large bullet pointUseful country information

Train operator:

Pakistan Railway Corporation - www.pakrail.gov.pk

Time zone & dial code:

GMT + 5.  Dial code +92.

Currency:

1 = approx 150 rupees.  $1 = 101 rupees.  Currency converter

Flights & hotels:

Flights to Pakistan (Skyscanner search)   Hotel search

Tourist information:

www.tourism.gov.pk  Tripadvisor Pakistan page  Health & vaccinations

Visas:

UK citizens need a visa for Pakistan, see www.phclondon.org.  UK citizens can now get an e-visa online, see visa.nadra.gov.pk - e-visas will be extended to other nationalities in due course.  Check travel advice at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice before visiting.

Page last updated:

7 January 2021


large bullet pointTrain travel in Pakistan

  A Pakistan Railways express train at Lahore.
 

An express at Lahore.  Photo courtesy of Marcel Ochsner.

 

large bullet pointTrain times & fares...

Karachi - Lahore - Rawalpindi - Peshawar

Karachi - Quetta

Quetta - Lahore - Peshawar

Khyber Pass railway

International trains from Pakistan to India & Iran

Europe to Pakistan & India overland

large bullet pointWhat are Pakistani trains like?

Trains have several classes:

Most important trains also have a restaurant car.  You can check train times and availability at the Pakistan Railways site, www.pakrail.gov.pk.


large bullet pointKarachi - Lahore - Peshawar

This is the mainline across Pakistan, and route of Pakistan's most famous train, the Khyber Mail.  There are lots of trains, but only the most important trains are shown here.  All trains shown have a restaurant car.  Check times locally - with so few people going to Pakistan I have not spent much time updating these tables.

 Karachi ► Lahore ► Peshawar

 

Train No.:

27

41

7

15

1

107

101

103

 

Classes:

P,L,E

P,L,E

A,1,L,E

A,L,E

A,1,E

P,L,E

P,L,E

P,L,E

Karachi (Cantonment)

depart

 07:00  day 1

 16:00  day 1

 17:00  day 1

 18:00  day 1

 22:00  day 1

-

-

-

Hyderabad

arr/dep

 09:45  day 1

 18:40  day 1

 19:45  day 1

 20:35  day 1

 00:50  day 2

 -

 -

 -

Rohri

arr/dep

 14:50  day 1

 23:20  day 1

 00:40  day 2

 01:05  day 2

 05:40  day 2

 -

 -

 -

Multan (Cantonment)

arr/dep

     |

     |

 07:20  day 2

     |

 14:03  day 2

 -

 -

 -

Lahore (Junction)

arr/dep

 02:45  day 1

 10:15  day 2

 14:15  day 2

 12:00  day 2

 21:40  day 2

07:00

07:30

16:30

Rawalpindi

arr/dep

-

-

 19:30  day 2

-

 03:10  day 3

11:00

12:30

21:30

Attock 

arr/dep

-

-

-

-

 04:30  day 3

-

-

-

Peshawar (City)

arrive

 -

 -

 -

 -

 06:20  day 3

 -

 -

 -

Peshawar (Cantonment)

arrive

 -

 -

 -

 -

 06:40  day 3

 -

 -

 -

A = AC sleeper, 1 = 1st class sleeper, L = AC Lower seats, P = Parlour car seats, E = Economy seats, 2 = 2nd class seats.  Check times at www.pakrail.gov.pk.

Train 1/2 = The KHYBER MAIL.  Recommended for Karachi-Peshawar journeys.

Train 7/8 = TEZGAM.  Recommended for Karachi-Rawalpindi journeys.

Train 15/16 = KARACHI EXPRESS.  Recommended for Karachi-Lahore journeys.

Train 27/28 = SHALIMAR EXPRESS.  Recommended for Karachi-Lahore journeys.

Train 41/42 = KARAKORAM EXPRESS.  Modern spacious Chinese-built coaches, with AC Lower Class sleepers, no AC Class sleepers.

