Golra Railway Station, museum not appealing any more | Pakistan Today

Golra Railway Station, museum not appealing any more

Owing to the railway authorities’ poor policies and lack of attention, the Golra railway station, which also includes a museum, is fast losing its appeal. Golra Sharif Railway Museum is a railway museum located in sector E-11 of the federal capital. It is a junction station in the northern section of the Pakistan railways system under the Rawalpindi division. The venerated railway museum at this site houses the relics and memorabilia associated with the country’s railways dating back to the days of the British Raj.
The railway station lies amidst thick foliage of 125-year-old Banyan trees and along with its museum is a major attraction for tourists and locals alike. It was a major attraction for railway enthusiasts, but the crisis that crippled the railway sector has also been affecting the Golra junction because now this station has just become a tourist point. Unfortunately, the government authorities have neither tried to save it as a station nor provided any facility for tourists at this heritage point.
“Railway stations are more often associated with serenity, beauty, mystery and romance. Golra Sharif railway station epitomises this convention more than any other railway station on the Pakistan railways system but it is beyond anyone’s comprehension why the authorities concerned seem reluctant to save its beauty,” said Zubair Khan, a resident of Golra since 1991.
The scenic platform with old shadowy trees and benches present a classic, traditional setting, characteristic of the bucolic railway station. Unfortunately, after the old station merged into a junction there were about five to six passenger trains daily arriving at the station but now there is only one running on these tracks. The trains which used to start from the Golra station included Thall express, Kohat passenger train, Meher express, Attock shuttle train whereas today Hawalian express is the only train which is on the track.
Talking to Pakistan Today, several passengers complained that late arrival of the train had become a routine. “The government should focus on the railways sector as it is in the best interest of the country,” said Hammad Ali. Another visitor Faisal Sheikh said high fares of taxis and vans forced the passengers to rely on trains, yet the government seemed reluctant to provide any relief to the public. On the other hand, he said, the road leading to the station was in a dilapidated condition, but no authority was worrying to save this heritage and promote tourism in the country.
Sheer negligence on the part of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) is considered the main cause of the poor condition of the road while the negligence of the railway ministry has created enormous problems for the passengers.
“The only thing which remains there is a railway museum but its future might also be hanging in the balance as no one is looking after the maintenance of the road leading to the station or providing tourism facilities at Golra station,” said Moin Ahmad, a resident in the station’s vicinity. “The CDA should repair the road as a number of tourists turn down opportunities to visit the railway station due to its poor condition,” said Hameed Abbasi, a local. Other commuters said despite the allocation of huge funds for the maintenance of roads and streets, the Golra Road had become the most neglected one, although hundreds of people used it on a daily basis.
Golra railway station Assistant Station Master Rafaqat Nawaz told Pakistan Today that previously his earnings were about Rs 50,000 per month but now he hardy earned Rs 700. “Running passenger trains have almost finished but we cannot blame anyone for this,” he said, adding that these were all the gifts of the crisis with which the railway ministry was being confronted.
The only thing which is fine in the station is its museum. Golra railway station is now only important due to its museum. However, Nawaz said that a number of foreigners visited the museum, especially on weekends. He said that most people did not know about the existence of the museum at Golra station, adding that it could be made into a beautiful tourism point for the citizens by providing facilities at the station and could even generate revenue.



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