Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif inaugurated Pakistan’s first ever ‘modern’ train on Thursday — the Greenline Train — that will cover the Karachi-Islamabad route in 23 hours, an occasion where he praised the under-fire Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique for turning around a department in dire straits.
Appreciating the facilities the train service provides to passengers, which include comfortable sleepers, WiFi availability, meals, newspapers and air-conditioned rooms, the premier took special note of the train’s toilets, saying that “toilets in the newly inaugurated train were far better than the ones in Pakistan International Airlines jets.”
According to Pakistan Railways officials, the train will leave Margalla Railway Station at 3:15 pm and will reach Karachi at 2:30 pm the next day, making stops at Rawalpindi, Lahore, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Rohri and Hyderabad stations during its journey.
Officials also said that apart from offering online booking and other essential services, all passengers have also been insured for a million rupees, which was also pointed out by Nawaz Sharif during his address.
Nawaz Sharif also took the opportunity to lay out his government’s achievements on the economic front. He said swift economic activity had started across the country and the people of Pakistan were about to witness a revolutionary change in the years ahead.
The premier also talked on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. “I hope the China Pakistan Economic Corridor would benefit from the improvement of services of Pakistan Railways.”
He said he envisioned a train service from Kashgar to Karachi, and also wanted to make possible train travel to Turkey.
Nawaz Sharif said the PML-N government was committed to reviving all national institutions, adding that the revival of Pakistan Railways was reflection of that commitment.
The new Greenline Train will complete its journey in 23 hours and 15 minutes and is an economical, comfortable and secure option for 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 quality meals, tea, bottled water, newspapers and standard bedding during the journey.
Fare from Islamabad to Karachi is Rs 5,500 while that from Lahore to Karachi is Rs 5,000. The train will make five technical stops each at Lahore, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Rohri and Hyderabad.
Special passenger lounges for the new service are under construction at Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi railway stations.