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Federal Minister for Railways Shaikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday claimed to have doubled the freight train operation, besides increasing commuters up to 8 million in the last one year. Addressing a press conference flanked by Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Rashid said he has declared 2019 the freight train year and wants to turn Railways into a profitable transport entity in his tenure.

He said when he assumed the charge of Railways ministry; only 8 freight trains were being operated with limited loading capacity, however, now 15 such trains are operating and the annual revenue from freight trains now stands at Rs 18 billion.

He informed that Prime Minister Imran Khan is visiting China this month. "I will be with him during this historic visit and will work on pricing and loan sanction of the Main Line-1."

Rashid told that he had already signed the feasibility and PC-I of ML-1 some 14 years back which is now going to become reality. "I will also request the PM as well as the Chinese authorities to work on feasibility of fast train ML-2.

"We have attracted around 8 million more passengers during the period, and the earnings have also increased up to Rs 10 billion in just one year which have helped in reducing the annual deficit."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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