Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Friday announced to run 10 special trains on Eidul Azha with a reduction in fares.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said there would be 25 per cent concession in railway fares on first two days of Eidul Azha.
The minister said 30,000 additional seats had been made available on different trains and the system would be able to handle 55,000 passengers during Eid holidays. After Eid, extra bogies would be attached with routine trains till Sept 27 to facilitate the people for their return.
Rafique said advance booking of the special trains would start on Sept 14. On September 21, first four special trains would depart from Karachi to Lahore, Karachi to Rawalpindi, Karachi to Peshawar and Quetta to Rawalpindi; then on the next day, a train would leave from Lahore for Karachi via Faisalabad.
The minister said that one train from Rawalpindi to Multan and two for Lahore would facilitate passengers on September 23. On the same day, two trains would travel from Lahore to Rawalpindi.
To a question, the minister categorically stated that Pakistan Railways would not be privatised and there was no such proposal under consideration.
Rafique said commercial management and passenger facilitation of three trains Fareed Express, Bolan Express and Khushhal Khan Khattak Express would be handed over to the private sector.
He said these three trains were incurring heavy losses and outsourcing of these operations would help check ticketless travelling and improve facilities for passengers.
He said three trains are being upgraded during current financial year, adding that upgraded Karakorum Express would be launched by October 15.
Upgraded Karachi Express and Tezgam would start their new journey on January 2016 and April 2016 respectively, he added.
The upgraded trains will have facilities like wi-fi, filtered water, LED, separate seats for ladies and curtains for economy class.
He concluded by saying that plans are underway to upgrade 13 railway stations including Sukkur, Hyderabad, Bahawalpur, Raiwind, Gujranwala, Quetta, Narowal, Hassan Abdal, Nankana Sahib, Okara and Sahiwal in the coming days.