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the railways in Pakistan

by: S.SHANKAR

 

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Visitors since Sept.1999 :-

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LAST  UPDATED:  14/09/2001

WHATS NEW

+ Getup of page changed. Green panels darkened for easier readability.

+ A new series of pics about the Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express.

+ Two more diesel pictures added # 39 and # 42.

A collection of pictures from the railways across the border.pkflag.gif (7483 bytes)

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Pakistan Railways were founded on 13th May 1861. The railways of the country first  appeared on the world map as the 169 Km long KARACHI- KOTRI Section. 

The chronology of events has been thus:

(1947) North Western Railway
(1961) Pakistan Western Railway
(1974) Pakistan Railways

(Quote) Pakistan Railway comprises 8,775 route km, 707 stations and 37 trains halts. It has a fleet of 563 diesel electric locomotives, 25,815 wagons and 1,623 passenger coaches. Maintenance is provided by three major locomotive workshops and thirty-five smaller workshops. Signaling facilities at important stations are track circulated within interlocking limits. Most routes have VHF radio coverage for communication between train dispatchers and trains. Telephone Communication is over wire lines and microwave.(Unquote)  (Updated Jan.2001).(From a reliable Pakistan source).

ROUTE AND TRACK LENGTH:

GAUGE ROUTE KM TRACK KM
     
Broad Gauge* 7,718 11,344
Metre Gauge 445 555
Narrow Gauge+ 611 726
     

TOTAL

8,774 12,625
* Includes 374 km. of broad gauge track closed w.e.f. July 1, 1991.
+All 611.10 km of narrow gauge track have been closed down w.e.f.July1,1991.

Source: From a site on the web.

Steam officially finished on the PR as of November 1997. Although I have read at least one account of a proposal to preserve Pakistan's steam heritage, no news of any preserved steam locomotives is available at the time of writing. There are a few stray steam locomotives preserved at workshops and railway facilities however, and I have heard at least one account (unconfirmed) about an Indian WP class locomotive preserved in a childrens' park in Lahore.

There is however a steam-hauled excursion train up in the hills on the Khyber pass. This train is still running as a tourist trip, and is very popular with tourists. Several Pakistani travel agents' webpages outline this trip. A link to one of these websites appears at the bottom of this page. You can see some more on the links page.


PAKISTAN RAILWAYS TODAY: (2001):

The cash-strapped Pakistan Railways is today going through a major process of re-structuring and reorganization. Due to resource constraints, stress is being laid upon refurbishment and renewal of assets rather than acquisition of new assets. This notwithstanding, 22 more 3000 hp diesel locomotives have been added to the fleet in 2000, with 8 more to follow.

Privatization, which was much touted as the panacea of all evils, has now given way to track access and concessioning. The plan for division of the entire PR into three business units (passenger business unit, freight   business unit and infrastructure business unit) is now a thing of the past. Instead, the PR has taken several stringent and bold steps in perking up and improving its image, performance and achievements over the past few months, and seems all set to take the PR onto the 21st century track.

Obviously meaning business, the PR has decided to follow the example of the Japanese National Railways (JNR), and go into Rail Related Business (RRB). To achieve their goals in the RRB, the PR has hired experts from the market.

A three pronged attack will be launched by the PR:

  • Image improvement
  • Cut down expenses
  • Increase revenue.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE RRB'S ACTIVITIES IN 2000-2001(from a reliable Pakistan source)

 

I have been blessed with a detailed note from a person none other than  the GM of Pakistan Railways himself, and he has outlined in great detail the achievements of the PR over the last few months, esp. since December 1999. Look in the panel below, thereafter click on the link therein to read the full details of the PR achievements since Dec.1999.

THEY SAID IT!

