PESHAWAR: The Pakistan Railways has inaugurated a new train service from Peshawar to Quetta in a bid to alleviate travel problems and facilitate people of Fata, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Jaffar Express commenced its first journey and left for Quetta from the cantonment railways station on Saturday morning. Divisional Superintendent Mohammad Hanif Gul was the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony.
Talking to media, he said that the federal government had approved the new train service to facilitate the passengers of the respective provinces, particularly Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan.
“People will be able to travel in an improved quality train at affordable prices”, he added.
Gul further said that the operation of new train was meant to bring people of all the provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir closer through an excellent and improved railways network.
The other railways officials said that the 10-boggy Jaffar Express had a status of the symbol of national unity, which aimed to connect people of Pakistan by passing through various cities including Quetta, Sukkur, Jacobabad, Rohri, Multan, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.
Previously, the Jaffar Express ran between two cities – Rawalpindi and Quetta – but now it will daily leave Peshawar at 5:30 am and would reach Quetta about 2 pm next day after passing through various important cities and towns, officials said.
An official of Railways said that the fares are affordable. “Each passenger intending to travel in economy class would be charged Rs 1,870, standard class Rs 4,470, and business class Rs 4,970. It will be solely a passenger train service in which around 800 passenger could travel at a time”, official added.
Moreover, the railways officials hoped that train service would help generate significant revenue for Pakistan Railways by giving credit to the federal government for improving communication services for people of KP.