Karachi- Dhabeji train is expected to be launched today by President Arif Alvi.
President Dr Arif Alvi will inaugurate a special train service between Karachi and Dhabeji today to ensure comfortable, fast, safe and affordable movement of workers between the city and the border town of Thatta district.
In Dhabeji, a special economic zone was being developed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor by the Sindh government, Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed announced on Tuesday during a press conference.
The nine bogies Karachi-Dhabeji train would start at 6:15 am from Dhabeji and at 7:00 am from Karachi.
The fare of Karachi-Dhabeji train would range between Rs 25 and Rs 80. However, Pakistan Railways would offer monthly travelling passes to the workers at subsidized rates, which would cost them Rs 22 per day. The service would be free on November 1.
The Ministry of Railways would provide full support to Karachi Circular Railways project for its timely execution and successful operation, the minister assured.
He said a fast-track train between Karachi and Hyderabad would also be launched soon, and later expanded to Sukkur.
The government, he said, planned to run the time-efficient Rehman Baba train between Karachi and Peshawar, and the number of freight trains would be increased to 15 as Pakistan Railways could only be made profitable when its freight service was strengthened and upgraded.
Sheikh Rasheed also said his ministry planned to run a fast-track train between Quetta and Taftan.
In phases, the entire railways tracks would be replaced with much better tracks of international standards.
“We are asking private parties to come up with freight trains. Pay only rent for tracks and signals to the government,” he said.
In last 60 days, the Railways Ministry had come up with seven trains to facilitate the people as up to 70 percent of the population of the country was living at both sides of the railways tracks, he said. A quality railways network was vital for the success of CPEC and the present government was giving due importance to its up gradation and development.
Drawing attention to unmanned railways crossings leading to accidents, he said there were over 1,000 unmanned crossings.
For safety of the people and to save Pakistan Railways’ land from encroachment, fencing would be done on permanent basis across the country, the Railway Minister said.
He further shared that he was going to China with Prime Minister Imran Khan on November 1, where a detailed discussion would be made with Chinese authorities on railways matters including procurement of new engines through open bidding.