Here is a note about the improvements on the  Pak. Railways from a person none other than the GM of the PR: (circa Oct. 2000)  For complete details, click here

A  lot has changed since December last. We are moving too fast and I only hope and pray that we don't stumble.
This part of the rail network was never driven by profitability but by strategy, to keep the Empire intact. Hence with rising wages, fuel costs and cost of utilities we gradually went into the red. Now saddled with a debt of over Rs.18.00 Billion (Indian Railways is saddled with Rs.56.00 Billion - Figures from "business today" on the net) we finally decided to wake up and look for other areas of revenue generation. We decided to go the JNR way - get into Railway Related Business (RRB).
Privatization which was much toted as the panacea of all evils is a thing of the past. Thus now its "privatization no" "Track Access or Concessioning yes"
We have hired experts from the market (exorbitantly high) to go about the RRB. By the end of 2003 we plan to generate an additional Rs.5.00 Billion from RRB and throw up a surplus of Rs.2.00 Billion annually. For some of the things we are doing please visit our new official web site at
www.pakrail.com Please do make the correction on your site right away.
We have thus launched a three pronged attack
        - Improve our rotten image
        - Cut down expenditure
        - Increase revenues                                                                                                          

Fondest regards

Iqbal Samad Khan
General Manager
Pakistan Railways

 

Fast trains on the PR are classed as 'Subhak Kharam', 'Shalimar' and 'Subhak Raftar'. Two other prestigious PR trains are the Khyber Mail and the Tezgam. These trains are provided with modern facilities like public address system, closed circuit television etc. The fastest train in Pakistan is now (2001) the Lahore-Karachi Express. This super train is all air conditioned, barring three economy class cars, and has only two stops between Lahore and Karachi. Rakes of several important trains are being revamped and refurbished.

In the midst of all this talk of restructuring and shortage of resources, the PR is also making grandoise plans,   with success. Reservations have been computerized at Karachi and Lahore stations, and work is  in progress to computerize Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Faislabad, Multan and Hyderabad reservation centres as well. In 2001, the PR invited offers for computerized resevations   at 15 stations on a BOO basis. The company executing this project will charge a nominal fee which will be paid by the passengers.

Closed circuit TV sets have also been installed at several stations, and are being expanded to other stations. All second class cars are progressively being provided with cushioned seats, and the PR have decided to manufacture second class airconditioned cars only from now on. (1999). A high speed track is under consideration, though to the best on my knowledge, the max. speed on the PR is 120 kmph. Barring the Lahore-Karachi line, in most other places, the average speed is slightly lower.

A Marketing Wing of the PR was set up in August 1999 to generate revenues from the RRB (Railway Related Business). Activities which are covered by the Marketing wing are: commercial exploitation of railway land, soft drinks franchises, advertisements on railway trains and railway land, establishment of cyber cafes on railway land, and establishment of joint ventures with private companies and investors. There is an out out war on cutting costs,   eliminating waste and cleaning up the entire administration and network.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PR'S COST CUTTING EFFORTS IN 2000-2001 (from a reliable Pakistan source)

 

There is a large diesel building works at Risalpur. Major overhauls of diesel locos are carried out in workshops at Rawalpindi and Lahore.The RITES and IRCON equivalents on the PR are the RAILCOP (Railway Construction Company, Pakistan) and the PRACS. (Pakistan Railway Advisory and Consultancy Services Ltd.) (Click to view PRACS website, thereafter hit 'Back' on your browser to return to this page.) Like our RITES and IRCON, these Pakistan companies too are engaged in projects within Pakistan as well as overseas. The RAILCOP has bagged a project (2000-01) for rehabilitation of the Saudi railway. In addition, it is prospecting for business in Senegal and Zambia. Similarly the PRACS manufactures freight cars for other railways worldwide.

 

THEY SAID IT!

Here is an interesting first hand account about the state of Pak. Railways from fellow irfca member Peter: (circa Aug.2000)

Following the request about PR I can give you a short overview what happened on the metergauge system at Mirpur Khas which I visited 2 weeks ago: the good new is: 5 locomotives are operational right now: YD 518, 519, 520 and SP 127, 140.YD 522 is under repair and should join the fleet latest end of the year.

