LAHORE - The Pakistan Railways (PR) yesterday entered into agreement with private partners to operate its four trains.

The Railways spokesperson said the department will earn Rs3.3 billion per year with the outsourcing of Khushhal Khan Khattak Express (19up/20down between Karachi and Peshawar), Hazara Express (11up/12down between Karachi and Havelian), Bolan Mail (3up/4down between Karachi and Quetta) and Fareed Express (37up/38down between Karachi and Lahore).

Railways CEO Javed Anwar Bobak witnessed the signing ceremony between private operators and Railways Add GM Traffic Maqsoodunadbi at PR headquarters.

According to the agreement, PRACS (PR Advisory and Consultancy Services) will operate Khushhal Khan Express, Ranu Khan Jaskani and Company will operate Bolan Mail while Syed Jamil and Company is the successful bidder of Hazara and Farid Express.

PR spokesperson said the Khushhal Express had already started its operation from August 1, Bolan and Hazara will begin its journey from August 14 and Farid Express to start operation on August 21. Under the public-private partnership, Bolan Express and Khushhal Khan Khattak Express each would have 15, Hazara Express 17 while Fareed Express 16 coaches.

The agreement will be valid for three years and extendable for a further year on good performance of the operators. The Railways will keep 10 per cent of the operators’ income in its account as guarantee of their performance. Railways staff will be given five per cent of the trains’ income and operators will also submit Rs5 in national exchequer as life insurance of each passenger.