Railways hints at mass train shut down

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Railway authorities have hinted at shutting down dozens of branch trains, considering them burden on the already cash-strapped service and also to streamline the timing of major route trains. “Closure of 50 trains of branch lines is under consideration to overcome the current crisis,” said Pakistan Railways Acting General Manager AnjumPervaiz here on Saturday. Talking to reporters at the Railway Headquarters, he added that steps would be taken to ensure on-time arrivals and departures of trains at major routes. Railways has already closed different branch operations to use the locomotives on long routes like Peshawar to Karachi, Pesahwar to Quetta, Quetta to Karachi and Lahore to Faisalabad. It is worth mentioning here that PR continues to be plagued by delays in train operations since one month and passengers at all major stations have to wait for hours before catching a train. However, talking to the media here a day after the CCOR warning, Anjum Pervaiz apologized to the passengers for the inordinate delays in the departures and arrivals claiming that the situation would soon improve. He said that the federal government has already given its final approval to the railway relief package, which would facilitate repairs/renovation of 100 old engines, 500 passenger coaches, 650 goods wagons and 50 power vans.“The margin for the purchase of oil from PSO on credit has been enhanced from Rs 1 billion to Rs 2 billion,” he said. Anjum said that an emergency had been enforced in railways and that all purchases would be made directly from the relevant companies on single tenders.