The passenger train service will be operated once a week and it will also turn around after a week from Iran
Pakistan and Iran have decided to resume a fortnightly passenger train service before Muharram after a gap of about five years.
A joint Expert Committee comprised of both Pakistan and Iranian Railways officials announced the re-opening of the service in a meeting held at Ministry of Railways, Islamabad.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Zubair Shafi Ghauri, Secretary Railway Board, and Ministry of Railways. Mr. Munawar Shah, DG Technical, Mr.Agha Waseem ,DG Operation, Mr. Noor Ud Din, DCP, Mr. Aamir Baloch, DS Quetta, Ms. Asia Baig, AD T1, Ms. Abida Maryam , AD C2, were also present at the meeting.
Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafeeq said on that besides the Pakistan-Iran goods train service, the Quetta-Zhob train service would be restored and its route would be extended to Peshawar.
The train composition would consist of 24 freight vans which would further be extended up to 40 vans later and the train would transport rice and other things from Pakistan to Iran while it would bring Sulphur, coal and other chemicals from Iran to Pakistan.
Iranian side preferred booking of consignment ex Zahidan for Quetta due to operational and security issues. But security is improving so now Pakistan Railways’ divisions will be in the position to dispatch consignment to other parts of the country as well.
Iran has also offered Pakistani traders access to European countries, Middle East via railway network to Pakistani traders and for improving the speed of the train on the Quetta-Taftan railway route from the present 40km to 120km per hour.
In meeting officials also discussed up-gradation of Spezand and Taftan (ML-III) sections and regular running of 15 freight trains, on the demand of merchants, between Quetta and Zahedan along with Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul (ITI) train service.
According to the railway’s ministry, the Iranians said the booking of consignments for Zahedan should be made from Quetta due to operational and security reasons. “However, since the security situation is improving, PR will be in a position to dispatch consignments to other parts of the country as well,” the ministry said.
Representatives of the two countries were informed that a proposal for upgrading the existing feasibility study of the ML-III was in progress and would be finished this year.
The upgrade includes a complete replacement of the track structure, conversion of 183 dips into bridges, rehabilitation of old bridges and provision of proper signalling.
The Iranian delegation expressed the desire to import mechanical and civil material from the Pakistan Railways.