Karachi Circular Railway launched after 20 years

All three phases 46 kilometers will be launched in a few weeks’ time

Railway Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed inaugurated the launch of the first phase of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR). KCR, which began operations in 1969 for the first time, has been decommissioned for more than two decades. The revival of the iconic train was ordered by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

In the first phase, the trains will cover a 14 kilometers area. The trains will run twice a day though the number of trains will increase in the coming weeks. The second phase of the project, another 12 kilometers of coverage with 12 additional gates, will begin operations in early December. The daily trains will be increased to eight from two by mid of December as well. The fare for a single trip is 30 rupees though a monthly pass worth 750 rupees for regular commuters is also available.

Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed expressed his delight on the occasion and said that the federal and Sindh governments did well in getting the project operational once again. There were previous attempts to restore KCR in 2005 and 2009, but could not materialize. One of the major challenges is the encroachment that has taken place on the tracks over the years. A total of 67 acres of the needed 360 have heavy encroachment, according to reports.  

Karachi is Pakistan’s financial capital with a population of over 20 million. The city still lacks a proper mass transit system and KCR should prove to be a useful addition to intra-city travel. The situation is unheard of, in any major financial hub around the globe. Coupled with the under-construction metro bus project, KCR can help lessen the travel woes of the residents of Karachi and further push the economy of the city in the right direction.

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