Pakistan Railway Train Names

Trains of Pakistan Railway - An Introduction

Last Updated: Oct. 29, 2004

1. Allama Iqbal Express (9 Up/10 Dn)

Named after the national poet of Pakistan, Mohammad Iqbal. The word 'Allama' means 'scholar'. The train is so named because it has a Karachi-Sialkot route and Sialkot is the birth place of Allama Iqbal.

Interestingly, for atleast 40 years, Allama Iqbal Express was called 'Shaheen Express' (mid-1950s to mid-1990s). The word 'Shaheen' means 'Falcon' in Urdu and Allama Iqbal in his poetry always referred to falcon as a creature with high moral character (as it never eats a dead animal, lives high on the mountains, etc.). The Shaheen Express also had a Karachi-Sialkot route via Faisalabad.

The Allama Iqbal express currently runs on the Karachi-Lahore-Sialkot route. Current accommodation available on this train includes First Class Sleeper and Economy.

2. Awam Express (13 Up/14 Dn)

'Awam' means 'people' in Urdu, so this is the People's Express. It always had a Karachi-Peshawar route, and now shares the honour of having the longest running route (1721km) in Pakistan along with the historic Khyber Mail. PR's first three-tier second class sleepers were introduced on the Awam Express. Many politicians have used the Awam Express (fewer than have used the Khyber Mail, though) to run their country-wide political campaigns. Accomodation available on this train is AC Lower and Economy.

3. Badar Express (109 Up/110 Dn)

4. Ghauri Express (107 Up/108 Dn)

'Badar' means 'Moon' in Urdu. It runs Lahore - Faisalabad - Shorkot Cantt. Jn. (249km) in the Up Direction and Faisalabad - Lahore (142km) in the Down Direction.

'Ghauri' Express is named after the first Muslim Ruler of India, Mohammad Ghauri, and has the same route as the 'Badar Express'.

Accomodation on both trains is AC Parlour, and First Class Sitter. Both of these trains are unusual as each has different Up and Down routes (which are, however complementary). The two trains share rakes.

This 'rake sharing' works as follows:

  • 4:10 hrs: 108 Dn Ghauri Express starts its journey from Shorkot Cant Jn. It passes through Faisalabad and continues towards Lahore.
  • 7:50 hrs: 108 Dn Ghauri Express reaches Lahore.
  • 9:15 hrs: 107 Up Ghauri Express starts its journey towards Faisalabd.
  • 11:00 hrs: 107 Up Ghauri Express reaches Faisalabad and terminates there, even though it had originated from Shorkot Cant Jn in the morning.
  • 15:15 hrs: The rake of Ghauri Express now becomes the Badar Express and it starts its journey towards Lahore as 110 Down.
  • 17:00 hrs: 110 Down Badar Express reaches Lahore.
  • 18:00 hrs: 109 Up Badar Express starts its journey towards Faisalabd. It does not terminate at Faisalabad eventhough it had originated there, but continues towards Shorkot Cant Jn.
  • 21:40 hrs: 109 Up reaches Shorkot Cant Jn. The rake rests here overnight and the next morning the whole cycle starts again.

5. Bahauddin Zakaria Express (25 Up/26 Dn)

This train has the 92km long Karachi City - Multan Cantt route.

Multan is one of the oldest living cities in Pakistan and a home to the shrines of many saints and learned people. Bahauddin Zakaria (1182-1266) was one such saint who lived in Multan. Since this train has Multan as one of its termini, it is named after him. The accomodation on this train include AC Sleeper, First Class Sleeper and Economy.

6. Badin Express (307 Up/308 Dn)

Badin is the largest city south-east of Karachi with a population of ~70,000. Badin Express takes the Kotri Jn - Hyderabad Jn - Badin route and is the only train that currently goes to Badin.

The Hyderabad - Badin track on which Badin Express plies was opened on Aug 15, 1904. The line was later dismantled during World War I as the rails were needed elsewhere. In 1922 the track was rebuilt to its present alignment. An extension of this line across or around the Rann of Kutch, to meet the Bombay Baroda and Central India Railway and to afford through communication without break of gauge from Sindh (Pakistan) to Bombay (India) was considered but never materialised.

Badin Express is currently an all Economy class train.

7. Bahawalpur Express (143 Up/144 Dn)

Named after Pakistan's 13th largest city, Bahawalpur, this train has a 487km run from Samasata Jn to Sialkot Jn. The train originates from Samasata Jn instead of Bahawalpur, probably because of better train handling facilities at Samasata Jn.

The train route is Samasata Jn - Bahawalpur - Khanewal Jn (via Chord) - Faisalabad - Wazirabad Jn - Sialkot Jn.

Accomodation on this train includes 1st class Sitter and Economy.

8. Baluchistan Express (31 Up/32 Dn)

This train is currently the fastest rail link between Karachi and Quetta. It takes the Karachi - Sukkur - Quetta (850km) route and it currently takes 16 hours and 5 minutes to cover this distance.

The Karachi - Quetta distance via Sukkur is 14km shorter than via Larkana. Bolan Mail takes the latter route.

