Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed—the Railways Minister informed on Tuesday that 20 VVIP passenger trains would hit the tracks soon.
While addressing the business community at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), the federal minister for railways said that a tendering process is being started for upgrading the 1,680km-long track of ML-2 and ML-4 besides the dualization of the Faisalabad-Lahore and Sialkot tracks.
He also said that the current government had placed the economy back on the right track however it had to take tough and bold decisions.
About the financial affairs of the railways he said that Rs35 billion were needed for paying pensions, Rs31 billion are needed for paying the salaries, Rs25 billion are required to pay the loan instalments and Rs18 billion for oil.
He also added that they have to repair the old and left bogies for starting 20 new trains. He said that they are planning to launch 20 more new VVIP and high-speed passenger trains.
Sheikh Rasheed also said that Pakistan Railways could start trains with a speed of 160km per hour once ML-1 completes, adding that the speed of these trains could further be improved up to 260km per hour in the later phases. He mentioned the travel time between Lahore and Karachi would be reduced to 6-7 hours only.
He added that Pakistan is the only nation where we are earning a handsome profit of Rs2billion from the passenger trains.
He informed that a new VIP “Jinnah Train: would be started from the 23rd of March between Lahore and Karachi. He also added that it is in plans that a “Sir Syed Train” would also be started which would operate between Faisalabad and Karachi.