150Th Anniversary of Pakistan Railways Commemorative Postage Stamp 13 May, 2011:- Sir Henry Edward Frere when appointed Commissioner of Sindh in 1847, discovered the potential of Karachi as a Sea Port and conceived the idea of a Railway Line for up country. In 1855 Mr. Frere recommended to the Government that Karachi should be made a Sea Port. The survey for construction of a Railway Line from Karachi started in 1858. Initially a Railway Line was proposed from Karachi City to Kotri, then steam navigation through Rivers Indus/Chenab upto Multan and from there on a Railway Line to Lahore and beyond.
The 13th of May, 1861 was historical day when the first Railway Line was opened for public traffic between Karachi City and Kotri, a distance of 169 Kms. By 1857 the Line from Kiamari to Kotri was converted to double track.
Different sections of this part of Railway in the Sub-continent, which now comprise Pakistan Railways, were constructed in the last quarter of the 19th century and early part of the 20th century. Unlike other Rail networks of the Sub-continent during British times, most sections of Pakistan Railways were constructed as strategic lines to safeguard the British Empire in the Sub-continent. Ti is an interesting coincidence that the present alignment of Railway line from Peshawar to Karachi closely follows Alexander’s line of march though the Hindukush to the sea. In 1885, Sindh, Punjab and Dehli Railways were purchased by the Secretary of State for India. On 1st January, 1886 this line and other state Railways (the Indus Valley, the Punjab Northern, inclusive of Sindh Sagar Eastern Section, and the Kandahar or Sindh-Pishin Southern Section) were integrated and North Western State Railway was formed was later on renamed as North Western Railways (NWR).
At the time of independence, the NWR was bifurcated with “1847 routes miles” lying in India and “5048 route miles” in Pakistan. In 1954 the Railway line was extended to Mardan and Charsadda and in 1956 Jacobabad-Kashmore, Narrow Gauge Section (2’-6”) was converted into broad gauge (5’-6”) section. Construction of Kot Adu-Kashmore Line was completed in 1973, providing an alternate route from Karachi to up country along Right Bank of River Indus. Meter gauge line from Hydrabad to khokrapar was converted to broad gauge in 2008.
At present Pakistan Railway has route length of 7791 Kilometers out of which 7479 Kilometer is broad gauge and 312 Kilometer is meter gauge.
Pakistan Railways operates its system through 560 Railway Stations with 83000 employees.
To run about 350 passenger, mixed and freight trains on daily basis, Pakistan Railways, owns 528 Locomotives, 1700 Passenger coaches and 16500 Freight Wagons.
Pakistan Railway is a Federal Government Department under Ministry of Railways. The Secretary for Ministry of Railways is the ex-officio Chairman of the Railway board.
Pakistan Railways comprises of three functional units i.e the Operations Unit, the Manufacturing and Services Unit and the Development Unit. Each unit is headed by a General Manager who reports to the Secretary / Chairman Railways for the performance of his Unit.
The operations unit is at Headquartered at Lahore and oversees train operations and all related functions through its seven territorial operating divisions headquartered at Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Multan, Sukkur, Karachi and Quetta.
The Manufacturing and Service (M & S) Unit oversees the management of the Concrete Sleeper Factories, Locomotives and Carriage Factories and Workshop Division, responsible for the major repair/rehabilitation of rolling stock and locomotives.
The Development Unit manages all Railway Schools, Hospitals and Railway Academy, Walton, besides, monitoring development projects in execution.
Pakistan Railways has two subsidiary companies i.e. Pakistan Railways Advisory & Consultancy Services (PRACS) and Railway Constructions Pakistan Limited (RAILCOP).
PRACS was founded in 1976 and is registered as Public Limited Company under the Companies Ordinance 1984. It provides an excellent outlet to the unique expertise of Pakistan Railways to complete in the Local and international market in commercial, Transportation, engineering (Civil, Mechanical, Electrical & Telecommunication) and Marketing disciplines.
RAILCOP was incorporated as a Public Limited Company in 1980 under the companies act 1913. Its specialization is in track construction and allied Railway oriented projects to augment the Pakistan Railways efforts towards better operation and maintenance of system.
The mission statement of the Pakistan Railways features provision of a competitive, safe, reliable, market oriented, efficient and environment friendly mode of transport. As the largest mover of goods and passengers in the country, Pakistan Railways endeavours to meet contemporary challengers through efficient administrative functioning, modernization of machinery and equipment, and well defined operating procedures for ensuring safety of passengers and rolling stock.
On the occasion of 150th Anniversary of Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Post is issuing a Commemorative Postage Stamp of Rs.8/= denomination on May 13, 2011.