Baluchistan is the name of Pakistan's largest province by area. Accomodation available on Baluchistan Express includes AC Sleeper, AC Lower annd Economy.

9. Bolan Mail (3 Up/4 Dn)

Named after the famous 'Bolan Pass' in Baluchistan province, this train is one of the most historic trains on the PR network. It connects Karachi with Quetta via Larkana (857Km).

Currently it is not the fastest linking between Karachi and Quetta as it takes more than 20 hours to cover this distance. The reason for its low speed is the bad track quality between Kotri Jn and Habib Kot Jn via Dadu/Larkana Jn.

Bolan Pass itself is 60 miles (100km) long and has a maximum altitude of 5,880 ft (1,792 m). The pass is strategically located and many traders, invaders, and nomadic tribes coming from western and central Asia used it as a gateway to India.

Accomodation available on Bolan Mail includes AC Sleeper, First Class Sleeper and Economy.

10. Chenab Express (11 Up/12 Dn)

The Chenab Express is named after River Chenab. Chenab is one of the five famous rivers of the Punjab (literally, '5 waters') province. The Chenab is also associated with the folk stories of Sohni-Mahinwal and Heer-Ranjha.

The Chenab Express, when inaugurated, had the route of Karachi - Faisalabad - Sargodha - Attock City - Peshawar. Later the route changed to Karachi - Faisalabad - Lala Musa - Rawalpindi - Peshawar, and these days it runs Karachi - Faisalabad - Rawalpindi.

This train is known for other 'experiments' carried out on its route. To reduce the burden on Karachi City and Karachi Cant stations and to utilize the fast decaying 'Karachi Circular Railway' track, Chenab express once orginated from a Karachi suburban station, Manghopir. The empty rake of the train was brought to Manghopir from Karachi City daily as there is no washing line or maintenance facility at Manghopir, and then the rake was sent up-country via the KCR route.

11. Chiltan Express (21 Up/22 Dn)

'Chiltan' is the name of one of the three large craggy mountains that surround Quetta valley, the other two being 'Zarghun' and 'Koh-I-Murdar'. Since Chiltan Express has Quetta as one of its termini, it is named after one of the region's prominent geological landmarks.

This train used to have a Quetta-Lahore route via Dera Ghazi Khan and Kot Adu Jn. This route opened in 1973, hence the Chiltan Express likely started operations on or after that year.

Over the years the route of the Chiltan Express has been varied many times by running it between Quetta and Peshawar via Faisalabad, between Quetta and Rawalpindi via Lahore, and these days between Quetta and Lahore via Faisalabad.

12. Dachi Express (221 Up/222 Dn)

The word 'Dachi' in Punjabi language means 'camel'. Why this train is called a Camel Express is not clear to me. It used to be one of the premier trains and one of the fastest between Lahore and Faisalabad covering 142km in three hours. Since the late 1990s the Lahore-Faisalabad distance is now being covered in about 1 hour 50 minutes by quite a few non-stop trains and the Dachi Express has lost its importance. It is now a slow passenger with 19 stops on its Lahore-Faisalabad route and 14 stops on its Faisalabad-Lahore route. On the Lahore-Faisalabad Up route it is classified as an Express and on the Faisalabad-Lahore Down route it is classified as a Passenger. This train has been mentioned in the famous Urdu writer Ibn-e-Insha's book 'Urdu ki aakhri kitab' ('The last book of Urdu') where while describing a camel Ibn-e-Insha says that the camel was also called a 'Dachi' but that these days railway men have put wheels under it and made it an express. That book was first published in 1971 which means the Dachi Express has been running at least since 1971. I don't know its exact date of inauguration.

13. Faisal Express (111 Up/112 Dn)

Faisal Express is one of nine daily trains that run between Lahore and Faisalabad. It is also one of the fastest trains on this route, covering the 142km distance in 105 minutes in the Up direction and 110 minutes in the Down direction. Inaugurated in 2001, it is also a relatively new train on this route.

14. Faisalabad Express (35 Up/36 Dn)

Faisalabad Express is currently the fastest train running between Karachi and Faisalabad. It covers the 1095km distance between Karachi and Faisalabad in 15 hours 35 minutes in the Up direction and 15 hours 45 minutes in the Down sirection. It started in the late 1990s as a non-stop train between Karachi and Faisalabad with only operational stops at Rohri Jn and Khanewal Jn, but now it has five and seven stops in between on the Up and Down journeys respectively. The accommodation available on this train includes AC lower and Economy.

15. Fareed Express (37 Up/38 Dn)

Baba Freed Shakar Ganj (1173-1266 AD) was a saint who lived and preached in the area east of Multan-Lahore axis. After his demise Baba Fareed was buried in the town of Pakpattan. Since Fareed Express has a parallel route east of Multan-Lahore main line and since it also serves Pakpattan city, the train has been named 'Fareed Express¬'.

