The Shalimar Express is a train service which provides passenger service daily between Karachi & Lahore. The schedule, timing, multiple classes and affordable ticket prices has made it a successful train service.
Shalimar Express started its operation in 1979 between provincial capitals of 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.
Timing & Schedule:
The train departs from Karachi at 6 AM in the morning and reaches Lahore at 12:45 AM. The timing is also same from Lahore to Karachi making it one of the few trains which has the same departure time from both cities. The 1,286 km distance is covered by Shalimar Express in 18 hours & 45 minutes.
Previously Multan was not part of stopovers initially when the train service was initiated. The train used to bypass Multan and in total cover 1,214 Km from Lahore to Karachi in about 16 hours’ time.
The train stops at 14 stations between both cities, the route from Karachi to Lahore consists of these stations:
- Drigh Road
- Rahim Yar Khan
- Multan Cantt
- Shorkot Cantt
- Toba Tek Singh
The ticket fares & charges for Shalimar Express are as follows:
- AC Lower/Standard = Rs. 3160
- Economy = Berth at Rs. 1600, Seat at Rs. 1500
- Parlor Car = Rs. 3300
Parlor Car is what makes Shalimar Express unique, these are dedicated AC cabins which are designed like an airliner with comfortable seats. Many people prefer it because of the better service and the early departure time of 6 AM, as other trains such as Karakoram Express, Allama Iqbal Express and Pak Business Express departs in evening.
Suspension & Resumption:
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 reasons which made Shalimar express to be the first choice when travelling.
For more details, enquiry and complaint contact Pakistan Railways at their helpline number 117.