`Wonder of wonders: A Pakistani train that runs on time’February 5th, 2012 - 1:03 pm ICT by IANS
Islamabad, Feb5 (IANS) A Pakistani daily described a train that left on time and reached 15 minutes early at its destination as a “wonder of wonders”.
An editorial in the News International said: “It is not every day that you see a railway locomotive decked with flowers in Pakistan.”
“The gaudily attired engine was in Lahore and it was the inaugural service of the Business Express, a private-investment venture that may be a shot in the arm for the railways.
“Passengers entered through a new Business Class Lounge, the train left on time and was, wonder of wonders, 15 minutes early when it arrived in Karachi,” it said.
Considering the trip is 1,200 km that was covered in 18 hours at an average speed of 66kph, the editorial said it was “a respectable performance”.
The editorial added that “a bullet train it most certainly is not… (but) it is comfortable, secure, has excellent onboard cuisine and costs far more than the average rail traveller is able to afford - Rs.5,000 one way or 9,000 for the round trip”.
It went on to say that the other side of the railway coin was displayed by the Quetta Express that was stranded for nine hours because of engine failure on the same day that the Business Express was launched.
“The unfortunate train carrying hundreds of passengers was stuck at (a) railway station in freezing conditions - apparently without the knowledge of the Pakistan Railways authorities who professed complete ignorance of the incident.
“The contrast was stark.”
The editorial said that for the railways to truly revive they will “need to move beyond the $2.8 million handout they receive every month to pay salaries and pensions and introduce modern management systems and structures”.
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Tags: average speed, bullet train, business class, business express, engine failure, inaugural service, lahore, management systems, modern management, new business, news international, pakistan railways, pensions, private investment, quetta, railway locomotive, railway station, respectable performance, salaries, shot in the arm