Fareed Express started its operation in 1996. It has a 1248km long route between Karachi City and Lahore via Pakpattan. From Karachi to Lodhran Jn it runs on mainline, then diverts east on a branch line towards Vihari. It passes through towns of Mailsi, Arif wala, Pakpattan, Kasur Jn and joins the mainline again at Raiwind Jn to continue its journey towards Lahore. Fareed Express is presently one of the slowest trains on the PR network covering 1248km in 23 hours and 30 minutes in the Up direction and 23 hours and 15 minutes in the Down direction. It currently has 33 stops between Karachi and Lahore. The accommodation available on Fareed Express includes First Class Sitter, Economy and 2nd Class.

16. FAST (325 Up/326 Down)

The name 'FAST¬' is probably a misnomer on this not-so-fast train. It has a 142km Lahore-Faisalabad route with 17 stops in between and covers this distance in 3 hours and 15 minutes in Up direction and 3 hours and 50 minutes in Down direction. For comparison, the Fastest train on this route presently covers this distance in 1 hour 45 minutes.

17. Islamabad Non Stop (147 Up)

Currently the fastest train on Lahore-Rawalpindi route. It covers 289km in 3 hours and 30 minutes. It started its operation on Aug 1, 2004 covering Lahore-Rawalpindi distance in 3 hours and 45 minutes and from Sept 8, 2004, fifteen more minutes have been reduced from its travel time. Its rake consists of Chinese coaches.

18. Lahore Non-Stop (148 Dn)

The same rake that travels in the morning as 147 Up Islamabad Non Stop comes back to Lahore in the evening as 148 Down Lahore Non Stop. Travel time remains same at 3 hours and 30 minutes in either direction.

19. Jaffar Express (39 Up/40 Down)

Jaffar Express is named after Mr. Jaffar Khan Jamali who was one of the prominent Baloch leaders of the Pakistan movement. He was among the first few Baloch leaders who whole-heartedly supported Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah in the Pakistan movement. Mr. Jaffar Khan Jamali was also the uncle of ex-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Zafarullah Khan Jamali.

Jaffar Express started its operation on May 13, 2004 (when Mr. Zafarullah Khan Jamali was the Prime Minister of Pakistan) and it was the second train on PR network with its full rake consisting of Chinese coaches. Here is a photo of its inaugural DOWN run from Rawalpindi station.

Currently Jaffar Express has a 1494km route between Quetta and Rawalpindi via Sukkur and Lahore. It covers this distance in 27 hours 20 minutes in the Up direction and in an even 27 hours in the Down direction. It has 18 stops between Quetta and Rawalpindi.

The rake of Jaffar Express consists of three lower AC coaches and four economy class coaches with head end generation. Each lower AC coach has a capacity of 54 berths and nine seats and each economy class coach has a capacity of 51 births and nine seats.

20. Karachi Express (15 Up/16 Down)

Karachi Express is one of the oldest and most prestigious trains on PR network. As is obvious, it is named after Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan and also the former capital city. Karachi Express started its operation in the late 1940s with a Karachi City to Peshawar Cantt route. The route was later shortened to Karachi-Lahore. Over the years it lost its earlier prestige and became a regular express train with more than 20 stops at one point in time between Karachi and Lahore. In 2000 the train regained some of its lost glory, as it was upgraded to a 16-hour non-stop service between Karachi and Lahore (with one technical stop at Khanpur Jn). In the year 2001-02 Hyderabad Jn, Rohri Jn and Khanewal Jn were added to its stops. Currently it has one more stop added to its route at Sahiwal. It now covers Karachi Cant to Lahore 1214km distance in 16 hours 30 minutes in the Up direction and in 16 hours 45 minutes in the Down direction.

21. Karakoram Express (41 Up/42 Down)

Named after the lofty peaks of Karakoram Mountains, it was the first train to run on PR network that consisted completely of Chinese-made coaches. Since Karakoram Mountains form the common border between Pakistan and China, the train is accordingly named to highlight the Pak-China friendship.

It is currently the fastest train running between Karachi and Lahore and covers the 1214km distance in 16 hours in either direction.

Here is a photo of the Karakoram Express seen in Lahore suburbs.

22. Khushhal Khan Khattak Express (19Up/20 Down)

This train is named after arguably the most famous poet and a famous chieftain of North West Frontier Province (NWFP), Khushhal Khan Khattak. Khushhal Khan was born near Peshawar in 1613. By appointment of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jehan, he became the chieftain of the Khattak tribe in 1641, but Aurangzeb, Shah Jehan's successor, because of some misgivings removed Khushhal Khan from his hereditary position, and kept him a prisoner in the Gwalior fortress in Delhi. After Khushhal was permitted to return to Peshawar he incited the Pashtuns to rebel against the Mughals. His grave carries the inscription: 'I have taken up the sword to defend the pride of the Pashtun, I am Khushhal Khattak, the honorable man of the age.' Khushhal Khan Khattak was a learned man, having scores of books or manuscripts to his credit. There was hardly any discipline that he did not delved into. Religion, philosophy, mysticism, lexicography, medicine, hunting and falconry, war and aesthetics -- all came under his scrutiny. The Khattak tribe of Khushhal Khan now lives in the areas of Kohat, Peshawar, and Mardan.

