LAHORE: Journey by train has always fascinated artists. Journey by train remains nostalgic for all who have undertaken it. The beautiful sceneries, the life that one witnesses, the experience of trains moving through tunnels in mountains and culture of the railway stations especially during the winter months when it snows is an unforgettable experience.

An exhibition of paintings began today at Zahoorul Ikhklaq Art Gallery, National College of Arts to pay tribute and to highlight the works, role and contribution of Pakistan Railways. The exhibition features 49 artworks of ambiance of train stations and historic railways engines. The exhibition will continue till May 3.

Federal Minster for Planning, Development And Reforms Ahsan Iqbal opened the exhibition titled ‘Green Signal’.  Later he also inaugurated the girls hostel No II on 3 Sanda Road. 

Speaking on the occasion Ahsan said youth was the future of Pakistan and supporting such exhibitions and activities was to promote the awareness about Young Development Corps, (YDC) a project of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms. He said YDC was for youth empowerment and youth mobilization so they could show the positive attributes to the world. “Youth’s role in progress of Pakistan is vital and the government will provide opportunities to students so they could showcase their talent,” he said. 

Ahsan Iqbal also invited youth to participate and become member of YDC. On the occasion four students of NCA took oath of Young Development Corps a project of Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms. 

“Pakistan has made a lot of progress since 2013 when the government came into power and the country has surpassed many challenges such as load shedding has now reduced. Pakistan has increased its foreign exchange reserves and country is moving in the right direction,” the federal minister said.

NCA graduate Shabana Nazir whose two paintings are on display said they explored the unseen avenues of the Pakistan Railway by traveling to different cities of Pakistan. She termed the project a great exercise which educate about the unread chapters of Pakistan Railways history.

The Railways as mode of transport was introduced in Karachi on 1th May, 1861 while the railway line route from Lahore to Multan was opened for commuters on April 24, 1865. Construction of railways bridges on River Ravi, Jhelum and Chenab was completed on 18th October, 1876 and Lahore-Jhelum line thus become operational.

The exhibition was a combined effort of students from NCA, Shaal College Art Academy Quetta and Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, Quetta, to celebrate the contribution of Pakistan Railways for its historical role in uniting and strengthening the nation.

Prof Bashir Ahmad who spearheaded a collaboration project told The Nation that he along with students travelled on trains to capture the scenic beauty and historical architecture of Pakistan Railways. “We travelled from Lahore to Peshawar and made paintings for this project,” he said. He was of the view CPEC corridor project could be utilized in true sense if cargo transports shifted to trains from Karachi to Peshawar.

Principal NCA Dr Murtaza Jaffri had been overseeing the project to represent an effort on the part of NCA to capture the glory and history of Pakistan Railways.   Dr Jafri said students work exhibited at the exhibition showed their efforts in capturing the beautiful and glorious scenes of Pakistan Railways.

A large number of art students attended the opening of the exhibition of paintings and drawing which drew attention of youth to the glorious era of the Pakistan Railways.