railways in Pakistan
Railways: People and Trains:
spell P.R. Atmosphere!!!
railway workers are proud of their railway, and go about their duties with enthusiasm and
a sense of belonging. Don't let stories about the cash shortfall, deteriorating resources
and poor quality of track and rolling stock fool you into thinking that the P.R. is going
downhill and the P.R. railwaymen are a discouraged and demoralized lot. No sir, the P.R.
railway staff love their railway, and are proud of it, and spend a lot of elbow grease in
sprucing up the engine assigned to them. Just like our railwaymen do in India. They take
pride in their work, just as railwaymen do all over the world.
Check out these shots from
the magic lens of Terry Case, as he captures the Pakistan Railways: the people and trains, which
spells P.R. Atomsphere!
Multan depot: see caption at
||1. Multan depot, 20/9/89.
Little had changed from my visit in 1984, steam still had a toe hold on the Lahore-Karachi
mainline with CWD class working a couple of local turns from Multan to Khanewal and
Samastipur. Diesels handled the bulk of traffic, but were to continue sharing the shed
with steam locos for a while longer!
|2. "Transports of
delight". The line inspector and his crew about to venture out from Multan.
16/12/84. Note how similar the crew were compared to their Indian counterparts.
||3. CWD 5080 is ready for
a Samastipur pass whilst HGS 2237 was on pilot. 16/12/84. Both classes remained in use on
similar duties in 1989.
|4. Lala Musa - Malakwal -
Sargodha -Shorkot was a long secondary cross country line which remained steam worked till
the end. SPS class 4-4-0s and SGS class 0-6-0s, both inside cylinder machines were
employed on the line together with a variety of diesel types. SPS 3006 is seen entering
Sargodha on a train from Malakwal on 24/9/89.
||5. 22/9/89. Unlike
in India I never had any success in obtaining photo permits, so when the railway
policeman told me to accompany him to the ASM's office at Sargodha station, I thought I
may be in for a grilling! Far from it the ASM was a considerate host who
explained the next train would be some considerable time and would I prefer to wait in
their office? Whilst it was forbidingly dark, it was also nice and cool and in
the hot weather a pleasant place to work.
The ASM was responsible for controlling all train movements in the station yard area and
his desk had two remarkably old token machines, various line instruments and the usual
train reporting documents to be found in signaboxes.
|6. The ASM explained
because it was a Friday there would be many people travelling on the train to Malakwal,
but no problem he would arange for me to ride with the guard. I had to share the guard's
compartment with another VIP, a young beggar boy whom the guard had riding with him
free of charge! He insisted on buying drinks for both of us at one of the stops en route
and allowed the urchin to blow his whistle and wave out the train! They made a real
contrast, the guard in an immaculate white summer uniform and the kid in rags!
||7. Malakwal was
predictably busy with all the schoolkids on their day off, but again no problem, the
signalmen in the west tower bade me come and join them in their lofty cabin from where I
had some excellent views of the engines and the fascination of watching all the action in
a busy signalbox.
|8. View from the signal
box as SGS 2471 heads out on a branch pass to Gharibwal. 31/12/94.
||9. SGS 2473 on pilot
duties has one of the many 4 wheel saloons used for staff in tow. The west tower signal
cabin is in the background.
|10. SPS 402 was the only
large boilered SPS in service on 22/9/89. Assigned to the late afternoon train to Sargodha
I was impressed by how the crew got the old warrior to fly along between stops.
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