Since 19Up/20 Dn Khushhal Khan Khattak Express has a Karachi to Peshawar route, it is named after this great poet of the NWFP.

At 19 letters, this train also has the longest name among all the trains running on PR Network.

The accommodation available on this train includes First, Economy and Second Classes.

Khushhal Khan Khattak Express takes a route between Karachi City and Peshawar Cant which mostly runs on the West Bank of River Indus. It travels on mainline between Karachi to Kotri Jn and then takes a branch line via Larkana Jn to Habibkot Jn. From Habibkot Jn it follows mainline to Jacobabad Jn. From Jac¡¥obabad Jn it takes another branch line route via Kashmore, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Kot Adu Jn, Kundian Jn, Mianwali, Jand Jn, Basal Jn to Attock City Jn. From Attock City Jn to Peshawar Cant it follows the mainline again.

As of summer 2004, Khushhal Khan Khattak Express has 1512km run between Karachi City and Peshawar Cant which it covers in 36 hours 40 minutes in the Up direction and 36 hours 45 minutes in the Down direction. It also has 59 stops between its termini. This makes it the slowest running express between Karachi and Peshawar.

23. Khyber Mail (1 Up/2 Down)

Khyber Mail is Pakistans oldest and the most prestigious train. It is named after the famous Khyber Pass which is located in the 'North West Frontier Province' (NWFP) of Pakistan. Khyber Pass has historically connected Central Asia with the Indian Subcontinent. Today it connects Afghanistan with Pakistan. Khyber Mail's name has a 'mail' suffix because historically this train used to distribute local postal mail along its route. From my childhood I remembera red-colored postal mail full of mail sacks attached to the Khyber Mail. I believe that postal mail is not attached to Khyber Mail any more but the train still keeps its name as a mail train.

Khyber Mail is also the train that has been most written about in railway literature about Pakistan. Paul Theroux for one has traveled and written about Khyber Mail in most of his rail travel books.

Before Independence, Khyber Mail had an ancestor, the 'Frontier Mail' which ran on Bombay Central (India) -- Peshawar route. After 1947, on the Indian side, 'Frontier Mail' continued its operation on a curtailed Bombay Central -- Amritsar route while on the Pakistan side it was renamed as 'Khyber Mail' with a Karachi to Peshawar route. The mini-research that I have done on Khyber Mail tells me that its predecessor Frontier Mail was running as far back as 1928. My information comes from IRFCA's web page where a photo, courtesy of Mr. S. Shankar's web page, shows Frontier Mail en route to Peshawar on Darrah viaduct near Delhi.

An even earlier account of a predecessor of both Frontier Mail and Khyber Mail comes from Mr. Hal Waters' and Mr. S. Shankar's web page on NWR. >The photo # 8 here is from 1909 and calls for a 'Peshawar Mail' sighting near river Jhelum. I have not been able to confirm whether this 'Peshawar Mail' was the same as 'Frontier Mail' or a different train.

At present Khyber Mail has the longest running route in Pakistan, which is 1721km. It currently shares this honor with 13Up/14Dn Awam (People) Express. Khyber Mail is however, the fastest train link between Karachi and Peshawar.

As of summer 2004, Khyber Mail covers 1721km distance between Karachi Cant and Peshawar Cant in 31 hours 55 minutes in the Up direction, and 32 hours 5 minutes in the Down direction. It stops at 45 stations between Karachi Cant and Peshawar Cant.

I have a PR time table of 1959. Interestingly, forty-five years ago Khyber Mail had only 24 stops between Karachi City and Peshawar Cant. And amazingly enough it covered this distance with steam locomotives in 32 hours 25 minutes which is only 20 minutes slower than that of 2004. Should we conclude that not much has changed speed wise for Khyber Mail in half-a-century? A clue to this stagnancy in rail modernization comes from Paul Theroux book 'The Imperial Way -- by Rail from Peshawar to Chittagong' where while traveling by Khyber Mail he writes (pp 9-10):

I had returned (to Pakistan) to take this long trip (Peshawar-Lahore via Khyber Mail) to see what had changed. I had noticed very few changes¬°K. The railway is one of the most traditional of institutions and, for better or worse, it runs in Pakistan pretty much the same way as it always ran. The odd thing is that throughout the Sub-continent the railway seems so profoundly part of the culture that it hardly seems related to the industrial age but instead seems as ancient as India itself. The roads and airports come and go, but nothing seems as indestructible as the railway.

The accommodation on Khyber Mail has historically been the best. I do remember that up until the early 1980s Khyber Mail had a 'buffet' Dining Car attached to it. Dining Car is still attached to the train but it is not the buffet style anymore and food is now served at the passenger seats. From his 1975 trip to Pakistan and while traveling by First Class Sleeper of Khyber Mail, Paul Theroux has written in his book 'The Great Railway Bazaar' (pp 81):

It had not taken long to find my compartment (on Khyber Mail). My name was on the door, printed large on a label! I had every thing I needed. The compartment was large, well-lighted, and comfortable, with a toilet and sink in an adjoining room; I had a drop-leaf table, well up-holstered seat, mirror, ashtray, chrome gin-bottle holder, the works.

