LAHORE: The Pakistan Railways has decided to restore passenger trains operation gradually from Sunday (tomorrow).

The decision was taken on Friday at a meeting held here at the PR headquarters, which was presided over by Federal Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafique through video-link from Islamabad.

The meeting reviewed reports on receding floodwater and ongoing efforts to rehabilitate the affected stretches of the tracks.

A senior official privy to the meeting told Dawn that the PR too was facing financial losses due to closure of rail operations on the Lahore-Karachi and Lahore-Quetta sections. He said the freight operations has also been restored partially. In the first phase, the operation of Khyber Mail and Rehman Baba Express, running between the Lahore-Sukkur-Lahore (Up/Down) section due to floods, has been extended to Karachi with effect from October 2.

The meeting also decided to restore operations of three more trains (Karakoram Express, Karachi Express and Pak Business Express) on the Lahore-Karachi-Lahore sections from October 5. Rest of the trains would restored after observing operations of the five trains.

They meeting increased travel duration between Lahore-Karach-Lahore section to 22 hours on an average which would be reduced gradually. The participants also gave a go ahead to attach additional coaches to the five trains to facilitate passengers.

The PR had, on Aug 21, suspended its operations at various sections after the flash floods washed away the tracks between Rohri-Tando Adam, Paddidan-Bhiria, Daur-Bandhi and Bocheri-Nawabshah sections and Nawabshah yard.

Similarly, the Sibbi-Quetta and Dalbandeen-Quetta, Kotri-Dadu near Sehwan Sharif and Habib Kot-Sibi and Dera Murad Jamali and Jacobabad-Notal sections were also affected. Moreover, the signalling system at various spots also became dysfunctional due to inundation and power outages.

Published in Dawn, October 1st, 2022

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