The bad news is that the PR HQ decided to reduce the number of trains:
this is the new timetable: MG 6/5 Mirpur - Khokhropar Monday, Wednesday, Friday only (instead of a daily service!)
MG 15 Mirpur - Pithoro - Loopline - Mirpur runs Monday only
MG 14 Mirpur - Loopline - Pithoro - Mirpur runs Wednesday only
MG 20/21 Mirpur - Nawabshah - Mirpur runs Sunday only.

The monthly kilometer chart reflects the changes:
in June 2000 it was an all time low of only 6691 kms, compared with the all time high of 44279 kms in October 1996!

To end the Mirpur Khas news with a good one:
three narrow/metergauge engines have been cosmetically overhauled and are plinthed now in front of the railway stations of:

Karachi Cant (MS 63)
Lahore (ZB 205)
Rawalpindi (ZB 203)

Otherwise no changes: still most trains are delayed, even on short distances like Hyderabad - Mirpur the average delay was 30 minutes, long distance trains were delayed by up to 8 hours.

Greetings,
Peter

1 - 4  My search for a PR map finally ended with kind inputs from my good friends John Lacey and Roderick Smith. The first one from John Lacey is the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable. (Click to enlarge, thereafter hit 'Back' on your browser to return to this page. Alternatively, right click on map and select -OPEN IN NEW WINDOW' to continue reading this page uninterrupted.)

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P.R. MAP-1

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P.R. MAP-2

(Map courtesy: John Lacey) (From Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable)

(Map courtesy: Roderick Smith)

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P.R. MAP-3

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P.R. MAP-4

This map of the Pakistan Railways is from the Pakistan Tourism Development Corpn. website.

(Map courtesy: Roderick Smith) This interesting map of the Pakistan Railways (from the 1988 timetable) has an inset of the Karachi Circular Railway.


THEY SAID IT!

Here is an update about the Pak. Railways from fellow irfca member Roderick Smith: (circa Aug.2000)

I looked up the Nov.99 Thomas Cook overseas timetable.  Shalimar has been
slowed by 2.5 h, with more stops.
Karachi 6.30; Lahore 0.50.
Lahore 6.00; Karachi 0.15.
stops at: Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Rohri (25 min), Rahim Yarkhan, Bahawalpur,
Multan, Khanewal (15 min) & Sahiwal.  Regards,                                                                                
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor


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CLICK ON EACH LINK AND SELECT 'OPEN IN NEW WINDOW' TO CONTINUE VIEWING THIS PAGE UNINTERRUPTED.


STEAM

A TREAT FOR STEAM FANS: CLICK HERE for Terry Case's Pak. Steam pictures

CLICK HERE  for Peter's images of Pakistan steam, esp. meter gauge: Feb. 2000

CLICK HERE for Rob Dickinson's PAKISTAN PAGE of his Intl. Steam site

 

The safety valve opens on a Vulcan Foundry built 0-6-0 on the PR.

5. The safety valve opens on a Vulcan Foundry built 0-6-0 on the PR.
6. Dramatic night shot of another PR 0-6-0.

Dramatic night shot of another 0-6-0 on the PR.

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7. An AWD on the PR. Note striking resemblance to similar locomotives used in India, of class AWD and CWD.
8. Yet another 0-6-0 on the PR raises a head of smoke. Note hoppers on riding on the running plate.

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9. A happy engine driver on  Pakistan Railways.
10. The old makes way for the new in Pakistan: a camel rider pauses to let a steam locomotive pass. Ironically, the steam locomotive itself is a thing of a past and has made way for the diesel onslaught. (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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11. In the early days of its introduction (1928), the Frontier Mail (now Golden Temple Mail) used to run from Bombay Central all the way to Peshawar (now in Pakistan). Having left Delhi, the train passes over the Darah viaduct en route to the North West Frontier. The engine in charge is a XC 4-6-2, one of the largest in India. (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)
12. A rare sight of a Pakistan mg engine: this unit is making a hefty effort through the Reja Pak desert in Pakistan. Note the additional water tank at the rear of the engine: a valuable commodity in the harsh desert! (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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13. Another rare bird: a Pakistan mg engine. This one, a BESA era 4-6-0, is departing Jaudo Jn. with a mixed train to Mirpur Khas. (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)
14. A North Western Railway (now Pak. Railways) 4-4-0 # 2987 passes Mian Mur with a Lahore-Kasur passenger train. (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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15. A very poor quality pic of steam on the Khyber pass: the Khyber steam excursion train. A like to a website about this trip appears at the bottom of this page. This special runs about ten times in a year. The works trains on the Khyber line are still steam powered due to axle weight restrictions.
16. A view of the engine of the excursion train.

