LAHORE: For the first time in three years, five freight trains left Karachi in a single day for northern destinations.
Earlier an acute shortage of locomotives had forced the railways administration to suspend all cargo trains from Karachi. Addition of 15 rehabilitated locomotives to Pakistan Railways fleet in September this year has helped improve punctuality of passenger trains and ensured operation of at least two freight trains daily from Karachi. Suspension of passenger trains and availability of locomotives resulted in restoration of freight service of four trains daily. More than 50 trains are involved in shunting duties by now.
The first batch of five rehabilitated locomotives would be available in June 2014, followed by induction of two locomotives every month that would be used for freight operations.
Freight service is the major source of income for railways worldwide. Pakistan Railways used to earn at least Rs 6 billion annually from the operation of eight to ten freight trains from Karachi for various upcountry destinations daily.