KARACHI: Test run of the much-awaited Karachi Circular Railway began on Thursday.
The train took around two hours to cover the entire distance that is supposed to take minutes, they said, adding it took much longer than usual because of the dilapidated condition of the tracks and stations.
A KCR train comprising four bogies and two locomotives travelled a 14-kilometre-long distance from Karachi’s City Railway Station to Orangi Town, according to official sources.
While the railway ministry has announced to run the first train from November 16, there is not a single station in good condition, nor are platforms or ticket offices.
On October 5, the Pakistan Railways had announced to partially restore the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) in January next year.
According to Pakistan Railways, the Karachi Circular Railway project will be completed in three phases.
The length of the KCR project was 43.13km, including 14.95km on the ground and 28.18km elevated. It would have 24 stations and its per-day ridership would be around 550,000.
The railway officials said that in the first phase, the KCR line from Karachi City Station to Orangi Town would become operational and 32 trains will operate on the track.
Its per-day ridership would be around 16,000, while the restoration of the first phase will cost Rs1.25 billion.
The second phase of KCR will cost Rs 8.70 billion, whereas, the third phase would be completed under a public-private partnership.