Federal Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed announced in a Thursday video message that single ticket counters were being opened at railway stations in some cities. The move is being taken to reduce the load on the online ticket reservation system. There are issues with the online system issue, Rasheed said, adding that it cannot take the load.
Many people heaved a sigh of relief after Pakistan Railways partially resumed its services on Wednesday. Fifteen trains have been given permission to operate and take people to their homes at the time of Eid-ul-Fitr. The department has been taking only 60% of bookings through online bookings. Passengers have been asked to bring their own masks, gloves, hand sanitisers and soap with them.
Pakistan Railway ministry has decided to partially restore passenger train operations across all four provinces upon the end of a lockdown. About 24 trains will start functioning for up and down operations after approval from the prime minister before April 25. Reservation offices may remain closed even after the end of lockdown while customers will be able to purchase tickets online.
Prime Minister Imran Khan gave approval to Pakistan Railways for suspending train operations until March 31 due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The disease caused by the virus, COVID-19, has claimed six lives and infected more than 800 people across the country, as the authorities kick into action to stop the transmission of the virus. The government earlier retracted a notification issued on the shut down of the operations.
Pakistan Railways has decided to reduce train fares by 25% of 21 express trains from March 9th till May 8th. However, only passengers intending to travel in AC business or AC standard class can avail this facility, and that too if they book tickets in advance. In a press conference, Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rasheed, said that the PTI government is dedicated to transforming the Pakistan Railways.
Pakistan and Russia have agreed to a joint venture to enhance the cooperation for the upgradation and modernisation of Pakistan railways infrastructure. During a plenary session of the 6th Pak-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation here, the two sides resolved to increase volume of bilateral trade through enhanced business activities by their private sectors.
At least 13 people have died and more than 30 injured after a fire broke out on a train travelling from Karachi to Rawalpindi. A gas canister used to cook food exploded in Tezgam Express, destroying three of the train’s carriages. Death toll continues to rise, while rescue teams are working to extinguish the fire at Liaquatpur near Rahim Yar Khan.
The Ministry of Railways has stated that Pakistan Railways suffered 74 accidents nationwide over a period of 11 months, between August 2018 to June 2019. Out of 74 accidents, 20 accidents were of freight trains derailing while another 20 occurred at unmanned railway crossings. Despite claims by PTI Railway Minister, Sheikh Rasheed, no significant improvement has been made in the fate of Pakistan Railways.
The Lahore-bound Jinnah Express, which had departed from Karachi, rammed into a stationary goods train that was carrying coal and was bound for Yusufwala. The engine of the Jinnah Express came off the tracks but none of the bogies were derailed. Furthermore, the section of the tracks which it was left standing on suffered considerable damage.