The much awaited Azadi Train, with all its grandeur, is well set to get on track and depart from Railway Carriage Factory for Margalla Station tomorrow (August 10, 2016), where a formal inauguration ceremony will be held on 11th August at 11:00 am.
The train will begin its journey from Peshawar on 12thAugust and will reach Karachi on 5th September. The train will make its return on 9th September to reach Golra Station, Islamabad on 13th September. The month-long journey by Azadi Train will cover more than 50 cities across all the four provinces of the country. The train will stay overnight at 16 stations which include Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, Lahore, Sahiwal, Multan, Samma Sata, Sukkur, Sibi, Quetta, Nawabshah, Hyderabad, Karachi, Larkana, Jacobabad, Dera Ghazi Khan and Kundian Station.
The Azadi Train is a Customized Commemorative Train prepared through joint efforts of Pakistan Railways, Ministry of Information Broadcasting and National Heritage (M/o IB&NH) and Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). As part of M/o IB&NH, Press Information Department, Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA), Directorate of Electronic Media and Publications (DEMP) and Lok Virsa have contributed in the preparations of the train.
The train would carry 18 coaches of which 6 coaches have floats projecting the culture of four provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir; 6 coaches would house art galleries dedicated to History of Pakistan Movement, Kashmir Struggle Movement, Achievements and Sacrifices of Armed Forces, Development Projects and History of Pakistan Railways while the remaining 6 coaches are attached for operational and administrative purposes. Additionally, the initiative also involves arrangement of festivities at all the major stations across the country, which shall include puppet shows, live performances by folk artists, dance troupes and singers.
The Azadi Train is an effort to revive the spirit of independence and patriotism in the young generation, to celebrate the rich culture of the country and familiarize the youth with cultural traditions of different parts of the country, to pay tribute to the national heroes and to promote an atmosphere of inter-provincial unity and harmony.