Railways News, Nation, (New Delhi), March 2:-The Samjhauta Express will leave for Pakistan from Delhi on Sunday after the two neighbours agreed to operationalise services at their ends, a senior railway official told PTI.
The announcement came a day after Pakistan released Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. The official said the first train from India will leave on March 3.
While Pakistan had cancelled its services right after an air strike by the Indian Air Force, India cancelled the operations of the Samjhauta Express on February 28.
The train will start running from the Indian side on Sunday, while on the Pakistan side it will leave Lahore on Monday on its return journey. On the Indian side the train runs from Delhi to Attari and from Lahore to Wagah on the Pakistan side.
Originally, the train offered a through service with one rake going all the way between the terminals – Delhi in India to Lahore in Pakistan. However, now a Pakistani rake stops at Attari at which point passengers have to change trains and board an Indian rake.
The Samjhauta Express, named after the Hindi word for “agreement”, comprises six sleeper coaches and an AC 3-tier coach. The train service was started on July 22, 1976 under the Shimla Agreement that settled the 1971 war between the two nations.
From Lahore, the train departs on Monday and Thursday.
The sources said the footfall on the train, which generally records an occupancy of around 70 per cent, has fallen drastically post the Pulwama attack on February 14 in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)