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LAHORE: Pakistan Railways has decided to restore operations of three more trains, Karakoram Express, Karachi Express and Pak Business Express, on the Lahore-Karachi-Lahore sections from October 5.

The travelling duration between Lahore-Karachi-Lahore sections has been increased to 22 hours on an average which would be reduced gradually. Federal Minister for Railways has also allowed attaching additional coaches to the five trains to facilitate passengers.

The Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Railways told that the PR was facing financial crunch due to closure of rail operations on the Lahore-Karachi and Lahore-Quetta sections. More than 28 up and down trains were closed due to the condition of the track and the damaged signal system and bridges. The department has lost more than Rs15 billion so far due to the closure of trains. The railway track was damaged at 104 locations by the floodwater, he added.

He further said that the freight operations have also been restored, partially. In the first phase, the operation of Khyber Mail and Rehman Baba Express, running between the Lahore-Sukkur-Lahore (Up/Down) sections has been restored to Karachi.

It may be mentioned here that the PR suspended its operations at various sections after the violent floods on August 21. The tracks between Rohri-Tando Adam, Paddidan-Bhiria, Daur-Bandhi and Bocheri-Nawabshah sections and Nawabshah yard were deeply affected by flood and Pakistan Railways had to stop trains operation in these areas.

The Sibbi-Quetta and Dalbandeen-Quetta, Kotri-Dadu near Sehwan Sharif and Habib Kot-Sibi and Dera Murad Jamali and Jacobabad-Notal sections were also affected. Moreover, the signalling system at various spots also became dysfunctional due to inundation and power outages.

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has also issued instructions to fully restore the freight operations on the railway track ML-1. The officials concerned were also instructed to restore the Quetta-Taftan sections. Similarly, the minister directed to increase in the monthly number of freight trains on Quetta-Zahedan (international sections) from 5 to 15, October. The railway track between Quetta-Taftan was suspended after a vital bridge collapsed due to unexpected monsoon rain and floods.

Pakistan Railways suffered heavy financial losses in Balochistan due to flood as 11-kilometre railway track from Dera Allah Yar to Jacobabad was completely flooded, which made it difficult to operate train services in the affected area, the sources said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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