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Business Express stops chugging

LAHORE, Jan 27: Business Express may not chug again between Punjab and Sindh capitals.

“The operation of the 303-Up/304-Down Business Express has been suspended for an indefinite period at the request of the private company operating the passenger train between Lahore and Karachi,” said a spokesman on Sunday.

The future of the first joint venture of the Pakistan Railways under private-public partnership has been in jeopardy soon after the then prime minister had in February 2011 inaugurated the Business Express, with the private company complaining of “foul play” while awarding contract to it by the railway authorities. The company had also lodged several complaints with the railways authorities about provision of “unfit” locomotives and power vans that caused embarrassment to it.

Railway authorities, on the other hand, had called the company’s stance a ploy to escape default as the company arrears soared up to Rs300 million.