 Peshawar ► Lahore ► Karachi

 

Train No.:

28

2

8

42

16

104

102

108

 

Classes:

P,L,E

A,1,E

A,1,L,E

P,L,E

A,L,E

P,L,E

P,L,E

P,L,E

Peshawar (Cantonment)

depart

-

 22:30  day 1

-

-

-

-

-

-

Peshawar (City)

depart

-

 22:42  day 1

-

-

-

-

-

-

Attock 

arr/dep

-

 00:12  day 2

-

-

-

-

-

-

Rawalpindi

arr/dep

-

 02:40  day 2

 08:15  day 1

-

-

07:30

16:30

18:00

Lahore (Junction)

arr/dep

 07:00  day 1

 08:30  day 2

 13:50  day 1

 16:00  day 1

 18:00  day 1

12:30

21:30

21:30

Multan (Cantonment)

arrive

|

 15:30  day 2

 20:55  day 1

 |

     |

-

-

-

Rohri

arr/dep

 19:20  day 1

 23:50  day 2

 04:00  day 2

 03:20 day 2

 05:25  day 2

-

-

-

Hyderabad

arr/dep

 00:10  day 1

 05:25  day 3

 09:15  day 2

 07:55  day 2

 09:55  day 2

-

-

-

Karachi (Cantonment)

arrive

 03:00  day 1

 06:45  day 3

 12:00  day 2

 10:45  day 2

 12:50  day 2

-

-

-

 Approximate fares

One-way per person:

AC sleeper

AC Lower (berth)

AC Lower (seat)

Economy (berth)

Economy (seat)

Karachi - Rawalpindi

Rs 2,600

Rs ?

Rs 1,175

Rs ?

Rs 505

Karachi - Lahore by Karakoram Express

n/a

Rs 1,945

Rs 1,315

Rs 795

Rs 715

Children under 3 free, children 3 but under 12 travel at half the adult fare.

Below:  The Karakoram Express at Lahore station.  Photo courtesy of Koen Berghuis

Lahore railway station, Pakistan


large bullet pointKarachi - Quetta

 Karachi ► Quetta

 

 

 Quetta ► Karachi

Train No.:

3

Train No:

4

Classes:

1,E

Classes:

1,E

Karachi (City) depart:

17:00 day 1

Quetta depart:

11:00 day 1

Karachi (Cantonment) depart:

17:20 day 1

Karachi (Cantonment) arrive:

08:00 day 2

Quetta arrive:

14:10 day 2

Karachi (City) arrive:

08:25 day 2

A = AC sleeper, 1 = 1st class sleeper, L = AC Lower seats, P = Parlour car seats, E = Economy seats, 2 = 2nd class seats

Train 3/4 = BOLAN MAIL.   Check these times at www.pakrail.gov.pk.

Below:  Descending the Bolan Pass on an express from Quetta to Rawalpindi.  Photo courtesy of  Dr John Stubbs.

On the train from Karachi to Quetta


large bullet pointQuetta - Lahore & Peshawar

 Quetta ► Peshawar

 

 

 Peshawar ► Quetta

Train No.:

23

Train No.:

24

Classes:

A,1,E

Classes:

A,1,E

Quetta depart:

10:00  day 1

Peshawar depart:

08:00  day 1

Lahore arrive:

09:00  day 2

Rawalpindi depart:

11:40  day 1

Rawalpindi arrive:

15:10  day 2

Lahore depart:

17:20  day 1

Peshawar arrive:

18:40  day 2

Quetta arrive:

17:00  day 2

A = AC sleeper, 1 = 1st class sleeper, L = AC Lower seats, P = Parlour car seats, E = Economy seats, 2 = 2nd class seats

Train 23/24 = QUETTA EXPRESS


large bullet pointKhyber Pass

Peshawar - Landi Kotal

The line up the Khyber Pass, built by the British in 1920, is now officially closed to passenger trains.  Special steam excursions used to operate from time to time until 2006-8, but the line was damaged by floods, quite apart from the security situation in the area.


large bullet pointInternational trains

  Border ceremony between India & Pakistan
 

Above:  The border closure ceremony at Atari.  You can attend this if you use buses or taxis to cross. Photo courtesy of Koen Berghuis.

  Train crossing the border between India & Pakistan
 

Above:  The Samjohta Express crosses the India/Pakistan border.  Photo courtesy of Sudhir Mehra.

