LAHORE - After receiving a massive bailout package, Pakistan Railways did not emerge from the crisis as it has to close down all goods trains due to shortage of freight engines. Railway deficits will rise after freight trains are shut down. When Profit tried to contact the Director Public Relations Railway Mohsin Yousuf to ask about the situation, he did not attend the call. The Railways was suffering hefty losses owing to non-availability of locomotives.
Its freight train service was contributing more than 30 per cent to the revenue. Pakistan Railways senior official, on condition of anonymity, said that due to shortage of locomotives, PR has to shut down its freight trains. Dishonest people in PR are negatively impacting this profitable organisation since many years.
Trains that leave railway stations are always jam-packed and even overloaded at times. The reason behind the losses that PR is facing is nothing but corruption. An official said that Pakistan Railways immediate requires 300 locomotives to run operations in full strength but unfortunately PR has less than 100 operational locomotives. Acquiring new locomotives and repair of non-functional engines has become a crucial step to be taken. Two trains or even three need to be led by one engine very often. According to him, in 2001 Pakistan Railway (PR) had 502 functional engines, however after 10 years, only 90 of them remain.
More than 50 engines could be made functional through normal repairs. Rs50 million need be spent for repair and restoration of every engine, but PR has only earmarked Rs600 million for repairing non-operational locomotives. In order to maintain railways facilities, earn revenue and provide passenger and freight train services, it has to improve its signal, track system and ensure safety and security. Owing to the pitiable routine over the past few years, Pakistan Railways has been losing its confidence in the public.