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neighbors

the railways in Pakistan

by: S.SHANKAR


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Visitors since Sept.1999 :-

NOTE: The number of hits mentioned on this HITS COUNTER  is inaccurate since the counter from previous provider had remained defunct for over three months without notice, consequent to which the starting number had to be extrapolated on this counter from another source.

LAST  UPDATED:  18/11/2002

WHATS NEW

+ Two more steam pictures added # 21 & 22,  Three more diesel pictures added # 45, 46 and # 47,  one pic of a Pak. electric engine added at # 53, one pic of a Pak. flat car added at # 57.

+ Home page split: all the pictures now start from the next page.

A collection of pictures from the railways across the border.pkflag.gif (7483 bytes)

Pakistan railwaysprlogo.jpg (8048 bytes)(PR logo)

Pakistan Railways were founded on 13th May 1861. The railways of the country first  appeared on the world map as the 169 Km long KARACHI- KOTRI Section. 

The chronology of events has been thus:

(1947) North Western Railway
(1961) Pakistan Western Railway
(1974) Pakistan Railways

(Quote) Pakistan Railway comprises 8,775 route km, 707 stations and 37 trains halts. It has a fleet of 563 diesel electric locomotives, 25,815 wagons and 1,623 passenger coaches. Maintenance is provided by three major locomotive workshops and thirty-five smaller workshops. Signaling facilities at important stations are track circulated within interlocking limits. Most routes have VHF radio coverage for communication between train dispatchers and trains. Telephone Communication is over wire lines and microwave.(Unquote)  (Updated Jan.2001).(From a reliable Pakistan source).

ROUTE AND TRACK LENGTH:

GAUGE ROUTE KM TRACK KM
     
Broad Gauge* 7,718 11,344
Metre Gauge 445 555
Narrow Gauge+ 611 726
     

TOTAL

8,774 12,625
* Includes 374 km. of broad gauge track closed w.e.f. July 1, 1991.
+All 611.10 km of narrow gauge track have been closed down w.e.f.July1,1991.

Source: From a site on the web.

Steam officially finished on the PR as of November 1997. Although I have read at least one account of a proposal to preserve Pakistan's steam heritage, no news of any preserved steam locomotives is available at the time of writing. There are a few stray steam locomotives preserved at workshops and railway facilities however, and I have heard at least one account (unconfirmed) about an Indian WP class locomotive preserved in a childrens' park in Lahore.

There is however a steam-hauled excursion train up in the hills on the Khyber pass. This train is still running as a tourist trip, and is very popular with tourists. Several Pakistani travel agents' webpages outline this trip. A link to one of these websites appears at the bottom of this page. You can see some more on the links page.


PAKISTAN RAILWAYS TODAY: (2001):

The cash-strapped Pakistan Railways is today going through a major process of re-structuring and reorganization. Due to resource constraints, stress is being laid upon refurbishment and renewal of assets rather than acquisition of new assets. This notwithstanding, 22 more 3000 hp diesel locomotives have been added to the fleet in 2000, with 8 more to follow.

Privatization, which was much touted as the panacea of all evils, has now given way to track access and concessioning. The plan for division of the entire PR into three business units (passenger business unit, freight   business unit and infrastructure business unit) is now a thing of the past. Instead, the PR has taken several stringent and bold steps in perking up and improving its image, performance and achievements over the past few months, and seems all set to take the PR onto the 21st century track.

Obviously meaning business, the PR has decided to follow the example of the Japanese National Railways (JNR), and go into Rail Related Business (RRB). To achieve their goals in the RRB, the PR has hired experts from the market.

A three pronged attack will be launched by the PR:

  • Image improvement
  • Cut down expenses
  • Increase revenue.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RRB'S ACTIVITIES IN 2000-2001(from a reliable Pakistan source)

 

I have been blessed with a detailed note from a person none other than  the GM of Pakistan Railways himself, and he has outlined in great detail the achievements of the PR over the last few months, esp. since December 1999. Look in the panel below, thereafter click on the link therein to read the full details of the PR achievements since Dec.1999.

THEY SAID IT!

