Pakistan Railways will launch a VIP train from March 23, 2019 for the elite class, while several freight trains passenger trains will be started by year-end in public-private partnership mode, Federal Minster for Railways Shaikh Rasheed Ahmed said on Friday.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the second freight train started under a joint venture of Marine Group of Companies, which departed from Cantt Station, Karachi to Lahore carrying 75 containers loaded with cargo.
The minister said the first freight train launched by Marine Group had so far transported 1,500 tons of imported and local cargo upcountry. The minister also announced to shift the freight head office to Karachi from Lahore.
“Billions of dollars investment is coming to railways in days to come and there will be a revolution through Main Line 1 Project that is meant for replacing tracks from Karachi to Peshawar,” he said, while emphasising the need to revive the Circular Railways in Karachi.
Marine Group CEO Asim SIddiqui said following the success of the first freight train, the private sector insisted to start the second train as well to facilitate the business community. He announced to introduce a third train in March this year, and informed that the first freight train handled 2,300 containers during January.
“The business community’s trust is improving on railways and they give preference to the train service, as their cargo reaches to their destinations safe and fast. Exporters too are switching to the freight trains considering it more economical and safe,” he added.
Pak Railways Freight Transport Company CEO Zafar Ranjha said Railway’s revenue had surged 35 percent in January because of the freight train.