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June 3, 2019

First of Karachi’s two Eid special trains leavesfor Peshawar


June 3, 2019

Firmly holding their mother’s hands with big smiles on their faces, two young boys, Ali and Usman, were walking fast on the Sunday morning at the platform of Karachi’s City Railway Station from where they were to leave for Peshawar.

The boys had arrived in Karachi with their mother a few days back to spend some days of Ramazan with their Naani (maternal grandmother). “They are desperate to see their father now,” said their mother adjusting her Dupatta. “We were here to spend a few days of Ramazan with my mother,” she said.

The trio of mother and sons were heading towards Peshawar in the Pakistan Railway’s first Eid special train which departed from the City Station at 11am. The economy class train had 11 bogies carrying 734 passengers. The second Eid special train, according to Railway DCO Ishaq Baloch, will leave from the Cantt Station with 12 bogies and much more passengers for Lahore on Monday [today].

The mother tried to persuade Ali and Usman to sit down when they entered their bogie but the kids were too excited to listen to their mother. “I just hope they don’t get off before we leave, or at any other station after that,” she said and smiled.

There were several other individuals and families who were departing from the city to celebrate Eid with their loved ones. One of them was Aslam, a government officer who was transferred to Karachi from Bahawalpur. “One simply cannot stay away from the family on Eid day,” he said, urging the government to run more trains for Eid.

“Just two train services for Eid doesn’t fulfil the need. I know how difficult it is to get tickets for these trains on Eid days,” he said. The platform was crammed full of passengers, railway officials and media personnel. A newly married couple, Ayesha and Kamran Ali, were to have their first Eid after their marriage. “We were afraid that we’ll be celebrating it without our families,” said Ayesha. “The airfare is so high that one simply cannot afford it. We are lucky to have got the train ticket.”

Talking to The News, Baloch said the Pakistan Railways had earned around Rs1.3 million from the first Eid train. With more bogies for the second Eid train, he said, they would earn more. According to the railway officials, a total of five Eid special trains were to run in the entire country this year. “The booking of all the seats of both the Eid trains of Karachi has been completed,” Baloch said.

He added that another Eid train to depart on Sunday was from Quetta that had to reach Peshawar. Baloch said the Eid train from Karachi to Peshawar was expected to reach its final destination on Monday night at 10:30pm. The train would cross Hyderabad, Rohri, Sadiqabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi before reaching Peshawar. Strict security measures had also been taken for the Eid train services, he maintained.

Trains delayed

Meanwhile, the departure of several trains from Karachi was delayed on Sunday. According to a press statement issued by the Pakistan Railways, these trains had arrived late in the port city due to which they could not depart on time.

Pakistan Express departed at 3:15pm with a delay of around two hours after its scheduled time of 1pm. Pak Business left the station at 5:45pm, whereas, its scheduled departing time was 4pm. Karachi Express and Shah Hussain Express were also delayed by two hours and five-and-a-half hours respectively.

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