RAWALPINDI, Jan 28: The Pakistan Railways (PR) is finalizing a plan to resume rail service to Bhaun via Chakwal which had been under suspension for years, sources said.
Pakistan Railway Advisory and Consultative Service, a subsidiary of the PR has declared resumption of the rail service from Mandra on branch line viable.
The sources added that the rail service on this section will be beneficial both in terms of passengers as well as freight, and will increase earnings of the Railways.
Senior PR officials in the Rawalpindi Division have recently inspected the abandoned track and the railway station which raised hope for early resumption of the service.
The resumption of rail service to the 75 kilometres Bhaun and Chakwal section will considerably improve mobility of the people of the area via rail service, which will provide connections to all Lahore and Karachi-bound passenger trains via Mandra. People of the area had been demanding of the Pakistan Railways to link Bhaun and Chakwal with the rest of the rail network in the country.
The sources further said that a feasibility study was also in progress to link Khushab from Pind Dadan Khan in the salt range via Lilla.
Resumption of the rail service on this section will in fact link Malakwal with Khushab, making fully operational the important Haranpur bridge also known as Victoria bridge. This would also serve as alternate section linking Rawalpindi with Multan and rest of the network, the sources said.
Pakistan Railways is also working on a project to upgrade railway track between Rawalpindi and Lalamusa, an important junction of the railway network.
Informed sources said that the project would be completed at a cost of Rs3.5 billion and it would help increase speed of passenger trains upto 160km per hour.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Railways is adding another train to its network; the Nishter Express would be launched between Rawalpindi and Karachi section on the occasion of the Pakistan Day - March 23.