In this Post
–Quick Facts About Pakistan Railways
–Pakistan Railways History
–Pakistan Railways Infrastructure
–Railway Stations in Pakistan
–Pakistan Railways Schedule
–Pakistan Railways Website
–Pakistan Railways Ticket Price
–Trains in Pakistan
–Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation
Update (March 1, 2021): Pakistan Railways is resuming the operations of trilateral container trains from March 4, 2021. The Pak-Iran-Turkey container train service was initially launched back in 2009 with a fleet of eight trains. But, due to security reasons, this trans-country railway service was shut down soon after its launch.
A statement recently released by the Pakistan Railways Headquarters has confirmed the relaunch of the freight train, which will begin its journey from Istanbul in Turkey on March 4. Once operational, this cargo train service will connect Pakistan with Iran and Turkey via an immensely long rail route that stretches 6,566 km.
To reach Tehran from Islamabad, the container train has to cover a distance of around 2000 km from where it will continue its journey to Istanbul. This trans-country freight train route is also expected to geographically benefit the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is one of the most significant parts of China’s Belt Road Initiative (BRI). It will be linked with Pakistan’s ML-1 railway line, which is one of the multi-billion dollar CPEC projects in the country.
Based on a vast network of train tracks, tunnels, junctions, and dry ports, Pakistan Railways is one of the largest and oldest railway systems in the world. It is a state-owned railway company, which caters to the passenger as well as freight transportation throughout the country and connects all major cities like the network of motorways in Pakistan. In this blog, we’ll discuss all the key information regarding the system of railways in Pakistan but first, let’s take a look at some quick facts about it.
Quick Facts About Pakistan Railways
Pakistan Railways History
It all began In 1855, during the British Raj when several railway companies started laying local rail tracks in several districts of Sindh and Punjab. So, it can be said that the country’s rail system started as a patchwork of local rail lines, constructed and operated by small-scale, private railway companies of that time, which include the Scinde Railway, Punjab Railway, Delhi Railway, and Indus Flotilla. However, most of these companies merged and formed the North Western State Railway in the year 1880.
However, up till 1947, the year of independence, the network of the North-Western State Railway expanded throughout Sindh and Punjab. After the independence, around 8,122 kilometres (5,047 miles) of train tracks of the North-Western State Railway came under Pakistani territories. Initially, the system of railways in Pakistan was totally based on narrow-gauge train tracks. The process of the conversion of these narrow-gauge railway tracks into broad gauge railway tracks has been carried out from time to time throughout the history of railways in Pakistan.
Some of the many large-scale extension projects on the country’s railway system were carried out from the 1950s to the 1980s. As of now, all of the narrow-gauge railway tracks have either been dismantled or converted into broad-gauge railway tracks for a smoother flow of railways traffic in Pakistan. The history of railways in Pakistan has been preserved and put on display in the railway museums found in different cities across the country.
Quick Fact: A narrow-gauge railway track is narrower and thinner than the standard track gauge, measuring at least 1,435 mm. British narrow-gauge railway ran miles and miles around the landscape of South Asia. However, these days the most significant use of the narrow gauge railway track is in the commercial industry, specifically for temporary arrangements since such types of railway tracks are cost-effective and short-lived.
Pakistan Railways Infrastructure
The network of railways in Pakistan is based on 11,881 kilometres (7,383 miles) of train tracks. However, around 80% of the tracks are a part of historical constructions as old as 80 to 90 years. As per the current statistics, the maximum speed on most of these railway lines in Pakistan is 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph). However, the upgraded sections of the railway line between Karachi and Peshawar allows speeds up to 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph). Moreover, under the banner of CPEC Projects in Pakistan, work is in progress to upgrade most of the major lines to allow faster train speeds up to 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph) and decrease the rate of congestion faced by railway traffic in Pakistan. The below-given table gives you details about the main railway lines in Pakistan.
