Pakistan Railways expects partial resumption of operations next week

Published September 3, 2022
Floodwater submerges rail track between Sukkur and Nawabshah. — Dawn
Floodwater submerges rail track between Sukkur and Nawabshah. — Dawn

LAHORE: As the government wants restoration of rail operations in Sindh, Balochistan and other affected parts of the country at the earliest, the Pakistan Railways (PR) says that the resumption of the passenger train operations may take a few days subject to receding of water over and along the rail tracks.

“Partial rail operations’ resumption may take three to four days despite the fact the PR teams have started work at various sections. We may resume it by Tuesday if there are no more rains or floods in the coming days and the water recedes,” a senior official in the PR told Dawn on Friday.

Giving details of the track under water at present, he said the Rohri-Tando Adam section, Paddidan-Bhiria, Daur-Bandhi and Bocheri-Nawabshah sections are under five to15 inches inundation. The Nawabshah yard is also under water whereas the signaling system at railway yards is also dysfunctional due to inundation and power outages.

The official said the PR has resumed freight operation partially. The railway administration, he said, is in touch with the Sindh government, district administration concerned as well as with Sindh Rangers in tackling flood challenges in Sindh (from Sukkur to Nawabshah) and Balochistan.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique who presided over various meetings at the Railway Headquarters in Lahore directed the administration to complete the ongoing survey of the affected installations on a war footing and speed up the rehabilitation process. He directed the administration to work in three shifts to restore the tracks once the flood water recedes.

The minister was also given a briefing on the rehabilitation of the affected bridge on the Sibbi-Quetta section. The minister directed the officers to connect Quetta with the national railway network as soon as possible. He also reviewed arrangements for the delivery of relief goods coming from Turkey by train via Iran. He was also briefed on the transition of railways to the latest ERP system.

“With the ERP system, most of the railway management issues will be shifted to IT,” he added.

He was also briefed on the resumption of up-track freight operations from Karachi. He hoped that the freight volume will return to normal from Monday. “The passenger train operation for Karachi may be started after ensuring passenger safety,” he said.

Published in Dawn, September 3rd, 2022

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