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Representational image of a railroad track. PHOTOS: REUTERS

LAHORE: The railroad authority may not include 11 of 140 passenger trains in future operations to save fuel and avoid losses.

The organization has suffered more than Rs6 billion in losses due to a suspension of the operation of 140 trains over the past 53 days, while Rs15 million was returned to passengers who had purchased tickets before the service was suspended to avoid spreading new coronaviruses.

In the middle of the lockdown, the train dispatch operation also dropped from 10 to six trains. 11 trains running in a loss before the suspension of their operations included Ghauri Express, Sindh, Ravi, Lasani, Musa Pak, Sargodha Express and Bolan Mail. The department faces a loss of Rs1, 929 billion per year in running this train. Now they might not be included in the schedule to save diesel and avoid losses.

Trains tend to start beeping since Wednesday: the railroad minister

In a briefing given by department officials to the railroad minister, he was told that running the 11 loss-making trains cost Rs1,929 billion. Ghauri Express which operates between Lahore and Faisalabad has caused a loss of Rs23 million. Sindh Express between Karachi and Multan caused a deficit of Rs378 million, Bolan Mail between Karachi and Quetta Rs369 million, Khushal Khan Khattak Express between Peshawar and Karachi Rs553 million, Akbar Express between Lahore and Quetta via Faisalabad Rs374 million, Badar Express between Lahore and Faisalabad Rs13 million .

The Musa Pak train between Lahore and Multan has caused Rs51 million losses, Ravi Express between Lahore and Sargodha Rs109 million, Faisal Express between Faisalabad and Rs9 million Lahore, Multan Express between Lahore and Mults Rs27 million, Lasani Express between Lahore and Sialodos Rs23 million and Sargodha Rs9 million Express between Lahore and Sargodha Rs55 million. The department does not get a higher income from fuel and other costs incurred to run this train.

Railroad Chair Habibur Rehman Gilani said all arrangements had been made to ensure passenger safety if the authorities decided to continue service. Online ordering facilities have been provided. Passengers will travel by only ordering 60% on the train and they will sit at a distance from each other.

Delayed train service stops were announced in Pakistan

Operation of 140 passenger trains running on main and branch lines across the country was suspended on March 26 due to fears of coronavirus.

Those who have ordered tickets for a different date after that will return Rs15 million. Sources said that a decision on resuming train operations would be taken this week. The government has extended the locking period but freed several sectors from restrictions.

11 train services that are likely to be stopped are operated in seven train divisions.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2020.

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