Reduction of 50% fare, regular timings enables PR to earn Rs 6bn

ISLAMABAD: Timely reduction up to fifty percent in fare of Pakistan Railways (PR) and ensuring timely arrival and departure of trains brought in more than Rs 6 billion to PR during fiscal year 2013-14 as compared to 2012-2013.
An administrative discipline, reduction in fare, restoration of freight trains, transparent selling of scrap and revenue collection from other government departments were major reasons, which had diverted the PR towards success, said an official of PR. 
He expressed the hope the PR would earn more profit in upcoming days due to coal transportation and Chinese investment.
The official said PR was sharing its achievements with passengers by giving them several discounts and facilities as passengers would enjoy up to 50 percent discount in fare on eleven Eid special trains.
He said after positive achievements, the department had restored Shahsawar Express train from Lahore to Sialkot via Narang, Narowal and Pasrur which would earn Rs 60 million per year for the PR and it would facilitate 850 passengers daily.
He said the running time of Tezgam Express train had been reduced to 25 hours and 45 minutes from 26 hours and 25 minutes, which would also generate revenue for the department.
All three racks of Tezgam had been changed with state-of-the-art and more comfortable Chinese coaches, adding number of coaches in Bahuddin Zekria Express had been increased from 12 to 15 and about Rs 145 million additional earning was expected from the train.
He said passengers were coming back and sale of tickets for special trains was an example of it. He said capacity of luggage vans had been increased from 10 tonnes to 15 tonnes and initially these new vans were working with
Karachi Express.
He said PR had arranged two spare racks in Karachi so delay in the trains could be overcome.
Two oil carrier trains were being set off for Laal Pir ad Muzafarghar after successful dialogue with Pakistan State Oil and the number of oil trains would be five till August.
An agreement between PR and Gharibwal Cement was a breakthrough as the PR would transport 15,000 matric tonnes coal from Karachi to Gharibwal (Chakwal) and 10,000 matric tonnes cement from Gharibwal to Karachi, adding the PR would be able to earn a good amount of revenue through this agreement.
He said several agreements with Maple Leaf, NLC and NESPAK were under process which would be proved beneficial for the department.
The government has allocated Rs 77 billion for 45 development schemes and pay and pensions of railway employees.
He disclosed 60 new engines would join the railways fleet by December this year while tenders were being issued to acquire 75 more with emphasis on coal-powered engines.
He explained 50 of them would be coal-powered engines of 4,500 Horse Power, more powerful than the existing 3,000 HP engines. 

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