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17. North Western Railway (now Pak. Railways): this scene of May 1970 shows the Sundays-only special up the Khyber Pass in the vicinity of Shagal station. A HGS class 2-8-0 is seen hauling the special with another member of the same class pushing in reverse from the rear. (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)
18. A nice pic of a  train on the Khyber pass route as it pulls into Landi Kotal with a tightly packed local train. Of course, this is a regular working,and not the excursion train.Landi Kotal is seven  hours by train from Peshawar, and is the end of the line.

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19. A general view of Landi Kotal, high up in the mountains, and terminus on the Khyber pass route.
20. A series of three pictures showing express trains in Pakistan: (circa 1959). The captions make the pics self explanatory. The diesel in the middle could not be avoided. Apologies if it does not belong in the steam section! (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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   DIESEL

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As with railways all over the world, diesels have taken over much of PR operations.

Although diesel locomotives were tried out on the erstwhile North Western Railway (now Pakistan Railways) around 1938, the initial locomotives did not live up to expectations. Large scale dieselization on the PR was not pursued until much later. Exact details are not available with me at present.Today's scenario of course shows the PR as an almost completely dieselized railway. Here then are some pictures of Pakistan's diesel engines, past and present.

PAK. DIESEL ROSTER FREAKS CLICK HERE

 

21. One of the first diesels to work in Pakistan: this dimunitive 2-Co-A1 diesel-electric locomotive is seen here departing Lahore station circa 1935. These locomotives were built by Armstrong-Whitworth of the UK. With a hp rating of 1200, these engines could had a maximum speed of 113 kmph.(Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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22. Line drawing of the Armstrong-Whitworth 2-Co-A1 diesel-electric locomotive pictured in # 16 above.The 2-Co-A1 wheel arrangement is very interesting. The end with the single axle actually has a bogie made up of this single wheel and the leading driving wheel. This reduces the rigid wheelbase somewhat, and was probable intended to reduce wear on the track.(Picture Courtesy: John Lacey.)(Thanks to Jonathan Joseph for additional info.)

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23. Prior to the engines mentioned above were these dimunitive Bo-Bo diesels from William Beardmore/GE. Classed DL, these diesel electrics were used for branch line services and for shunting. Put on line in 1930, they had major transmission problems, and were withdrawn rather prematurely in 1940. With 350 hp, they could develop upto 420 hp. and had a maximum speed of 80-88 kmph. (Picture Courtesy: John Lacey.)
24. World Series Alco # 2088 pulls into a Pakistan station with a freight. Note striking similarity of the freight cars to IR stock. (Courtesy: Phil Wormald, photo taken by Richard Campbell.)

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25. A lineup of Alco World Series diesels in a shed in Pakistan. Note the hood unit on the last track. (extreme right). World series Alcos power all trains west of Sibi in Baluchistan, and also on the Chaman and Zahedan lines. (Courtesy: Phil Wormald, photo taken by Richard Campbell.)
26.The Peshawar area is home  mostly to such hood units, several of which are built by Hitachi, Henschel, and of course, by the EMD of General Motors.  8208 pictured here is a Henschel DE3300, built in 1985. Henschel is a EMD licensee and accordingly the model DE3300 uses an EMD engine, I don't know if already the new 710 engine was built in but I suspect a 16-645E was used (proven technology in 1985). The literature published for the 150th anniversary of the Henschel plant doesn't specify the engine types.(Courtesy: Phil Wormald, photo taken by Richard Campbell.Thanks to Rolf Stumpf for that additional bit of information.)

