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‘North-South’ divide in railways?

‘North-South’ divide in railways?

LAHORE: The passengers of the inter-city trains chugging northwards from Lahore are being denied the catering facilities which are provided to those traveling to southern destinations.

From Lahore, five trains leave for Rawalpindi and two for Multan daily. Similarly, from Rawalpindi five trains depart for Lahore while from Multan two for Lahore.

Subak Raftar, Subak Kharam, Rawal Express, Islamabad Express, Margala Express cover the distance of 288 kilometer between Lahore and Rawalpindi in up to four hours and 35 minutes.

Multan is some 336 kilometres from Lahore and both Musa Pak Express and Multan Express take five hours and 15 minutes or so to reach the destination.

All these trains have two commonalities -- having same composition and stop durations. Every train comprises five economy, one each AC Business, AC Parlour and AC Standard coaches, besides a power van and have two-minute stops on stations.

However, the rail cars leaving Lahore for the northern city of Rawalpindi and vice versa have on-board catering facilities for passengers. Waiters of catering contractor also roam the coaches of rail cars with bottled water, cold drinks and snacks.

However, the passengers of south-bound trains enjoy no such facility.

A senior officer of the PR commercial wing told Dawn that the anomaly had been in the knowledge of railway high-ups and soon proposals would be sought from contractors for the provision of catering services in the trains running between Lahore and Multan.

Published in Dawn, May 6th, 2016

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