Over a month since devastating floods disrupted the national rail network, Pakistan Railway on Friday announced that trains will start chugging along the tracks between Lahore and Karachi from Sunday, October 2. The resumption of the rail link, however, will take place in a phased manner. The announcement was made on Friday by Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique. He was chairing a meeting of the railways ministry via video link. Hinting that the government was under pressure to restore the tracks as soon as possible and that it has perhaps still a few unaddressed challenges, Rafique made it abundantly clear that passengers should not expect the journey times they were used to in trains prior to the floods. “The duration of the journey from Lahore to Karachi will be longer, around 20 to 22 hours,” he said. “The trains will also pull extra train coaches,” the minister added, noting that the trains will bear a greater loads as it aims to tackle a backlog for cargo, goods and passengers. Pakistan Railways Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Farrukh Taimoor said that in the first phase, the Khyber Mail Express and the Rehman Baba Express trains will operate. They will run till Karachi instead of until Rohri junction in Sindh. The meeting also decided that from October 5, other trains will also become operational including Karakoram Express, Karachi Express and the privately operated Pak Business Express. The frequency and duration of trains will be reviewed at the end of October.