The current accommodation available on Khyber Mail includes AC Sleeper, First and Economy Class.

24. Lala Musa Express (137 Up/138 Down)

This train is named after the city of Lala Musa which is an important junction on PR's main line. Lala Musa Express has a 147km long route between Lala Musa Jn -- Sargodha Jn. As of summer 2004, it covered this distance in 3 hours 40 minutes in the Up direction and in 3 hours and 30 minutes in the Down direction. It stops at 17 stations between Lala Musa and Sargodha. The only accommodation available on this train is Economy Class. The rake of Lala Musa Express is shared by Malakwal Express too, which is introduced below.

25. Malakwal Express (135 Up/136 Down)

Malakwal Express is named after the city of Malakwal which was once a very important junction and steam loco bastion in Western Punjab. Malakwal Express has exactly the same route as of Lala Musa Express which was introduced above. Since Malakwal Express shares its rake with Lala Musa Express so it also only one accommodation available i.e. Economy Class. It covers its 147km long route in 3 hours 40 minutes in up direction and 3 hours 45 minutes in down direction. It has 18 stops in up direction and 16 stops in down direction between its termini at Lala Musa Jn and Sargodha Jn.

The single rake sharing between Malakwal Express and Lala Musa Express takes place according to the following time table:

135 UpMalakwal ExpressSargodha Jn dep0500
135 UpMalakwal ExpressLala Musa Jn arr0840
138 DnLala Musa ExpressLala Musa Jn dep1035
138 DnLala Musa ExpressSargodha Jn arr1405
137 UpLala Musa ExpressSargodha Jn dep1515
137 UpLala Musa ExpressLala Musa Jn,arr1855
136 DnMalakwal ExpressLala Musa Jn dep1945
136 DnMalakwal ExpressSargodha Jn arr2330

The rake is washed and rested at Sargodha Jn overnight.

26. Lasani Express (125 Up/126 Down)

The word 'Lasani' in Urdu language means 'one of its kind'. This 'one of its kind' express runs between Lahore Jn and Sialkot Jn via Narowal Jn. It has a 148km route, which it covers in 3 hours 45 minutes in both directions. It has 13 stops between Lahore and Sialkot and the only accommodation available on this train is Economy Class. This train provides a convenient day trip to Lahore to the business community of Sialkot. It has an early morning run from Sialkot to Lahore and a late afternoon run back to Sialkot.

27. Mari Indus Express (329 Up /330 Down)

Mari Indus Express is named after the town of Mari Indus. It is also one of the oldest branch line trains on PR Network. It has been running on Lahore -- Mari Indus route since the 1950s. At that time it was called Mari Indus Passenger and was later upgraded to an express. It has a 429km route in either direction with a peculiar detour. After reaching Chak Jhumra Jn on its up journey, it instead of turning towards Mari Indus, takes a 19km detour to Faisalabad. It has a 30-minute stop in Faisalabad before it comes back to Chak Jhumra Jn and then continues towards Mari Indus. The same sequence is repeated on it¬'s down journey too.

As of the summer 2004 time table, Mari Indus express covers Lahore to Mari Indus distance in 12 hours 35 minutes in up direction and 12 hours and 30 minutes in down direction. This time also includes its 38-km and 75-minute detour to Faisalabad.

It has 34 stops between Lahore and Mari Indus, which also includes stopping twice at Chak Jhumra Jn in its either way journey.

Accommodation available on Mari Indus express includes Economy and 2nd Class.

28. Mehr Expess (127 Up/128 Down)

Mehr Express is named after the 'Mehr¬' clan of Pakistan¬'s Seraiki belt. Since this train has most of its route spread across Seraiki area of Pakistan, it is named after the Seraiki speaking Mehr tribe.

Mehr Express has a 572km long route between Multan and Rawalpindi via Kot Adu Jn, Kundian Jn and Golra Sharif Jn.

As of summer 2004, Mehr express covers this distance in 14 hours 55 minutes in the Up direction and 14 hours 20 minutes in the Down direction. It stops at 35 stations between Multan and Rawalpindi.

29. Musa Pak Express (115 Up/116 Down)

Musa Pak Express is named after a famous saint called Sheikh Abul Hassab Musa Pak who is now buried in Multan City. Musa Pak express has a 335km route between Multan Cant and Lahore. One peculiar aspect of this train is the difference in number of stops it has in up and down direction. In up direction, it covers 335km in 280 minutes with only 3 stops in between the termini. In down direction it covers the same distance in 345 minutes with 13 stops.

30. Narowal Express (209 Up/210 Down)

As the name implies, Narowal Express is named after the city of Narowal. It has an 86km route between Lahore Jn and Narowal Jn. Just like Musa Pak Express, Narowal Express also has a huge difference in its up and down travel times and number of stops.