Here is a note about the improvements on the  Pak. Railways from a person none other than the GM of the PR: (circa Oct. 2000)  For complete details, click here

A  lot has changed since December last. We are moving too fast and I only hope and pray that we don't stumble.
This part of the rail network was never driven by profitability but by strategy, to keep the Empire intact. Hence with rising wages, fuel costs and cost of utilities we gradually went into the red. Now saddled with a debt of over Rs.18.00 Billion (Indian Railways is saddled with Rs.56.00 Billion - Figures from "business today" on the net) we finally decided to wake up and look for other areas of revenue generation. We decided to go the JNR way - get into Railway Related Business (RRB).
Privatization which was much toted as the panacea of all evils is a thing of the past. Thus now its "privatization no" "Track Access or Concessioning yes"
We have hired experts from the market (exorbitantly high) to go about the RRB. By the end of 2003 we plan to generate an additional Rs.5.00 Billion from RRB and throw up a surplus of Rs.2.00 Billion annually. For some of the things we are doing please visit our new official web site at
www.pakrail.com Please do make the correction on your site right away.
We have thus launched a three pronged attack
        - Improve our rotten image
        - Cut down expenditure
        - Increase revenues                                                                                                          

Fondest regards

Iqbal Samad Khan
General Manager
Pakistan Railways

 

Fast trains on the PR are classed as 'Subhak Kharam', 'Shalimar' and 'Subhak Raftar'. Two other prestigious PR trains are the Khyber Mail and the Tezgam. These trains are provided with modern facilities like public address system, closed circuit television etc. The fastest train in Pakistan is now (2001) the Lahore-Karachi Express. This super train is all air conditioned, barring three economy class cars, and has only two stops between Lahore and Karachi. Rakes of several important trains are being revamped and refurbished.

In the midst of all this talk of restructuring and shortage of resources, the PR is also making grandoise plans,   with success. Reservations have been computerized at Karachi and Lahore stations, and work is  in progress to computerize Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Faislabad, Multan and Hyderabad reservation centres as well. In 2001, the PR invited offers for computerized resevations   at 15 stations on a BOO basis. The company executing this project will charge a nominal fee which will be paid by the passengers.

Closed circuit TV sets have also been installed at several stations, and are being expanded to other stations. All second class cars are progressively being provided with cushioned seats, and the PR have decided to manufacture second class airconditioned cars only from now on. (1999). A high speed track is under consideration, though to the best on my knowledge, the max. speed on the PR is 120 kmph. Barring the Lahore-Karachi line, in most other places, the average speed is slightly lower.

A Marketing Wing of the PR was set up in August 1999 to generate revenues from the RRB (Railway Related Business). Activities which are covered by the Marketing wing are: commercial exploitation of railway land, soft drinks franchises, advertisements on railway trains and railway land, establishment of cyber cafes on railway land, and establishment of joint ventures with private companies and investors. There is an out out war on cutting costs,   eliminating waste and cleaning up the entire administration and network.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PR'S COST CUTTING EFFORTS IN 2000-2001 (from a reliable Pakistan source)

 

There is a large diesel building works at Risalpur. Major overhauls of diesel locos are carried out in workshops at Rawalpindi and Lahore.The RITES and IRCON equivalents on the PR are the RAILCOP (Railway Construction Company, Pakistan) and the PRACS. (Pakistan Railway Advisory and Consultancy Services Ltd.) (Click to view PRACS website, thereafter hit 'Back' on your browser to return to this page.) Like our RITES and IRCON, these Pakistan companies too are engaged in projects within Pakistan as well as overseas. The RAILCOP has bagged a project (2000-01) for rehabilitation of the Saudi railway. In addition, it is prospecting for business in Senegal and Zambia. Similarly the PRACS manufactures freight cars for other railways worldwide.

 

THEY SAID IT!

Here is an interesting first hand account about the state of Pak. Railways from fellow irfca member Peter: (circa Aug.2000)

Following the request about PR I can give you a short overview what happened on the metergauge system at Mirpur Khas which I visited 2 weeks ago: the good new is: 5 locomotives are operational right now: YD 518, 519, 520 and SP 127, 140.YD 522 is under repair and should join the fleet latest end of the year.

