ISLAMABAD - The residents of the capital have urged the railway authorities to upgrade the status of only capital Railway Station to meet transportation needs of the capital residents. The residents have also demanded the authorities concerned to start more trains including shuttle service between the twin cities, as the capital has become a hub of business activities and the population has increased manifold. “Islamabad has been tagged as the only capital in the world without a major railway station” said Zareer Hussain, Station Master at Margalla Railway Station.  The schedule for the (Islamabad-Lahore) Margalla Express was facilitating the passengers of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, he said.

To a question, he said that the train from Islamabad leaves for Lahore at 5:20 pm and takes 25 minutes to reach Rawalpindi. After staying there for 15 minutes, train departs for Lahore at 6:00 pm, Zareer informed.  Similarly, he said, the train arrives at Rawalpindi Railway Station from Lahore at 12:00 a.m. and stays there for 10 minutes, then leaves for Islamabad, taking 25 minutes to reach the Margalla Railway Station.

Margalla railway station was established some 30 years ago and at that time there were little number of passengers, so the service was suspended. But now the city has become a hub of activities and it requires a railway service due to ever expanding business activities in the capital, he said.  Divisional Transportation Officer (DTO) Rawalpindi Hamid Farooq told APP that government was making efforts for the revival of the 1979-built Margalla Railway Station adjacent to the capital’s Industrial Area. 

He said that the station has been revived by extending train service from Rawalpindi to Islamabad of the daily Rawalpindi-Lahore train service, the Margalla Express. Much earlier, the capital authorities had announced an ambitious plan to develop a major road and rail communications terminal that would include a new railway station, Farooq added.  Government’s interest in the development of railway facilities in Islamabad also comprises efforts to establish a mass transit railway for commuter-travel within the twin cities, for which a feasibility report is  under preparation, Farooq added.

Pakistan Railways (PR) is also planning to expand Margalla railway track up to the “9th Avenue” (Seven Up Crossing) in order to launch a regular shuttle service between the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad for commuters, he informed.