Main Railway Line In Pakistan
|Main Line 1 (ML-1)||Karachi-Peshawar Line||1,687 kilometres|
|Main Line 2 (ML-2)||Kotri–Attock Line||1,519 kilometres|
|Main Line 3 (ML-3)||Rohri–Chaman Line||523 kilometres|
|Main Line 4 (ML-4)||Quetta–Taftan Line||523 kilometres|
|Main Line 5 (ML-5)||Taxila–Khunjerab Line||682 kilometres|
The mainline linking Peshawar and Karachi is being upgraded as a part of CPEC Projects in Pakistan. It is a six-year project carried out with a total cost of around 6.3 billion dollars. Check out our blog on the expansion of ML-1 train track in Pakistan for more information in this regard. The Ministry of Railway in Pakistan has proposed some new rail lines to link Gwadar Port to Central Asia, for the passenger and goods transportation. The names of these railway lines have been listed as under:
- Karachi–Gwadar Railway Line (Makran Railway)
- Gwadar–Mastung Branch Line
- Bostan–Zhob–Dera Ismail Khan Branch Line
- Basima–Jacobabad Branch Line
- Islamabad–Muzaffarabad Branch Line
Note: The railway network in Pakistan has been divided into main lines and branch lines. As of now, there are only 5 main lines. However, there are around 20 branch lines in the country connecting different cities among provinces and their districts.
Railway Stations in Pakistan
The network of railways in Pakistan is connected with hundreds of thousands of railway stations. Most of these railway stations are home to railway junctions. Cities like Rawalpindi, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, Faisalabad, Multan, and Hyderabad have prominent railway stations. Since Karachi is the largest city of Pakistan, it hosts 3 railways stations within it including City Station adjacent to the II Chundrigar Road, Cantt Station next to the area of Clifton, and Drigh Road Station in Faisal Cantonment, Karachi.
The city of lights was also a host to one of the most advanced circular railway systems in the world. However, the authorities are currently working on the revival project of Karachi Circular Railway to make it operational again. On the other hand, the railway station of Lahore is a wonderful historical landmark. The authorities have successfully preserved the charm of this old structure to date. Moreover, most of these major railway stations in Pakistan are equipped with features like parking lots, waiting rooms, historical museums, reservation offices with computerised systems, tea stalls and cafeterias to entertain and facilitate passengers.
Pakistan Railways Schedule
In the wake of the measures to promote e-governance in Pakistan, the railway system in the country has also been digitised. The Ministry of Railways in Pakistan in collaboration with Pakistan Information Technology Board (PITB) launched the website for railways booking and schedule in the country. The screenshot of this e-portal has been attached for your reference above. You can simply register using your mobile number and other basic details on this portal and check the availability of trains to manage your schedule and make plans accordingly.
Pakistan Railways Website
The e-portal of the system of railways in Pakistan can be accessed by visiting the following website:
Pakistan Railways Ticket Price
With the help of the above-mentioned website, you’ll also be able to fetch information related to the ticket prices and schedule of the trains you are looking to reach your respective destination. Furthermore, you can also use this e-portal to get to know about the freight charges and calculate fares of your round trip.
Trains in Pakistan
Having a capacity to carry over 65 million passengers annually, the fleet of railways in Pakistan is based on 228 trains. The names of some of the most popular trains in Pakistan along with their routes have been listed as under:
|Akbar Express||Quetta – Lahore Junction|
|Allama Iqbal Express||Karachi City Station – Sialkot Junction|
|Attock Passenger||Mari Indus – Attock City Junction|
|Awam Express||Karachi City Station – Peshawar Cantonment|
|Babu Passenger||Lahore Junction – Wazirabad Junction|
|Badar Express||Lahore Junction – Faisalabad|
|Badin Express||Hyderabad Junction – Badin|
|Bahauddin Zakaria Express||Karachi City Station – Multan Cantonment|
|Bolan Mail||Karachi City Station – Quetta|
|Chaman Mixed||Quetta – Chaman|
|Chenab Express||Sargodha Junction – LalaMusa Junction|
|Dhabeji Express||Karachi Cantonment Station – Dhabeji|
