Pakistan railway is known for many things, and the odds are way too many than the good things. We earlier heard from Minister Shaikh Rasheed that trains in Pakistan would be tracked just like other countries have been doing it for years.

This may be good news for Pakistan Railway to at least make use of a very simple technology which ride-hailing services also use in Pakistan, but the interesting part is that the tracking system which Pakistan Railway will use has been gifted to it by some software developer.

Muhammad Mudassir donated the GPRS based tracking system to PR and installed the devices in trains that are routed to Karachi, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Kasur, Multan, and Sargodha.

pakistan railways train tracking system
Image: Express Tribune

Mudassir tells that his father worked for Pakistan Railways and he and his family often faced the trouble of hours of delay. “I saw people would wait for hours and there was no mechanism with railways for updating passengers about the schedule.”

He could have sold the tracking system for Rs. 80 million to the Pakistan Railways but he did otherwise.

To fix this problem, he thought to develop a system that will not only track the individual trains but also it will give tons of other useful information to the department and the passengers as well.

The system will ring a bell 30 minutes prior to train’s arrival on a station. This will help passengers to arrive at platforms on time. There would be no need to reach early and wait for hours in the dark.

Passengers will be able to see the timings of trains arrival and departure on their mobile phones. They can track the train’s location by typing the train number into the mobile app.

The tracking device turns on soon as the engine of the train starts. Even passengers riding the train will be able to exactly know the cause of failure in case the trains stop due to any fault.

In case of failure of an engine on any route, the administration will be able to dispatch alternate engine to the faulty train in time.

Mudassir tells the Tribune, he could have sold the tracking system for Rs. Eighty million to the Pakistan Railways but he desires to do something for the department and the people.

image: bloomberg