Khyber train safari

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Khyber train safari
Overview
Service type Tourist train
First service April 11, 2015 (2015-04-11)
Current operator(s) Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Route
Start Peshawar Cantonment
End Attock Khurd
Distance travelled 69 kilometres (43 mi)
Average journey time 1 hours, 26 minutes
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 1UP (Peshawar→Attock Khurd)
2DN (Attock Khurd→Peshawar)
Technical
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Track owner(s) Pakistan Railways
Khyber steam safari
Overview
Service type Tourist train
First service 1996 (1996)
Last service 2006 (2006)
Former operator(s) Sehrai Travels’ & Sarhard Tourism Corporation (1996 to 2006)
Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (2006)
Route
Start Peshawar Cantonment
End Landi Khana
Distance travelled 58 kilometres (36 mi)
Average journey time 1 hours, 52 minutes
Service frequency Daily
Train number(s) 1UP (Peshawar→Landi Kotal)
2DN (Landi Kotal→Peshawar)
Technical
Track gauge 1,676 mm (5 ft 6 in)
Track owner(s) Pakistan Railways

The Khyber train safari (Urdu: خیبر بخار سفاری‎, Pashto: د خیبر تپ صفري‎) is a tourist train, operated and maintained by Tourism Corporation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Pakistan Railways between Peshawar and Attock Khurd.[1] The trip takes approximately 1 hour and 26 minutes to cover a published distance of 69 kilometres (43 mi), traveling along a entire stretch of the Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line.[2] It is the only passenger train in Pakistan still operating steam engines.

History[edit]

Passenger service (1925–1982)[edit]

The Khyber Railway. With a Pakistan Railways HGS 2-8-0 at front and rear a charter train climbs the Khyber Pass through a series of zig-zags to gain height.

Regular passenger service along the Khyber Pass Railway began on 4 November 1925 between Peshawar City railway station and Landi Kotal railway station. The train took passengers through rugged mountainous terrain reaching a height of 1,200 m (3,900 ft) to reach Landi Kotal and covering a total distance of 52 km (32 mi) through 34 tunnels and 92 bridges and culverts. The oil-fired steam engines, which pushed and pulled the carriages from the rear and front, were built by Vulcan Foundry and by Kitson & Co in the United Kingdom.[3]. One of the unusual feature of this train journey was that its route passed across Peshawar Airport's main runway.[4]) On 3 April 1926, the railway was extended to Landi Khana, just 3 kilometers from the Torkham border crossing with Afghanistan. In 1932, the Landi Kotal to Landi Khana section of railway was closed down at the insistence of Afghan government. Regularly scheduled rail service continued between Peshawar and Landi Kotal until 1982, due lack of commercial value. The 2006 monsoon season rains in the Khyber Pass washed away significant sections of the railway. The track as of today is closed for all rail traffic.

Khyber steam safari (1996–2006)[edit]

A charter train is about to depart from Shahgai and descend out of the Khyber Pass back to Jamrud, near Peshawar. The local tribesmen are asserting their right to free travel on the trains, a condition of the railway being built through their land.

In 1996, Sehrai Travels’ in collaboration with Sarhard Tourism Corporation launched the Khyber Steam Safari for foreign and local tourists[5] and was described by Time Magazine as "a journey into time and history". The train consisted of a refurbished parlour car and two second class coaches pulled by two vintage steam locomotives, as those used originally on the Khyber Pass Railway. The train was run on the first Sunday of every month as a charter, however the local population around the Khyber Pass were allowed free access. Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation took over operations in 2006 and in the same year the service was suspended due to monsoon damage of the line.

Khyber train safari (2015–present)[edit]

In 2015, the Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa took control of the former Khyber Steam Safari and renamed it to Khyber Train Safari (also known as Abaseen Steam Safari).[6] However, the route now takes the train between Peshawar and Attock Khurd.[7][8][9]

Route[edit]

Station stops[edit]

Khyber Train Safari

Khyber Steam Safari

Equipment[edit]

Peshawar locomotive shed continues to maintain 3 steam engines, which were used on the original passenger service on the Khyber Pass Railway, the Khyber steam safari and now on the Khyber train safari.

See also[edit]

References[edit]