LAHORE - The Pakistan Railways (PR) has announced to cut its fare of all classes of all trains running from Peshawar to Lahore on its main line. However, the relief in fares has not been announced for trains running on the busiest rout from Lahore to Karachi and Quetta.

According to sources, the reduction in fares has been announced in a season when passengers’ volume is usually very low due to winter. The reduction in fares will be applicable from November 1, 2017. According to PR, Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has directed the department to prepare a package for the relief of passengers.

The minister directed officials of the ministry to reduce fares of trains plying between Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta too. While chairing a meeting in Lahore, he said people have great expectations from the democratic government and the national institutions are striving to come up to their expectations.

He said that besides elimination of loadshedding, rehabilitation of Pakistan Railways is another gift of the government to people. Khawaja said foundation has been laid to transform Pakistan Railways into a modern, innovative and revolutionary organisation. He said the government is taking steps to put railways on modern lines. He said upgradation project of ML-1 has been designed according to the country’s needs.

The minister said that after upgradation of ML-1, freight trains will be run at a speed of 120 kilometre per hour while passenger trains at the speed of 160 kilometre per hour. He said that Pakistan Railways is introducing a system to overcome train accidents. He said Train Approaching Warning System at all level crossings across the country and Train Collision Avoiding System in locomotives are being installed on experimental basis.

Khawaja said that Pakistan Railways' revenue has increased to Rs40 billion in June 2017 from Rs18 billion in 2013. He said Pakistan Railways spent Rs100 million on upgradation of the new track of the train from its own resources. He said that out of four racks of Awam Express, two have been upgraded while upgradation of the remaining two will be completed by end of this month. He said Allama Iqbal Express, Khyber Mail, Akbar Bugti Express and Bahauddin Zakaria Express will also be upgraded soon.

The minister said the Pakistan Railways has recovered some of its land which was illegally captured, adding that construction and renovation of railway stations is also in process.

He further said that when the government took over the charge, Pakistan Railways was paying Rs33 billion under the head of pay and pension. He said that an increase of Rs20 billion has been made in pay and pension of railways employees.