|Faiz Ahmed Faiz Express||Lahore Junction – Narowal Junction|
|Fareed Express||Karachi City Station – Lahore Junction|
|Faisal Express||Lahore Junction – Faisalabad|
|Faisalabad Express||Multan Cantonment – Faisalabad|
|Ghouri Express||Lahore Junction – Faisalabad|
|GreenLine Express||Karachi Cantonment Station – Islamabad|
|Hazara Express||Karachi City Station – Havelian|
|Islamabad Express||Lahore Junction – Islamabad|
|Jaffar Express||Peshawar – Quetta|
|Jand Passenger||Jand Junction – Attock City Junction|
|Jinnah Express||Karachi Cantonment Station – RawalpindiKarachi Cantonment Station – Lahore Cantonment|
|Karachi Express||Karachi City Station – Lahore Junction|
|Kohat Express||Rawalpindi – Kohat|
|Karakoram Express||Karachi City Station – Lahore Junction|
|Khushhal Khan Khattak Express||Karachi City Station – Peshawar Cantonment|
|Khyber Mail||Karachi Cantonment Station – Peshawar Cantonment|
|Karana Passenger||Lala Musa Junction – Sargodha Junction|
|Lasani Express||Lahore Junction–Sialkot Junction|
|Lala Musa Express||Lala Musa Junction – Sargodha Junction|
|Margalla Express||Lahore Junction – Rawalpindi|
|Marala Passenger||Wazirabad Junction – Narowal Junction|
|Mari Indus Express||Mari Indus – Lahore Junction|
|Mianwali Express||Mari Indus Junction – Lahore Junction|
|Multan Express||Multan Cantonment – Lahore Junction|
|Mehran Express||Karachi City Station – Mirpur Khas|
|Musa Pak Express||Multan Cantonment – Lahore Junction|
|Meher Express||Multan Cantonment – Rawalpindi|
|Mohenjo-Daro Express||Rohri Junction – Kotri Junction|
|Millat Express||Karachi City Station – Malakwal Junction|
|Mixed Passenger||Multan Cantonment – Lahore Junction|
|Narowal Passenger||Narowal Junction – Lahore Junction|
|Niazi Express||Mari Indus – Lahore Junction|
|Pakistan Business Express||Karachi Cantonment Station – Lahore Junction|
|Pakistan Express||Karachi Cantonment – Rawalpindi|
|Rohi Fast Passenger||Khanpur – Sukkur|
|Rehman Baba Express||Peshawar Cantonment – Karachi Cantonment|
|Rawalpindi Express||Lahore – Rawalpindi|
|Shah Hussain Express||Karachi Cantonment Station – Lahore Junction|
|Samjhauta Express||Lahore – Wagah|
|Shalimar Express||Karachi Cantonment – Lahore Junction|
|Subak Kharam Express||Lahore Junction – Rawalpindi|
|Shah Rukn-e-Alam Express||Multan Cantonment – Karachi Cantonment|
|Subak Raftar Express||Lahore Junction – Islamabad|
|Sukkur Express||Karachi City Station – Jacobabad Junction|
|Sindh Express||Karachi Cantonment – Sukkur|
|Sir Syed Express||Karachi Cantonment – Rawalpindi|
|Shah Latif Bhattai Express||Dhabeji – Mirpur Khas|
|Tezgam Express||Karachi Cantonment – Rawalpindi|
|Thal Express||Multan Cantonment – Rawalpindi|
|Thar Express||Karachi Cantonment Station – Zero Point|
|Waris Shah Fast||Lahore Junction – Shorkot Cantonment Junction|
Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation
One of the key reasons why Pakistan is the hotspot for all the developments being carried out under the banner of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by the Chinese government is its strategic location. Some important dry ports are being developed across the country that will be linked by railway lines in Pakistan. As of now, the railway accounts for around 73 percent of freight transportation in the country and as per the report of 2018-19 fiscal year, the current revenue of the railway industry in Pakistan has gone up to PKR 55 billion, which is good in terms of the country’s overall economic progress.
The freight service of railway transportation in Pakistan is also linked with the two major ports of Pakistan including Port Qasim and Karachi Port. Agricultural, industrial and imported products like petroleum oil and other types of lubricants, electronics, automobiles, clothing items, wheat, coal, fertilizer, rock phosphate, cement and sugar are transported to and fro between the ports and the interior regions of the country.
This was all there is to know about the system of railway transportation in Pakistan. If you have any queries or feedback, feel free to get in touch with us at email@example.com.
On a side note, you may also be interested in reading our blogs discussing the construction and development activities taking place around the country such as famous tunnels in Pakistan, ongoing renewable energy projects and under-construction dams in the country.
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