In the Up direction it covers its 86km route in 100 minutes with 4 stops. In the Down direction it covers the same distance in 130 minutes with 11 stops between its termini.

31. Night Coach (105 Up/106 Dn)

Night coach is named such because of its late night timings in either direction. It is currently the second fastest train running between Lahore and Rawalpindi. It covers its 289km route in 260 minutes with 2 stops in up direction and in the same time with 1 stop in down direction. In comparison, the fastest trains on this route (Islamabad and Lahore Nonstops) cover the same distance in 210 minutes.

32. Pakpattan Express (117 Up/118 Down)

This train is named after a city in Punjab province called Pakpattan and has Samasata to Lahore route via Pakpattan. Its route length is 438km, which it covers in 11 hours 50 minutes in the Up direction and 12 hours and 20 minutes in the Down direction. It has 40 stops between its termini, which include Bahwalpur, Lodhran Jn, Mailsi, Vihari, Pakpattan, Kasur Jn, Raiwind Jn etc.

Accommodations available on Pakpattan Express are first class, economy and second class.

33. Qalandar Express (165 Up/166 Down)

Qalandar Express is named after a famous saint of Sindh named Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (1177-1274 A.D). Shahbaz Qalandar's tomb, built in 1356, is located in the town of Sehwan Sharif. The saint was called 'Lal' because of his red attire, Shahbaz means falcon, and denotes his free spirit and Qalandar is for the Sufi sect called Qalandria that he belonged to. The word 'Qalandar¬' itself means a person who knows one¬'s inner being or has knowledge of one¬'s inner spirit.

Qalandar Express has Sehwan Sharif as one of its stops, and it is thus named after the saint of Sehwan. It has a 284km route between Kotri Jn and Larkana Jn with 25 stops in between. As of summer 2004, Qalandar Express covered this distance in 7 hours 10 minutes in the Up direction and in 8 hours and 15 minutes in the Down direction.

Some of the main towns that fall on Qalandar Express¬' route include Sann, Sehwan Sharif, Bhan Sayadabad, Dadu and Moen-jo-daro (famous for the largest excavated ruins of the 5000-year-old Indus Valley civilization).

34. Quetta Express (23 Up/24 Down)

Quetta Express is named after the city of Quetta, which is also the provincial capital of Baluchistan. Quetta Express is the only train on PR network, which runs through all the four provinces of Pakistan. It has a 1631km route with 40 stops between its termini of Quetta and Peshawar. It covers its route in 34 hours in the Up direction and in 32 hours 20 minutes in the Down direction.

Accommodations available on Quetta Express are AC Sleeper, First and Economy.

35. Rachna Express (113 Up/114 Down)

In ancient times, the land that lies between two Punjab rivers, viz., River Ravi and River Chenab was called Rachna Doab. The word doab literally means 'two waters¬'. Since this train has a route between river Ravi and river Chenab in Rachna Doab area, it is named the Rachna Express.

Rachna Express is one of six trains that currently have a Lahore-Faisalabad route. The route length is 142km and it covers this distance in 175 minutes in the Up direction and in 170 minutes in the Down direction. It has 10 stops between Lahore and Faisalabad.

36. Ravi Express (121 Up/122 Down)

Ravi Express is named after river Ravi, which is one of the five rivers of Punjab. This train has a Lahore to Shorkot route, which runs almost parallel to the west bank of river Ravi.

The route length is 261km and Ravi Express covers this distance in 6 hours in the Up direction and in 6 hours 5 minutes in the Down direction. The train has 14 stops on its route.

Some of the important towns on Ravi Express¬' route are Sheikhupura (named after Emperor Akbar¬'s son Sheikho), Warburton, Nankana Sahab (a holy city for the Sikh religion), Jaranwala, Tandlianwala, and Kamalia.

Accommodations available on Ravi Express are Economy and Second.

37. Rohi Express (131 Up/132 Down)

The word 'Rohi¬' means 'desert¬' in Seraiki language. The Seraiki belt of Pakistan is famous for two deserts, viz., 'Thal' and 'Cholistan' deserts. Because of extensive irrigation schemes over the years, the Thal desert is now mostly an agriculture land. The Cholistan desert however, still extends from east of Bahawalpur to the Indian border.

Since Rohi express has 'Khanpur Jn¬', as one of its terminus and since Khanpur lies in the heart of Seraiki speaking area, therefore the train is named as 'Rohi¬' or 'Desert¬' express.

Rohi Express has Khanpur to Rawalpindi route via Shorkot, Jhang, Sargodha and Lala Musa.

The length of Rohi Express¬' route is 774km. It covers this distance in 17 hours 50 minutes with 38 stops between its termini.

38. Rohri Express (167 Up/168 Down)

Rohri express is named after the city of Rohri. It has a 218km route between Sukkur and Khanpur via Rohri Jn. It covers this distance in 4 hours in the Up direction and 4 hours 5 minutes in the Down direction. It has 10 stops between its termini.