Pakistan to India by train...

Update:  Tension in Kashmir means all India-Pakistan trains are suspended at the moment.

Lahore-Amritsar-Delhi...

A twice-weekly train leaves Lahore at 08:00 on Mondays & Thursdays (these are the confirmed days of running as at November 2008, previously it ran on Tuesdays & Fridays) for Wagah (the Pakistan side of the Pakistan/India frontier) arriving 09:15, departing again after customs checks at 11:30 (in practice usually after 12:00) for Atari on the Indian side of the frontier, arriving 20 minutes later.  The train has 2nd class non-air-con seats only, and it's composed of Indian Railways carriages for half the year, Pakistani coaches for the other half (I suspect that the days of running may vary depending on which country is providing the coaches - it my run on Tues & Fri for part of the year when provided by Indian Railways, please double-check locally).  There are connections for Amritsar arriving around 15:00, and for Delhi (please double-check connecting times locally).  The fare from Lahore to Wagah is 130 Pakistani rupees.  Tickets are not sold at Lahore's main station, but at Lahore Railway Headquarters, about 2km from the station.  You need your passport to buy a ticket.  The fare from Wagah to Atari is 16 rupees.

For details of the westbound Samjhota Express from India to Pakistan, and for information on train travel within India, see the India page.

However, Lahore-Amritsar can also be done daily, and faster, by bus or taxi.  Take a bus or taxi Lahore-Wagah, walk through the frontier to Atari on the Indian side, then take a bus or taxi to Amritsar for daily trains to New Delhi.  Going by bus or taxi also allows you to see the spectacular ceremony at sunset when the border closes.  Indian and Pakistani guards try to outdo each other with their performances, watched by Indians and Pakistani crowds - as a tourist, you may get to sit in the VIP stand!    See the India page.

Karachi-Munabao-Jodhpur-Delhi...

A new weekly international train called the Thar Express started on 17 February 2006. 

Pakistan to Iran by train...

Trains run from Quetta to Zahedan (Iran) twice a month, see the Europe-India overland page.  Alternative buses may also be available, please check locally.  You should check the security situation in this part of Iran at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice before travelling.

London to Pakistan overland by train:  Click here...

This is possible in 2-3 weeks, if you are adventurous and have the necessary organisational & planning skills.  See the Europe-India overland page.


large bullet pointMore information please!

If you have any photos, travel reports or more information that would be useful for this page, please e-mail me!


large bullet pointHotels in Karachi & Pakistan

Find hotels at Booking.comMy favourite hotel search site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site and I generally prefer booking my hotels all in one place here.  You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.  I never book hotels non-refundably.  I have also come to trust their review scores - you won't be disappointed with anything over 8.0.

Tip:  It can pay to compare prices across multiple hotel sites:  HotelsCombined.com is a price comparison site which compares hotel prices on Booking.com, Hotels.com, Expedia, Accor, Agoda and many others.  Though if there's not much in it, I prefer keeping all my bookings together in one place at www.booking.com.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


large bullet pointFlights to Pakistan

Overland travel by train & bus around Pakistan is an essential part of the experience, so once there, don't cheat and fly, stay on the ground!  But a long-haul flight might be unavoidable to reach Asia in the first place.  For flights to Pakistan, start with Skyscanner.

skyscanner generic 728x90


large bullet pointTravel insurance

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

 

Confused.com logo

Always take out travel insurance...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least 1m or preferably 5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flagIn the UK, reliable insurers include Columbus Direct.

UK flagIf you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

UK flagYou can use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

  Australian flag New Zealand flag  Irish flag    If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  US flag If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

A Curve card saves on foreign transaction fees...

 

Curve card

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then charge you a currency conversion fee.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, 500 per month at time of writing.  The balance goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:  1. Download the app for iPhone or Android.  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to most European addresses including the UK.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, just like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance onto whichever of your debit or credit cards you choose.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself - I get some commission if you sign up to Curve, but I'm recommending it here because it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card - they'll give you 5 cashback through that link, too.

 

Express VPN

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use it myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription, and I get a small commission to help support this site.

 


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