Research Analyst
Jan 2 - 8, 2012

Pakistan Railways forms the transportation lifeline of the country by catering to its needs for large-scale movement of freight as well as passenger traffic.

Pakistan Railways endeavors to run the trains strictly in accordance to timetable. The train service provides competitive and economical mode of transportations to its customers.

Pakistan Railways provides an important mode of transportation in the farthest corners of the country.


2001-02 13,046 9.3
2002-03 14,812 13.5
2003-04 14,636 ?1.2
2004-05 18,027 23.2
2005-06 18,184 0.9
2006-07 19,194 5.5
2007-08 19,973 4.1
2008-09 23,160 16
2009-10 22,269 -3.8
2010-11 (July-Mar) 13060 -19.1

During the nine years (2000-09), Pakistan Railways showed improving trend in both passenger and freight revenue, registering an average increase of 3.2 per cent and four per cent per annum, respectively.

A decrease in passenger traffic was seen for the year 2009-10 (Jul-Mar) with a negative growth rate of 7.15 percent due to less traveling as a result of deterioration in internal security whereas freight traffic decreased by 13.1 percent over the same period of last year. Pakistan Railways loaded 363564 wagons up to 2008.

An effective railways system facilitates trade, reduces transportation cost, and promotes rural development and national integration among the commuters.


The Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) began operation in 1969 through Pakistan Railways with the aim of providing better transportation facilities to the people of Karachi and the surrounding suburbs.

The original KCR line extended from Drigh road station and ended at Karachi city station carrying six million passengers annually. The KCR was in instant success and made a significant profit in its first year of operation. During the 1970s and 1980s, the KCR was at its peak with 104 daily trains, of which 90 trains ran on the main track while the remaining 14 ran on the loop line.

By 1994, the KCR was in incurring major losses and as a result, the vast majority of trains were discontinued with only a few running on the loop. In 1999, KCR operations were discontinued.

The result was instant road vehicular gridlock in the city. In 2005, revival plans for the railway were initiated to fulfill the growing transportation needs. The city district government Karachi was making plans for a revival and construction of a combined Karachi Metro.

The KCR aims to connect several industrial and commercial districts within the city and outlying suburbs. The system will consist of a loop line, encircling the entire city of Karachi and is expected to carry around 70,000 passengers a day when completed.

Due to a lack of money, current plans are to revive this transit plan somewhere around 2050.


Pakistan Railways is one of the government institutions that is running in losses of billions of rupees each year and still demanding as many rupees from government to provide travelling facilities to commuters and freight forwarders.

Peshawar railway station is one of the six divisions of Pakistan Railways that has track linked with other main cities of the country, but unfortunately, the residents of Peshawar as well as other parts of the province are reluctant to travel by train because instead of giving relief it makes their journey horrible.

The Railways claims that it gives facilities to passengers and business communities. PR's administration did not give the surety about the exact departure and arrival timings of the trains.

One of the major problems is that the railway department does not have locomotive engines. The trains after reaching destination need complete maintenance, and if there is any fault in the engine or in any other parts of the train, then there are no alternative engines to make the train move forward on time.

The passengers under such circumstances have to wait for 6 to 12 hours and that is why people avoid traveling by train and prefer others means. Another reason is the rampant corruption.

It is also pertinent to mention that PR has long been facing shortage of diesel. Recently, wheels of trains got jammed, suspending 11 commuter trains. Railway authorities had declared emergency and 11 scheduled trains including Ravi Express and Bahu Express had been suspended for three days.

The government has decided to release Rs6.1 billion for the rehabilitation of locomotives this month.

2004-05 24,238 5.2 5,532 3.6
2005-06 25,621 5.7 5,916 6.9
2006-07 26,446 3.2 5,453 -7.8
2007-08 24,731 -6.5 6,178 13.3
2008-09 25,702 3.95 5,896 -4.10
2009-10 23,523 -8.4 3,925 -13.2
2010-11(Jul-Dec) 9,687 -17.6 4,847 17.7