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27. An Alco diesel heads a freight train on the PR.
28. A WDM/1 lookalike on the PR tackles a formidable looking bridge on the Bolan pass between Mach and Kolpur in Pakistan. This pic appeared as part of a publicity venture for a video by a Briton about his trip by train over the Khyber pass.

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29. An Alco World Series unit accelerates past a station with a freight train. Note flat car on the track nearest camera. (Courtesy: Phil Wormald, photo taken by Richard Campbell.)
30. A World Series diesel unit emerges from a tunnel with an express train in Pakistan.

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31. World Series Alco # 2807 accelerates out of a station in Pakistan with a passenger train. (Courtesy: Phil Wormald, photo taken by Richard Campbell.)
32. AdTranz diesels are the latest in the Pakistan Railways scenario. Thirty gleaming diesels are on order (1999), of which the first few have already arrived in Pakistan. Based on AdTranz's  popular 'Blue Tiger' design, one such Blue Tiger in green PR livery is seen here going through the works in Sweden. The diesels are capable of 110 kmph with freight trains, and 150 kmph with express trains. Some of these diesels are understood to be off the rails already (2000) due to maintenance problems.

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33. One of the new AdTranz Blue Tigers on the PR. The company has opened an office in Pakistan. A report in 1999 suggested that several of these machines have had to be taken off the rails due to problems in maintenance, spare parts and lack of knowhow with the highly sophisticated computerized controls. The unusually lengthy long hood was a sore point with drivers, and many of the refused to drive LHF. (long hood forward). (Photo Courtesy: Phil Wormald.)
34. Another small pic of one of the AdTranz diesels,  the latest in the Pakistan Railways scenario.

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Fellow irfca-member Larry Russel has very kindly permitted me to link this page to the Pakistan page of his EMD website.
Click on the following url to meet the standard PR workhorses of today, and to continue your journey on Pakistan Railways.

HIT THE 'BACK' BUTTON ON YOUR BROWSER TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE. ALTERNATIVELY, RIGHT CLICK ON THE LINK AND SELECT 'OPEN IN NEW WINDOW' TO CONTINUE READING THIS PAGE UNINTERRUPTED.

http://EMDExport.Railfan.net/asia/pakistan.html

Thank you very much, Larry. That sort of completes my page.

***************************************************************************

35. A new Australian built 1600 hp diesel engine on the Pakistan Railways leaves Karachi with a train to Lahore.(circa 1960). The engine has been christened 'City of Perth'. (Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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36. An Alco 4492 shunting on Sat.21.1.89, at what seems to be Karachi Cantt. The class was used for hauling Karachi suburban trains. AFAIK, the locos were built in the 1950s, and were re-engined in the 1980s. (Photo Courtesy: Roderick Smith.)

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37. A small shunting loco: 3504, shunting at Karachi loco depot on Sun.22.1.89. It seems to be a GE 50 tonner. (Photo Courtesy: Roderick Smith.)

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38. Class ARU-20 ALCO RSC-3 # 4486 on the through roads at Karachi City station waiting to work the evening city circular passenger train. These locomotives were built in 1951 and re-engined in 1981-85. Note retrofitment of twin beam headlamps, a standard feature in Pakistan, and now a common sight with electric locomotives in India.   (Photo Courtesy: Andrew Jones.)
39. Class PHA-20 built at the Pakistan Locomotive Factory, Risalpur in 1994 with an ALCO engine and Hitachi control gear. There are 23 such locomotives based at Rawalpindi. This unit had worked into Karachi City from Peshaway and is seen here heading the 1200 Bolan Mail at Karachi Cantt. The loco came off here and was replaced by ALCO World Series 3806, which is why it is running LHF (Long Hood Forward). Note quadruple headlamps. On the short hood, this headlamp assembly is raised, like a tiny mast. (caption to be expanded shortly)  (Photo Courtesy: Andrew Jones.)

