The Shalimar express which started its operation in 1979 runs between Karachi and Lahore passing through Hyderabad, Rohri, Rahimyar Khan, Bahawalpur, Multan and Faisalabad. The train is named Shalimar express after the name of famous Shalimar Gardens of Mughal Era. Multan was not part of stopovers initially when the train service was initiated. The train used to bypass Multan and in total cover 1214 Km from Lahore to Karachi in about 16 hours’ time. The distance which is covered by Shalimar express between Lahore and Karachi is 1286 Km now as it pulls for a stopover in Multan now, averagely Shalimar express reaches Lahore/Karachi within 18 hours.
Operations of Shalimar express were suspended in July 2010 owing to losses, later on Pakistan Railways restored the service as the train was supposed to be running under the joint venture of Pakistan Railways and Air Rail Services (a private company) providing an improved service. Economy class along with Air conditioned coaches form part of the Shalimar express. Earlier the parlour coach was designed in such a way to be like the interior of an Airliner, the comfortable seating and interior was one of the reason which made Shalimar express to be the first choice when travelling.
The train starts its journey Karachi travelling upwards to Lahore the train leaves Karachi Cantt Station 06:00 in the morning makes a brief stopover Hyderabad and Nawabshah and continues to Rohri Junction where it reaches at 12:25 and stops for about 20 minutes before leaving. The train stops afterwards at Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalpur for very short intervals before reaching Multan at 19:10 and making a stopover of 20 minutes before leaving for Faisalabad where it stops for five minutes and continues the journey towards Lahore reaching at 01:10 in the night. Similarly when traveling down from Lahore to Karachi the train starts its journey 06:00 in the morning from Lahore brief stop at Faisalabad and afterwards reaching Multan at 11:20 then it continues its journey after short stops it reaches Rohri Junction at 18:05 for a 20 minute stop as the train continue its journey it makes brief stopovers and Finally reaches Karachi Cantt Station at 01:10 in the night.