Pakistan runs first ever train service equipped with Wi-Fi
By Agha Iqrar Haroon
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Prime Minister of Pakistan inaugurated first ever train service equipped with Wi-Fi from capital city of Islamabad to port city of Karachi. The first air-conditioned business class train with several incentives and modern facilities like refreshment, Wi Fi connection will also offer three-time quality meal, tea, bottled water, newspapers and standard bedding during over 1500 Km journey to the passengers.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday inaugurated the fully air-conditioned green line train service between Islamabad and Karachi.
In his address at the inaugural ceremony at the Margalla railway station in Islamabad on Friday afternoon, the prime minister appreciated significant improvement in the working of Pakistan Railways and vowed to revive it completely at the soonest.
The prime minister said that provision of comfortable, secure and economical travel facilities of international standards through green line train is the first phase of the plan to afford modern travelling facilities to people.
Sharif said that apart from on-line advance booking and latest and essential services during journey, all passengers of train are today insured for Rs10 million.
The prime minister said that he has a vision to launch train services between Karachi and Kashghar and also make it a reality to travel to Turkey by train.
Nawaz Sharif expressed the confidence that like Pakistan Railways, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) too would become the best airline of the region during tenure of the present government.
In his speech, the Federal Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique said that 10 million passengers have been attracted back to the system during the last two years and now all passengers and staff members are fully insured.
The minister said that Pakistan Railways needs an investment of Rs1,000 billion to bring it to the level of other regional railways but we doing to achieve as much as possible without additional resources.
Kh. Saad Rafique said that Railway earned just Rs1 billion from freight services in 2012-13 but in 2015 it is going to earn Rs18.5 billion under this head.
The railway minister said that punctuality has been increased from 10 percent in the past to 70 percent now.
Saad Rafique said that for the first time land record of Railways is being computerized and in Punjab alone there is an increase of 10,000 acres in Railway land. He said that the department now has fuel to take care of its needs for two to three weeks. It may be mentioned that Pakistan Railways is in financial shamble due to constant corruption, irregularities and massive politically sponsored hiring in the services. Massive cases of corruptions are lying against former ministers of railways in court of laws. A scandal of purchasing faulty bogies and engines from China had been in headlines if national newspapers in past.
The new green line train will complete its journey in 23 hours and 15 minutes providing economical, comfortable and secure journey to the passengers.
It will be the first air-conditioned business class train with several incentives and modern facilities like refreshment, Wi Fi connection throughout the route, three-time quality meal, tea, bottled water, newspapers and standard bedding during the journey to the passengers.
It will charge reduced fares of Rs5,500 from Islamabad to Karachi and Rs5,000 from Lahore to Karachi.
The new green line train would make five technical stops each at Lahore, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Rohri and Hyderabad. However, the new train would strictly follow its timings.
The special passengers Lounges were being constructed for the new train at Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi railway stations.