ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways presently is operating average 12 freight trains per day from Karachi port to different up destinations to generate revenue for the department. Besides, at any given time there are about 60 freight trains on track over the system, a senior official in the Ministry of Railways told on Sunday.
He said the freight operation generated revenue of Rs. 12,272.638 million in the financial year 2016-¬2017 and Pakistan Railways was playing a vital role in the transportation of goods across the country.
Recently Pakistan Railways has transported imported fertilizer to different parts of the country for Ministry of Industries and Production. Owing to successful operation, other private companies were also approaching Railways for the transportation of fertilizer from ports to upcountry, he added.
He said that traditionally railways used to originate four to five trains of furnace oil from Karachi to upcountry. Due to change in government policy the import of furnace oil has been discontinued. Now Railway approached PSO at the highest level to transport High Speed Diesel (HSD) from Karachi to Taru Jabba and Chakpirana.
The loading of HSD for above stations has been started from April and agreements have been executed with different companies for the transportation of coal in Hopper Wagons from Karachi Port to Jia Bagga, Faisalabad and Kundian stations, he said. He said the companies are developing mechanized unloading facilities at Faisalabad, Jia Bagga, Kundian and Khushal Kot stations on Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis.
To a question, he said that it is not a fact that the trains are operating between Quetta and Chaman with insufficient facilities and only one train, Chaman Passenger is operating on the route on daily basis and completes its round trip in daylight. He said in summer season, actual rake composition of the train consists of six coaches whereas in winter season the train is running with four ¬coaches due to less than 30 percent occupancy which is considered quite sufficient to meet the present requirement.
Railways plans to reconstruct
11 bridges, repair 55
Pakistan Railways is planning to reconstruct 11 bridges and repair another 55 across the country to ensure smooth operation of the trains and safety of the passengers.
The department would reconstruct three bridges in Sukkur Division, six in Multan, two in Lahore, an official in the Ministry of Railways. Regarding the repair of bridges in different divisions, he said Pak Railways has planned to repair 34 bridges in Karachi, 11 in Sukkur, two in Multan, five in Rawalpindi, two in Peshawar and one in Quetta. He said around 86pc of bridges are more than 100 years old but all of them were safe for train operation due to regular maintenance, rehabilitation and strengthening of these bridges.
The official said there are 13,959 major and minor bridges over the system and the design life of which varies for different years. The standard operating procedure calls for inspection of bridges in accordance with the different schedules like monthly, quarterly, biannually and annually, he added. —Online
To a question, the official said average 77.10 percent of tracks are over-aged and minor repair are carried out by the department in routine to ensure safety of the passengers.
However, he said 730 kilometer track has been rehabilitated or partially rehabilitated through complete track, sleeper and rail renewals under various Public Sector Development Programme projects.