39. Sandal Express (139 Up/140 Down)

Sandal Express is named after the 'Sandal¬' clan, which has most of its people living in the Seraiki speaking area in and around Multan. Since this train has Multan to Sargodha route, it is named after the local Sandal clan of Multan. Sandal Express runs on its route via Khanewal, Shorkot and Jhang. The route length is 279km, which it covers in 6 hours 35 minutes in the Up direction and in 6 hours 25 minutes in the Down direction. It has 21 stops between its termini.

40. Sargodha Express (123 Up/124 Down)

Sargodha Express is named after the city of Sargodha. It runs from Lahore to Sargodha. The route length is 215km, which it covers in 4 hours 15 minutes in the Up direction and in 4 hours 10 minutes in the Down direction. It has 15 stops between its termini.

41. Shah Latif Express (151 Up/152 Down)

Shah Latif Express is named after Shah Abdul Latif Bhitai who is considered as the greatest poet of Sindhi language. Shah Abdul Latif lived in Sindh during the seventeenth century. Shah's poetry is unique as it expresses the harmony between what he saw outside with his naked eyes and what he observed within by his inner eyes.

Shah Latif Express runs between Karachi city and Mirpur Khas. It has a 246km long route, which it covers in 4 hours 55 minutes in the Up direction and in 4 hours 40 minutes in the Down direction. It has 11 stops between Karachi City and Mirpur Khas.

Accommodation available on Shah Latif Express is Economy and Second class.

42. Shah Rukne Alam Express (29 Up/30 Down)

Shah Rukn-e-Alam express is named after a saint who lived in Multan. Saint¬'s real name was Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fateh, but he was commonly knows as Rukn-e-Alam. The word Rukn-e-Alam means 'Pillar of the World¬'. His shrine in Multan is one of the landmarks of Multan City and has won quite a few architectural awards too.

Shah Rukn-e-Alam Express is a day train between Karachi and Multan. The train has a 921km long route, which it covers in 14 hours 45 minutes in the Up direction and in 14 hours 55 minutes in the Down direction. It has 18 stops between Karachi Cantt and Multan Cantt.

The accommodation available on Shah Rukn-e-Alam Express is AC Parlor, AC Lower and Economy Class.

43. Shahbaz Passenger (309 Up/310 Down)

Shahbaz Passenger is named after a famous saint of Sindh named 'Lal Shahbaz Qalandar¬' (1177-1274 A.D). Shahbaz Qalandar's tomb, built in 1356, is located in the town of Sehwan Sharif. The saint was called 'Lal' because of his red attire, the word Shahbaz means falcon, which is a bird native to Sindh and denotes his free spirit and Qalandar is for the Sufi sect called Qalandria that he belonged to. There is another train called 'Qalandar Express¬' named after Lal Shahbaz Qalandar.

Shahbaz Passenger has a 380km route between Kotri Jn and Rohri Jn via Sehwan Sharif (resting place of Lal Shabaz Qalandar), Dadu, Larkana Jn and Sukkur. As of summer 2004, Shahbaz Passenger covered its route in 12 hours 30 minutes with 39 stops between its termini.

Accommodation available on Shahbaz Passenger includes Economy and Second class.

44. Shalimar Express (27 Up/28 Down)

Shalimar Express is named after the famous Shalimar gardens located in Baghbanpura, Lahore. Shalimar gardens were laid out during the time of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1642 for the pleasure of Royal household. Shalimar gardens conform to the classic Mughal conception of a perfect garden and consist of three terraces of straight, shaded walk sets around a perfectly symmetrical arrangement of ponds, waterfalls, marble pavilions, all surrounded by flower beds and fruit trees and enclosed within a wall and more than 400 fountains.

Shalimar Express was inaugurated in 1979 as the fastest train on PR network. At the time of its inauguration, it covered Karachi-Lahore distance in 16 hours. It started as a day-train with 6 a.m. departure and 10 p.m. arrival in either direction. Two locos used to pull it and it was an all AC-parlor train. It had only two technical stops of 20 minutes duration at Rohri Jn and Khanewal Jn all during its 1210km route. Later on economy class was added to it and its stoppages got increased. At one point its timings got changed to an overnight train and Multan was added to its stops. Earlier it used to bypass Multan. These days it is back as a day train between Karachi and Lahore and runs via chord bypassing Multan again.

It is not the fastest train on Karachi-Lahore route anymore. Its current route length is 1210km, which it covers in 17 hours 15 minutes with 10 stops between its termini.

45. Subuk Khram Express (103 Up/104 Down)

The word 'subuk khram¬' means 'a person (or a train in our case) with a fast and delicate style of walking¬'. Subuk Khram express was traditionally a rail car. As the rail car units grew older and number of coaches in the train started increasing, Subuk khram was converted to an express with a separate diesel loco pulling the rake.

Subuk Khram Express has a 289km route between Lahore and Rawalpindi and as of summer 2004, it covers this distance in 4 hours 30 minutes with 5 stops between its termini.

Accommodation available on Subuk Khram express includes AC Parlor and Economy.

