ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday said Pakistan Railways (PR) freight sector earnings have augmented due to handwork and commitment poured in by the present team.
“Four years back only seven engines were used for freight traffic and today 95 locomotives are dedicated to the freight sector only, whereas, by September this year freight locomotives would be 135 in total which is unprecedented in the history of Pakistan Railways,” he said while talking to the officers in a meeting that was held at Pakistan Railways Headquarters to brief the minister about utilization plan of new 4000-4500 horsepower American locomotives.
Saad Rafique said when he took charge of the ministry one freight train used to run after two days, but now freight traffic has increased to 13-14 trains per day and this per day average of freight traffic is bound to grow by September this year after receiving all 55 GE locomotives from US.
“New locomotives shall be dedicated to oil and coal supply,” he added.
He directed officers to run new goods trains as currently only one goods train is running from Badami Bagh Lahore to Karachi.
The minister asked freight sector to facilitate small businessmen of Faisalabad and Multan by running a goods train from these stations also.
“Pakistan Railways always had good clients and freight orders but previously it was unable to accommodate its customers due to aged locomotives and neglect faced by this sector,” he said.
He said GE locomotives had injected new life into the freight sector now officials were well equipped to run freight traffic at full capacity.
“Railways is transporting coal, oil, cement, building material, seed, agricultural machinery, heavy machinery and miscellaneous products that is helping it achieve its revenue targets and set new records in freight earnings,” he said.