Islamabad, Feb 23 (IANS) Pakistan Railways has inaugurated a first-ever train service that would exclusively transport Afghan transit cargo from Karachi to the countries’ border.
Pakistan Railways Chairman Habib-ur-Rehman Gilani inaugurated the train on Saturday which departed from the Pakistan International Container Terminal in Karachi with 35 containers on board for the country’s southwest Chaman city bordering Afghanistan, from where the goods will be shifted across the border, reports Xinhua news agency.
The chairman said that according to the agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan, a total of five to seven trains will run on the route, shifting up to 500 containers every month but mainly depending on the availability of the cargo.
The chairman said the launching of cross border freight train is one of the major achieved targets by Pakistan Railways during the current year.
“The project will help increase the revenue of Pakistan Railways and will also reduce the heavy traffic flow from major roads and highways, besides providing cheap and smooth cargo services to traders with little loss risks in terms of damages,” said the official, adding that the cargo will reach the Afghan border in 48 hours.
Pakistan originally planned to start Afghan transit cargo train service in 2017, but the plan hit snags due to security issues, according to media reports.