Branch lines equally important for Railways: Saad

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LAHORE, May 19 (APP): Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique has said trains run on branch lines between other small and big cities can not be ignored besides the up-gradation of main lines.
Presiding over a meeting on improvement of trains run on branch lines held at PR Headquarters here on Friday, he said facilities, including protective, comfortable and speedy traveling, should be provided to passengers of branch lines trains.
He said it was good that investment of Rs 1,000 billion was coming for upgradation of Main-Line 1 but branch lines were also equally important.
The minister assigned responsibilities to AGM Traffic Abdul Hameed Razi, COPS Waqar Shahid and Chief Engineer Open-line Basharat Waheed to present solid recommendations within 15 days for improvement of tracks and reduction of running time of several branch-lines trains .
He also directed to increase passenger coaches from three to five in shuttle train run between Malakwal and Pind Dadan Khan.
He also asked the Railways for suggestions to provide facility of goods transportation to traders from Sialkot to Lahore and Karachi.
The minister also sought steps to overcome the issue of fare dodgers so that the deficit of the railways could be reduced.
He said the PR was a national institution and its restoration and progress would provide a base for progress and prosperity of the nation.
Earlier, the AGM Traffic gave briefing to the meeting about branch lines trains including Lasani Express, Faiz Ahmad Faiz Express, Millat Express, Bahauddin Zakriya Express, Sandal Express, Attock Passenger, Rawalpindi Passenger, Jund Passenger, Badin Express, Chaman Passenger, Chenab Express and Malakwal_Pind Dadan Khan shuttle train.
The meeting was informed that the PR had recently reduced fare by 10 per cent at Branch-Lines to facilitate passengers.
PR CEO Javed Anwar, Member Finance Ghulam Mustafa, AGM Infrastructure Hamaiyun Rasheed, AGM Technical Ansar Billah and other senior officers attended the meeting.