Yesterday, the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) track of the City Railway Station to Orangi Station was made functional and open to the public after having completed its test runs last week.
The train has six coaches and each coach can accommodate a total of hundred passengers, out of which 64 people have seating while the other 36 can travel while standing. Per trip, 30 rupees will be charged no matter how long the distance.
People were ecstatic to finally see a functional KCR train in their area, which will enable them to travel intracity.
The logistics of the Karachi Circular Railway, as explained by the Pakistan Railways state that the KCR-1 Up train will leave the Orangi Station at 4:15 pm and will travel the 14 km distance to reach the City Station. It will make short stops at Manghopir, SITE, Shah Abdul Latif, Baldia, Lyari, and Wazir Mansion.
From the City Station, after making a longer stop, the train will travel another 60 km to reach Dhabeji. Another train KCR-2 Down, will cross the same distance to reach the Orangi Station at 10:10 am.
“I was born in Gulshan 13-D. When I was young, we used to have the local train passing through here, and my friends and I used to catch it during Ramazan just to kill time before iftar. Then when I started working, I would travel to Saddar and Tower on the local. The fare at the time, if I remember correctly, was eight annas,” a citizen named Tariq told Dawn.
“We never thought this station could be cleared for trains as there used to be such a big mess here what with all the encroachment and the weekly market that used to be held here. This is a great accomplishment. And then when the KCR train pulled up here earlier today, we thought we were dreaming,” another citizen ecstatic about the newly functional train told the news outlet.
In November of last year, the Karachi Circular Railway had begun partial operations. Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid informed that the fare of one trip on the KCR train would cost 30 rupees, while people can get themselves a traveling pass for 750 rupees as well.
Addressing the attendees of the inauguration ceremony, the minister stated, “In 25 years, the land mafia has taken over the KCR tracks. We are making efforts…We are fully cooperating with the Sindh government. They have started work on sewerage lines; they have (issued tender) for over-bridges. As more bridges keep coming, we will increase the KCR tracks and the credit goes to the Imran Khan government.
“We are going to do lots of work in railways and God willing we will try to reduce the problems of Karachi. We will completely modernize (the KCR) within a year.”
Speaking about the cost of KCR, he stated “One coach cost Rs 9 million and 40 coaches have been refurbished. Around Rs1.8 billion has been allocated of which Rs17m has been spent so far.”