ISLAMABAD Federal Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmad Bilour Saturday said the decision to close down some passenger trains operating on short routes was aimed at reducing the mounting loss of the department while these locomotives would be used to run goods trains and the passenger trains on long routes. Talking to TheNation, the Federal Minister for Railways said the department was facing a loss of around Rs 2 billion annually on the routes closed by the department. He added that for shorter distance, the people preferred to use other mode of transportation and that was the reason the trains on shorter routes were running in loss. The Pakistan Railways has decided to close six passenger trains including Chaltan Express, Tezro, Shalimar, Sakhi Abbass Express, Karachi-Mirpur Khas Express and Sailkot Express. These trains would seize to function during the current month, as the department was facing a loss of around Rs 2 billion collectively on these routes every year. Ghulam Ahmad Bilour said that on their request the Prime Minister had announced a bailout package for the department but so far they had received only Rs 1 billion as first tranche of the money with which they could not bring marked change in the performance of the Railways. He said that now they were focusing on curtailing their expenses and the closure of routes running in loss was part of this strategy. He said that the locomotives being used on these routes would be used to improve the service on the profitable routes and to run the goods train where the department was making profit. Bilour said that he had requested the Government for provision of Rs 5 billion so that some 10 to 12 locomotives could be repaired and utilised for improving the both the passenger and goods services of the department. He further said that the railway was taken world over as public service and subsidies were given for the collective good of the public. He asked the Government to come forward and pump in money to help Railways in improving its services. The Minister informed that Pakistan Railways was having some 500 locomotives out of which some 300 were out of order and required repair but due to want of funds the department could not be made them functional.