MEETING in Islamabad on December 2-3, officials from the Pakistan and Indian railways boards agreed to reopen a second rail route between the two countries.

The metre-gauge link between Khokhrapa in Sindh province and Munaba in Rajasthan has been out of use since 1965. According to PR Board Secretary Zaeem Ahmed Chaudhry, a once-weekly shuttle service will carry between 500 and 1000 passengers.

IR Chairman R K Singh says conversion to broad gauge of the 2·5 km from Munaba to the border could be completed within six or seven months. He hopes to see services resume in October. However, PR felt this was optimistic. As well as reinstating the 7·5 km from the border to Khokhrapa, PR wants to refurbish and regauge the 118 km from Khokhrapa to Mipur Khas, which could take two years at a cost of Rs2·1bn.