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40. Another PHA-20 unit # 8083 pushing the steam breakdown crane back to the shed on 1/1/95. These large engines worked freight trains, while  steam and small Alco World Series diesels worked all the passenger trains at this time. (Photo Courtesy: Terry Case.)

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41. Class ALU-12 This is an ALCo DL-535 built in 1963 there are 53 such locos on PR and they are virtually identical to IR YDM4 Class. 3736 is seen on a freight train at Karachi City station. (Photo Courtesy: Andrew Jones.)
42. The Pakistan version of the YDM4, in this case a b.g. engine:another of these beasts is  seen on a branch train at Malakwal Jn on 3/1/95. (Photo Courtesy: Terry Case.)

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ELECTRIC

Pakistan Railways had (has?) a fleet of ac electric engines. Built by the British Electric Traction Group, a consortium of several well known companies including Metro Cammel and English Electric, these boxy profile ac locomotives used to run on the Lahore-Khanewal line. All of them have given way to diesel, as last heard.

Put on line around 1967-68, these   British Electric Traction Group ac engines were very interesting. They have no tap changer, and according to an article in the 'Modern Railways' magazine (circa Nov.1968) titled 'Thysistor Controlled ac locomotives for Pakistan', (quote)  'The PWR locomotives are capable of working satisfactorily over the voltage range from 27.5Kv to 16.5Kv ac.

A major point of interest of the main power equipment is the incorporation of thyristor controlled rectifier voltage to the traction motors, replacing the high voltage tap changing normally used of high power locomotive equipments. It is the first application of thyristor control to a British built locomotive.' (unquote)

There is no record of the Pakistan Railways ever having used any electrical multiple unit trainsets, but the PR does use some diesel multiple units. Information about PR's suburban services, electric, diesel or steam is very limited, save for the Karachi Circular Railway. Any news, information or pictures about PR's suburban trains would be warmly welcomed..

 

43. A Bo-Bo a.c. electric locomotive of the Pakistan Railways. These engines used to power trains on the Lahore-Khanewal line. Most have been withdrawn  or stored as last heard.(Photo Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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pwrdcdiag.jpg (162291 bytes) 44. Line drawing of the Bo-Bo English  a.c. electric locomotive pictured in # 28 above. These are the first British built electric locomotives with thyristor control.(Picture Courtesy: John Lacey.)
45. Another one of the Pakistan Railways BCU ac electrics # 7004 in the Moghulpura works. Note another unit of the same class on the next track. (Picture Courtesy: Roderick Smith.)

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46. Line drawing of one of the proposed 3070 hp ac electric locomotives to be built for the PR in 1966 by the British Rail Traction Group. These engines were meant for use on the Lahore-Khanewal line. This was the initial design which was later modified: the engines subsequently outshopped followed a more boxy and squarish profile, as shown in # 28 and 29 above. (Picture Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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47. This nice graphic from the PRACS website uses a Pakistani a.c. electric locomotive as the central icon. This shows the typical cream/dark green livery the engines bore.

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THEY SAID IT!

Here is an account about the state of Pak. Railways electrification from fellow irfca member Roderick Smith: (circa 1989)

The electrification was not covered well in contemporary references.

An article 'Pakistan Western Railway', by PRS Vice Chairman S M Akhtar, appeared in 'Developing Railway' 1974. He stated that electrification of 286 km (Lahore - Khanewal) had been completed in 1970. During the last 2 years, 29 electric locos had been added to the fleet. This hints that the article was delayed in publication.

1967-68 Jane's World Railways stated that Lahore - Khanewal electrification was in progress, to be completed by June 69. No electric locos had been delivered at that stage, and no track was shown as electrified already.

1970-71 & 1971-72 Jane's World Railways mentioned 286 electrified route km at 25 kV ac; 516 track km; 29 electric locos. A later edition mentioned that a study had been conducted for the proposed extension of electrification to Samasata.

Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

Any additional news, pictures or information about Pakistan's electric engines from any of my viewers would be highly appreciated. The source will be acknowledged on the next update. Many thanks in advance for any assistance anyone might provide.