46. Subuk Raftar Express (101 Up/102 Down)

The word 'subuk raftar¬' means 'a person (or a train in our case) which runs with a fast and speed¬'. Just like Subuk khram Express, which was introduced above, Subuk Raftar express was also a rail car. Both of these rail cars were introduced on Lahore-Rawalpindi route as a morning and an evening service. As the rail car units grew older and the number of coaches in the train started increasing, Subuk Raftar was converted to an express with a separate diesel loco pulling the rake.

Subuk Khram Express has a 289km route between Lahore and Rawalpindi and as of summer 2004, it covers this distance in 4 hours 30 minutes with 6 stops between its termini in the Up direction and in 4 hours 35 minutes with 5 stops in the Down direction.

Accommodation available on Subuk Khram express includes AC Parlor, AC lower and Economy.

47. Sukkur Express (145 Up/146 Down)

Sukkur Express is named after the city of Sukkur. When first started, it used to have an overnight run between Karachi and Sukkur. It still has an overnight run, but extended to Jacobabad Jn.

Its current route length is 555km, which it covers in 11 hours 5 minutes in the Up direction and in 11 hours 10 minutes in the Down direction. It has 18 stops between Karachi Cant and Jacobabad Jn including a 30 minutes stop at Sukkur.

Accommodation available on Sukkur Express includes AC Sleeper, First Class and Economy.

48. Super Express (33 Up/34 Down)

This train was inaugurated as the fastest train link between Karachi and Lahore in the 70s. Hence the name 'Super¬' express. However, in 1979 the title of fastest train was taken over by Shalimar Express and super express became just another train.

Super Express has a unique history of rake splitting too. After its inauguration as a Karachi-Lahore train, public demand soon grew for a fast train link between Karachi and Faisalabad also. Extra coaches were added to Super Express and on its up journey, the rake used to split at Khanewal Jn with some coaches continuing on to Lahore while the rest went to Sargodha Jn via Faisalabad. On its down journey both rakes used to meet at Khanewal Jn and coupled together for journey towards Karachi. This arrangement of rake splitting worked fine for up journey but not so efficiently for the down journey. On down journey the rake from Sargodha Jn had to travel 277km and the rake from Lahore had to travel 286km before they colud be coupled together at Khanewal Jn. Both of these routes were on single track and many a times the split rakes got late while their other halves had to wait a long time at Khanewal Jn. Sometimes one of the rakes got so late that they were sent to Karachi as two separate trains.

As the number of trains running between Karachi and Lahore grew, Super Express was changed to a total Karachi-Sargodha Jn train with no rake splitting. It continues as such to date, but it has lost its prestige and fame as a really fast super express. It now has 34 stoppages between its termini.

Super Express currently has a 1256km route between Karachi and Sargodha via Faisalabad. As of summer 2004, it covered this distance in 22 hours 25 minutes in the Up direction and in 22 hours 50 minutes in the Down direction

Accommodation available on Super Express includes First Class and Economy.

49. Tezgam (7 Up/8 Down)

The word 'Tezgam¬' means a 'fast runner¬'. Tezgam was inaugurated in 1950s as a Karachi-Peshawar train. Later its route was reduced to Karachi-Rawalpindi. Just like Khyber Mail and Karachi Express, Tezgam is also one of the earliest and more prestigious of the trains on PR network.

Since its inception, it always has been the fastest train link between Karachi and Rawalpindi. Tezgam¬'s route length is 1542km, which it covers in 25 hours and 5 minutes in the Up direction and in 25 hours 55 minutes in the Down direction. Tezgam currently has 26 stops between its termini.

Accommodation available on Tezgam includes AC Sleeper, AC lower, First Class and Economy.

50. Tezrau (5 Up/6 Down)

The word 'Tezrau¬' means 'fast wave¬'. It started as a Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar train but over the years its route and its name has been experimented a lot. At one point in Pakistan¬'s political history, Tezrau¬'s name got changed to 'Zulfiqar Express¬' named after Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was an ex Prime Minister of Pakistan. Its route between Kotri and Rohri was also changed from Mainline to a branch via Larkana Jn. Larkana was the home city of Zulhiqar Ali Bhutto. Later on when railway was trying to make best use Karachi Circular Railway¬'s dilapidating infrastructure, Tezrau¬'s terminal was moved to Gilani station. After that at some point in time, Tezrau¬'s route was made Karachi to Havelian. These days Tezrau is running between Drigh Road Jn and Rawalpindi.

Its current route length is 1489km which it covers in 29 hours 20 minutes in the Up direction and in 28 hours 55 minutes in the Down direction. It has 51 stops between its termini.

Accommodation available on Tezrau includes First Class and Economy.

51. Thal Express (129 Up/130 Down)

Thal Express is named after the plains and desert of Thal, which extends west of Multan deep into South-West Punjab. Since this train¬'s route is through Thal it is named after it.

Thal express has a 595km route between Multan and Rawalpindi via Kundian and Attock. It has similar route as Mehr Express except from Basal Jn, Thal Express detours to Attock and then comes back to Rawalpindi via mainline. It has 39 stops between its termini.

Accommodation available on Thal Express includes First Class and Economy.

To be continued...

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