Islamabad: The Pakistan Railways is now operating 96 passenger trains with 87 operating engines, with 34 engines stranded at the workshops, it was learnt on Thursday.
It is a well-known fact that one train route operates with at least two to three engines. With the current strength of locomotives at the disposal of the railways, it is almost impossible to meet the daily schedule of the train operations.
The problems for railways do not end just there. Out of the 34 engines under repair, 14 are as good as dead and their repair is not an economic viability, while the remaining 18 are not likely to join the total operating tally due to unavailability of funds.
The situation in the freight section too is far from good. Currently, only seven locomotives are available for freight operations. Needless to say that the major chunk of revenue for any railway system across the globe is their freight operations.
While the new leadership in the Railway Ministry is promising major changes and normalcy if not regularity in the railway operations, no steps have been taken to restore sanity to the affairs.
A railways official on condition of anonymity said that the previous government had promised Rs6.1 billion rupees for locomotive rehabilitation but the amount was never released and the current government too was not releasing any money to mend the engines so that the trains would operate on time.
The Pakistan Railways spokesperson said that the number of engines was precariously low but all was being done to keep the operations as close to the schedule as possible.