By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
(Pakistan News & Features Services)
The Divisional Superintendent, Pakistan Railways, Karachi Division, Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, got the much talked about the newly introduced Karachi-Rawalpindi Sir Syed Express inaugurated on July 4 through Muhammad Suleman, the first passenger to have booked the ticket from Karachi.
Talking to media on the occasion, he informed that the train having a total capacity of 646 seats, offers three classes of AC Sleeper, AC Business and Economy. It had 100% booking for the opening day. The train, branded as luxurious, had the facilities of dining car and wi-fi.
The train will reach its destination in 21 hours via Faisalabad. Upon completion of ML-1, the travel time of the train will reduce to 10 hours.
Besides facilitating passengers it’s being expected to earn the much-needed revenue for the Pakistan Railways.
The train, named after the legendary scholar and thinker, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, is an important addition to passengers’ service as it would serve three different segments of the passengers market with a focus on economy class service (72%).
The Divisional Superintendent remarked that the train aims at facilitating the passengers from Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir who travel to Karachi and other southern cities of the country.
DS Syed Mazhar Shah told PNFS that at present some 60 trains operate Up and Down from Karachi Division out of which 40 were mail and express trains.
According to him, on 100 percent booking, the Sir Syed Express will generate an income of Rs two million on one side in a day.
Mazhar Shah said that in Karachi Division alone some 1.2 million passengers were added to an existing roughly seven million passengers during the last financial year contributing to the railway's exchequer.
Earlier the Sir Syed Express was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister, Imran Khan, during a high-profile ceremony in Rawalpindi.