RAHIM YAR KHAN-The opening of Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5) and recent train accidents in Pakistan Railways (PR) Sukkur division have deceased the number of rail passengers from Rahim Yar Khan railway station.

The data collected from the PR sources, there were a total of 8,618 passengers who started their journey from Rahim Yar Khan and PR earned net revenue of Rs7.6 million during the month of October.

But in the month of November, this figure reduced as 7892 passengers with earnings of net revenue of Rs 6.8 million.

The PR sources informed that the first reason behind the reduction in the number of passenger is the opening of M-5. “Most of the fast speed trains with less stoppages get 10 hours for Lahore or Karachi from Rahim Yar Khan while other express trains get 12 hours for the same travelling,” they pointed out, adding that but air-conditioned coaches take the passengers to Lahore from Rahim Yar Khan in 5 hours and 30 minutes through Motorway M-5 while people could reach Lahore from Rahim Yar Khan in 5 hours on their own vehicles.

According to them, another reason was the fare difference between the PR trains and air conditioned coaches. The economy class, AC standard, Business class and AC sleeper fare from Rahim Yar Khan to Lahore and Karachi is Rs1000, Rs2,150, 2,750 and 3,600 respectively while AC coaches charge Rs1,000 to Rs1,400 for the same destinations.

The sources said that the third reason for reduction in PR revenue and passengers, is constant train accidents in PR Sukkur division (Sukkur to Khanpur).

In these accidents dozens of passengers lost their lives. On Tuesday November 3,2019 Up Shalimar Express escaped from a dangerous accident due to low speed when it departed from Rahim Yar Khan and passed through a broken piece of track at Pillar No.65/15 near Dawood under pass in the city area.

On the other hand, a PR officer claimed that the strength of passengers has been increasing in the trains because maximum trains pass through Rahim Yar Khan during 6pm to 2am and passengers, especially businessmen prefer to travel in train because they get birth and enjoy sleep whole the night and save the expense of hotel.

He said that in coming months the revenue of PR from Rahim Yar Khan railway station will increase because the trains were getting accuracy in their time table.

This was the reason that maximum people converted to this mode of transportation. He further said that after the completion of ML-1, the trains will run with the speed of 180 kms per hour which will take 3 and half hours for Karachi and Lahore from Rahim Yar Khan.