P.R. GENERAL VIEWS

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48. A train at a Pakistani railway station. The cars look almost identical to IR stock.
49.The quaint twin b.g. line Quetta tunnel . (Picture Courtesy: John Lacey.)

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50. A shot from the  Quetta Mail, shot by John Lacey's friend. Note the barren semi-desert countryside . (Picture Courtesy: John Lacey.)
51. A 1988 ticket of the Pakistan Railways from Kohi Taftan to Quetta. (Picture Courtesy: Roderick Smith.)

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THEY SAID IT!

Here is a fascinating travelog : an absorbing story about a journey on  Pak. Railways from fellow irfca member Roderick Smith: (circa 1989)

My major holiday there was for 4 weeks in Jan.89. I was received with great hospitality. Travel was very similar to India (but less crowded), as were infrastructure and operational methods. The weather was much colder: I had dressed as for India in January, and had to buy a Pakistani blanket for survival.  Pakistan had fewer social extremes than India: less squalor, but less wealth. Even in minor towns, I was able to buy reasonable meals (with tea). I had only two nights at substandard hotels.

At the time, PR had not declined to today's extent. Services were plentiful. Bg steam was centred on Malakwal (passenger), plus some shunting at other stations. Mg and ng lines were exlusively steam. Bostan - Zhob was not running.

I was concentrating on ng, mg & bg branches. I got to: Kuhi-Taftan, Chaman, Khost, Wagah, Sialkot, Peshawar, Durgai, Bhaun, Havelian, Bannu, Thal, Gharibwal, Dandot, Bhera, Nawabshah - Pithoro - Hyderabad & Karachi circle, along with associacted main and cross-country lines.

I had little trouble making reservations: on the day for an airconditioned sleeper Karachi - Quetta on 'Bolan Express'; on the day for a non-airconditioned sleeper Quetta - Kuhi-Taftan; I couldn't get a sleeper back; on the day for an airconditioned reclining seat on 'Shalimar Express' Rohri - Lahore. Most of my other travel was on unreserved trains. I had a variety of local hauled and dmu trains.

It was unusual being in a totally alcohol-free country for a month - but I did get a Murree Brewery beer bottle (brewed in Rawalpindi for non Pakistanis in Islamabad) for my collection.

The run on Shalimar was impressive: A day train, connecting two very important cities: Karachi and Lahore (via Multan), making the 1264 km journey in 15 h 25 min (7.00 - 22.25 each way, 82 km overall average, 87 km/h running average). There were only four intermediate stops: Hyderabad 5 min; Rohri 20 min (meal stop); Multan 5 min; Khanewal 20 min (meal stop). I was in airconditioned, and was served a tray meal at my seat. Dinner was served at 20.00: chicken in gravy, naan, rice, pickle, banana (Rs23). The engine was 8215 (a Henschel of 1985) hauling eight or nine 2nd, four parlour, an airconditioned 2nd, a powervan and a second-cum-van. I must have been in parlor: 52 2+2 reclining seats, cloth upholstered. I travelled  southbound from Rohri, and timed the train at 111 km/h soon after Rohri, and at 120 km/h later. It had arrived at Rohri 6 min early; it arrived at Lahore 9 min late. I noted that, for the ordinary passengers, Khanewal had a huge range of wholesome vendors; nice food was
being served fresh under pressure-lantern light. There were also many stalls of books and souvenirs. I did not record a loco change to an electric; maybe the diesel worked through.
South bound, I was in the Tezgam Express, in an airconditioned carriage with five-abreast reclining seats. 
Regards,
Roderick B Smith
Rail News Victoria Editor

 

The Friendship Train:

Indo-Pak SAMHHAUTA EXPRESS

Amritsar-Attari-Lahore

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52. The Indo-Pak Samjhauta Express about to enter India from the Pak. side. In charge is a Pakistan diesel engine.