The bad news is that the PR HQ decided to reduce the number of trains:
this is the new timetable: MG 6/5 Mirpur - Khokhropar Monday, Wednesday, Friday only (instead of a daily service!)
MG 15 Mirpur - Pithoro - Loopline - Mirpur runs Monday only
MG 14 Mirpur - Loopline - Pithoro - Mirpur runs Wednesday only
MG 20/21 Mirpur - Nawabshah - Mirpur runs Sunday only.

The monthly kilometer chart reflects the changes:
in June 2000 it was an all time low of only 6691 kms, compared with the all time high of 44279 kms in October 1996!

To end the Mirpur Khas news with a good one:
three narrow/metergauge engines have been cosmetically overhauled and are plinthed now in front of the railway stations of:

Karachi Cant (MS 63)
Lahore (ZB 205)
Rawalpindi (ZB 203)

Otherwise no changes: still most trains are delayed, even on short distances like Hyderabad - Mirpur the average delay was 30 minutes, long distance trains were delayed by up to 8 hours.

Greetings,
Peter

1 - 4  My search for a PR map finally ended with kind inputs from my good friends John Lacey and Roderick Smith. The first one from John Lacey is the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable. (Click to enlarge, thereafter hit 'Back' on your browser to return to this page. Alternatively, right click on map and select -OPEN IN NEW WINDOW' to continue reading this page uninterrupted.)

pakrlymap.jpg (296414 bytes)

P.R. MAP-1

paki2a.jpg (471245 bytes)

P.R. MAP-2

(Map courtesy: John Lacey) (From Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable)

(Map courtesy: Roderick Smith)

prmap.jpg (70304 bytes)

P.R. MAP-3

paki5.jpg (178757 
  bytes)

P.R. MAP-4

This map of the Pakistan Railways is from the Pakistan Tourism Development Corpn. website.

(Map courtesy: Roderick Smith) This interesting map of the Pakistan Railways (from the 1988 timetable) has an inset of the Karachi Circular Railway.


THEY SAID IT!

Here is an update about the Pak. Railways from fellow irfca member Roderick Smith: (circa Aug.2000)

I looked up the Nov.99 Thomas Cook overseas timetable.  Shalimar has been
slowed by 2.5 h, with more stops.
Karachi 6.30; Lahore 0.50.
Lahore 6.00; Karachi 0.15.
stops at: Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Rohri (25 min), Rahim Yarkhan, Bahawalpur,
Multan, Khanewal (15 min) & Sahiwal.  Regards,                                                                                
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor


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Comments/Questions?

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L I N K S

PR Links: Visit the LINKS page

Last updated: 18/11/2002 Page spun by S.Shankar using Microsoft FrontPage 98

[Home]  [P.R Steam]  [Terry Case's PR steam pics]  [Peter's PR Steam Pics]   [Intl.Steam Pak. page] [PR steam:asstd pics]  [PR Diesel]  [Larry Russel's Pak diesel page ]  [Rolf Stumpf's PR diesel page]   [World Diesel Loco Pak.page (you need a yahoo id and join WDL to log in ]  [PR Electric]  [PR general Views]  [Indo-Pak Train: Samjhauta Express] [ PR Atmosphere!] [PR Official website]  [ PR Links
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All material on this website is copyright S.Shankar. Please feel free to download any pictures or material from this site for YOU OWN PERSONAL USE. This includes downloading images for viewing on your own computer, or for use on your personal website, or taking printouts and giving them out to your friends. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD ANY MATERIAL  FROM THIS SITE BE USED FOR ANY COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS WHATSOEVER. In the event of your using any material from this site, please credit me with the information and drop me a line, so that I can visit the items in their new home.

DISCLAIMER: This webpage is merely a compilation of images and info about the PR which I have collected over the years through my own efforts or through contributions from friends. This website has no connection with the Pakistan Railways administration, and as such the views expressed herein do not reflect the official views or policies of the Pakistan Railways. PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON PAKISTAN RAILWAYS, NOR DO I HAVE ACCESS TO UNLIMITED INFORMATION ABOUT THE PR. Although your queries are welcome, I shall attempt to answer your questions by referring them to my more knowledgeable friends. But be prepared: I might not always be able to do so, or answer all queries.