After Shalimar, private company likely to run another train

Discussion in 'Pakistan' started by farhan_9909, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

    Aug 30, 2012
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    KARACHI: After running Pak Business Express and Shalimar Express on public-private partnership model this year in the wake of crippling financial constraints, the Pakistan Railways is handing over Karachi Express to a private company by the end of this month.

    Air Rail Services (ARS), the company which is running Shalimar Express, will also start running Karachi Express from December 25 or January 1, 2013.

    Talking to The Express Tribune, ARS partner Malik M Rafiq said Pakistan Railways has approved the company’s bid for Karachi Express and 99% work on an agreement has been completed.

    He is targeting to start new service from December 25, but if it is delayed, then it will begin from January next year. The train will run with a different name, Night Coach Express.


    To upgrade locomotives and make them fit for operation, ARS has paid Rs100 million to the railways, which will provide three locomotives for the service. Under the agreement, ARS will pay Rs1.8 million daily to the railways.

    Rafiq said Shalimar Express is not running in loss and is improving its revenues day by day. “We are paying the railways every week in advance and have no dues.”

    Night Coach Express will run between Lahore and Karachi via Hyderabad, Rohri, Rahim Yar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan and Faisalabad.

    According to Rafiq, the train will have a salon, seven economy coaches and two lower air-conditioned coaches and will offer all the facilities to its passengers, like those in Shalimar Express. These include television programmes, a mobile restaurant and comfortable seats. Both the trains will have same fares.

    The Karachi Express service started in the late 1990s and had only economy class coaches. Later in 2006, the train was upgraded with one AC sleeper coach and three lower AC coaches.


    Pakistan Railways General Manager Junaid Qureshi told The Express Tribune that the agreement with Air Rail Services on Karachi Express has not yet been finalised and the matter is still being reviewed.

    He, however, said they are launching a new train with public-private partnership as the railways is not economically well-off to start a new service on its own. “The new train, which will run between Karachi and Lahore, will be started in two weeks or a month,” he said.

    Another official of Pakistan Railways, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Karachi Express is not running well as it has only 50-60% occupancy.

    “Though we have not received any directives from the railway headquarters in Lahore about handing over of Karachi Express, we have heard that the service has been given to Air Rail Services.”

    However, railway workers are not happy with the move and call it a conspiracy to destroy the railways.

    Mazdoor Union Divisional President Malik Muqadar Zaman said the railways is a public service organisation that provides low-priced transport services for the poor, but the privatisation process will snatch this facility from them.

    “The management is privatising those trains that are making money like Shalimar Express and now Karachi Express, and officers are taking commissions from private companies,” alleged Zaman.

    He claimed that the private firm, which is running Pak Business Express, is not paying the railways and its dues have reached Rs250 million. He suggested that private companies should bring their own engines and coaches and should only use the railways’ tracks.

    Published in The Express Tribune, December 20th, 2012

    After Shalimar, private company likely to run another train – The Express Tribune
  3. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

    Feb 17, 2009
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    in India all the Trains are booked one or two moths in advance and you guys have 50-60 occupancy. Their is always race to get Tatkal tickets.

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