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Abandoned railway station restored

March 03, 2007


ATTOCK, March 2: The conservation work of the 122-year-old Attock Khurd Railway Station and construction of a tourist resort has been completed.

The Railway Heritage and Tourist Resort near the old Attock Railway bridge on the Indus River has been completed by the Railway authorities from their own resources.

President Gen Pervez Musharraf is expected to visit the heritage and resort on Saturday.

The railway station surrounded by lush green hills is a magnificent stone masonry structure with beautiful Victorian architecture was built in 1885 in the British colonial era.

The British used the resort as a fishing spot and hunting ground for the black partridges and fox.

The railway station has been preserved in its original condition.

The Attock Khurd is a class ‘B’ station on a single track provided with standard key interlocking.

The old Attock bridge was originally designed by Sir Gudford Molesworth in 1880. Later its structure was redesigned and erected by Sir Francis O’ Callaghan.

Renowned builders Joseph Westwood and Robert Baillie, of the Westwood Baillie & Co, London, built the iron girder bridge in 1880 and it was opened to both rail and road traffic on May 24, 1883.

Apart from having a railway line above, wheeled traffic and pedestrians can pass underneath.

The bridge was abandoned in the late 1970s, when the new Khairabad Bridge was constructed on the GT Road. Yet its beauty is preserved and is a living testimony to the marvel of engineering of those times and has a unique structure.

The structures of archaeological importance like historic Attock Fort, Begum-ki-Serai, Bahram-ki-Baradari, the Attock Tomb and many Hindu, Jain and Sikh temples of the bygone era are situated near the Attock Khurd Railway Station.

Over the years, this site has been the abode of various saints as it is studded with temples and places of worship.

The shrine of Hazrat Gee Baba is also situated near the road along the river.

Assistant Transportation Officer Railway Attock section, Muhammad Tayyab, told Dawn, the railway station had been preserved as a Heritage and Tourist Resort with the collaboration of Sehrai Travel.

However, it will be operated through a joint-venture of the Railway and Sehrai Travel and Tours as visits of tourists would be jointly arranged by both agencies through a steam safari train, depending on the number of visitors or special occasions.