karachi were completely sold out.

When they got too tired of waiting, some of them even got up to protest. They chanted slogans against the Pakistan Railways and the government The arrival and departure of trains got delayed after heavy flow of rainwater from the hills in Jhimpir, Thatta, disturbed the soil and gravel from underneath the railway track on Tuesday evening.

Train operations resume after track ballast repair work completes

Although one track was repaired during the night, there was still more work required due to more rains in the area.

Some 14 trains, including those departing from Karachi and those destined for Karachi from other cities had to be stopped. Thus the people waiting to travel on these trains had to wait some more.

Like there were on the previous day, when the problem first occurred, there were many frustrated and upset travellers waiting at the Cantonment Railway Station.

News coming in from other stations too provided a similar situation. The trains these travellers had booked seats on were right there at the platforms but not budging. And they were all wondering when they would be boarding them to be on their way though no one at the station was able to provide them with any convincing information.

But the work on the tracks was finally completed on Wednesday evening, at around 8pm. The first train to leave Jhimpir for Karachi was the Shalimar Express.

According to a Pakistan Railways spokesperson, they will be moving all the trains one by one although normalising operations is expected to take from one to two days.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2022

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