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Attock Khurd Railway Station, bridge attracting scores of tourists

PESHAWAR, May 19 (APP): The Attock Khurd Railway Station at the bank of Indus, which is emerging as attractive tourist spot requires steps by the authorities of Pakistan Railways and Tourism to facilitate tourists in reaching to the spot.
The Railway Station established in the year 1884 is adjacent to the British era constructed master-piece of construction and architecture on Indus River is a scenic spot situated in gorge and surrounded by green hills.
Pakistan Railways is operating special Safari Train Service for tourists from Rawalpindi on every Sunday to see historic station and bridge on the River Indus. The Bridge was constructed in 1880 and is still used as railway crossing on the river. For a period of century (1880-1979) the bridge was used for both trains and vehicular traffic as single road link on G.T. Road between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.
For visiting the place, tourists from Punjab can get ticket from Railway Station Rawalpindi. However, a special arrangement is required for visitors from Peshawar. Those interested in visit are required to either contact the office of the Divisional Superintendent, Pakistan Railways Peshawar, which used to arrange a buggy for them while taking into account the expenses of Pakistan Railways on their transportation.
The second procedure is that they will have to take ride in railway from Peshawar to Jehangira Station and then take any mean of transportation to reach the station and bridge.
The initiative of the Safari Train was taken in collaboration with Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) to promote tourism and also earned revenue for Pakistan Railways.
On arrival at Attock Khurd Railway Station, the each and every guest is received by the Station Master M. A Jehangir with a smiling face. Other staffers are included two Assistant Station Masters and other supporting staff. A good furnish room as also serving as rest room where guests and tourists use to sit and relax from the fatigue of the journey.
The station also has a museum housing various railway equipment, like oil heaters, hand signal lights, siren, rest chair and an original model of the steam engine designed by the inventor George Stephenson. Despite the passage of a period of over 140 years, all equipment is still in working condition. The waiting room for ticket seekers is turned into the museum.
The station is also beautified with the historical portraits regarding initial days of the invention of railways and George Stephenson, the father of the railways.
Beside the equipment the visitors take interest in visiting the railway track on the upper floor of the bridge to watch the engineering expertise of the Britishers and flow of the water of River Indus. The lower portion of the bridge was reserved for vehicular transportation and still good conditions and local residents are still crossing it either by motorcycles or on feet to meet their relatives residing in the nearby villages. However, motorists are strictly prohibited to cross the river on their vehicles.
Only few measures required by the government to facilitate tourists to the spot are the establishment of a full-pledge restaurant and a tuck shop.
“Pakistan Railways has invited tenders to establish these facilities at the station, M.A Jehangiri, the Station Master when asked in this regard. He as presently the station has no ticket issuance office and trains are only passing through it.
In British era period, he said that station was established to facilitate the residents of 25 villagers in boarding and deboarding. However, he said since long no such facilities are available at the station. The first train in Pakistan was operated on the morning May 13, 1861, when Sindh Express with 200 passengers on board travelled from Karachi Cantonment Station to Kotri.
He said that due to its location and historic importance, the station is attracting both foreign and local tourists, saying that beside, lawyers, students and other section of the society, a group of the diplomats of various European and other countries have visited the station and the bridge.
Shehzad Butt, a Peshawar-based journalist, who was also amongst the visitors also complained of lacking the facility like restaurant or a tuck shop at this historic and tourists’ attractive railway station called for the establishment of such facilities with immediate effect to facilitate visitors at the spot.


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