ISLAMABAD - The earning of Pakistan Railways has witnessed a significant improvement during the tenure of present government and generated additional revenue of Rs one billion due to concentrated efforts of the department.

During the period from August 2018 to October 2018, Pakistan Railways earned Rs6.7 billion against the earning of Rs5.7 billion during same period of last year, an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

He said Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed was taking his personal interest to put the department on right track besides enhancing capability of Pakistan Railways which resulted in reasonable increase in the department’s revenues. The official said freight trains are backbone of any railway and Pakistan Railways will run two more freight trains by end of December to improve revenue generation.

He said Pakistan Railways has set a target to increase freight trains from 10 to 15 during first year of the present government to overcome the deficit of the department. In this regard, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid had established a task force on freight trains to improve its business.

At present, the official said average 9 to 10 freight trains were being operated from the port on daily basis as compared to one train in the year 2013.

He said Pakistan Railways entered into an agreement with Pakistan Freight Transportation Company (PRFTC) for transportation of 12,000 MTs of coal per day with running of five Coal trains daily for Coal Fired Power Plant, Sahiwal and transportation of 345000 MTs per month of coal to Jamshoroo Power Plant per day with running of five trains per day.

Pakistan Railways entered into an agreement with PSO for transportation of 200,000 million tons of petroleum products per annum from Karachi to up-country destinations, he added.

The official said high capacity and high speed hopper trucks had been inducted in the current fleet for swift movement of coal. He said Freight Deposit Account (FDA) based agreement with 'Ms Maple Leaf Cement Factory' and MoUs with Awan Trading Company, Chishtian Logistics, Bestway Cement, Solution Enterprises, Fatima Group for transportation of Coal and Mughal Logistics for containerized traffic had been signed.

Regarding the passenger sector, he said under public private partnership, Pakistan Railways has outsourced commercial management of three trains including Hazara Express, Fareed Express and Khushal Khan Khattak Express which has enhanced its revenue.

He said commercial management of luggage vans and brake vans with different trains have been outsourced under pubic private partnership. Online e-ticketing has been introduced to facilitate travelling passengers at their door steps.

The official said Pakistan Railways attached extra coaches to fetch more revenue and special trains operated on the eve of ljtima at Raiwind, Eids and other festivals.