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53. Once in, the formidable army officers give the train a thorough look over. There is a more than two hour halt at Attari for such formalities. The total journey time between Amritsar and Lahore is less than two hours: that plus a two hour border halt yields a four hour journey. 54. Part of the train's cars consist of the green/cream PR stock. The other part is in standard IR russet livery. Tough formalities notwithstanding, space on this train is always at a premium: such is the anxiety to visit friends and relatives on the other side. Now if only the politico on either side had more sense----

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55. Passengers await immigration formalities at the border station of Attari. In addition to the Samjhauta, the IR also runs a d.m.u. service  between Amritsar and Attari, up to the border, that is. 56. An on its way: a long railway cop sees off the Samjhauta Express at Attari, after a two hour halt and after completion of all formalities.
While politicians on both sides of the border try and serve their own narrow self interests by   keeping their respective country wary of the other side, and the blatantly lopsided journalism on either side notwithstanding, the the hoi polloi  of the inseparable neighbors try and hold their lives together by catching up on their long lost relatives across the border. The Indo Pak Samjahuta Express was till recently the sole link between the neighbors, though a bus service is now in place, (2000), and is proving more popular. Although the Indo Pak train officially runs between Amritsar and Lahore, it is said to run on certain days right from New Delhi.
More details can be had from the Samjhauta Express link on this website. See the navigation panel for link.

 

Here is the link to the Pakistani website of the Khyber Pass steam excursion, which I'd mentioned earlier: (Several new ones have come up now).

HIT THE 'BACK' BUTTON ON YOUR BROWSER TO RETURN TO THIS PAGE. ALTERNATIVELY, RIGHT CLICK ON LINK AND SELECT 'OPEN IN NEW WINDOW' TO CONTINUE READING THIS PAGE UNINTERRUPTED.

http://www.clickpeshawar.com/sehrai_travel/Route.html

Pakistan Railways launched a fully revised and revamped official website in July 2000, with a section for train buffs! Click on the link below:   

www.pakrail.com


wichbook.gif (1903 bytes)ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My special thanks to the following friends who have very kindly provided pictures and information for use in this website: (In alphabetical order):

ANDREW JONES: for his out of this world pictures of Pakistan diesels.

J.F.ANDRIST: for information about the diesels in Pakistan

IQBAL SAMAD KHAN (GM, PakRail): for his constant encouragement and a blizzard of information about the PR.

JOHN LACEY: for several pictures of steam locomotives in Pakistan. John has also provided the line drawings of the NWR diesels, the electrics, and  one photo of the ac electric locomotive.

JONATHAN JOSEPH : for information about the NWR diesels in Pakistan.

LARRY RUSSELL: for allowing me to link this page to the Pak page of his EMD site.

PETER: for his update about the latest state of the PR, as of Aug. 2000.

PHIL WORMALD: for some real terrific diesel pictures

A.ROCHA: for information about the electrics in Pakistan.

RODERICK SMITH: for information and a photograph of the electrics in Pakistan, for his fascinating travelogs, the Pak. Railways ticket, several diesel images  and for the maps.

ROLF STUMPF: for some information about the diesels in Pakistan.

TERRY CASE: For his complete new pages on Pakistan steam and PR Atmosphere!


Comments/Questions?

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If you have enjoyed this page, take a peek at some of  my other webpages. Most are about the Indian Railways, but there is a page about the railways in Bangladesh too. Click on the following url:

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Last updated: 14/09/2001 Page spun by S.Shankar using Microsoft FrontPage 98

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DISCLAIMER: This webpage is merely a compilation of images and info about the PR which I have collected over the years through my own efforts or through contributions from friends. This website has no connection with the Pakistan Railways administration, and as such the views expressed herein do not reflect the official views or policies of the Pakistan Railways. PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON PAKISTAN RAILWAYS, NOR DO I HAVE ACCESS TO UNLIMITED INFORMATION ABOUT THE PR. Although your queries are welcome, I shall attempt to answer your questions by referring them to my more knowledgeable friends. But be prepared: I might not always be able to do so, or answer all queries.