China Railway and CDA Explore Partnership for Light Rail Transit in Islamabad

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The Capital Development Authority (CDA) of Islamabad is actively pursuing a collaboration with China Railway to introduce the Light Rail Transit (LRT) system in the capital city. LRT is known for its high-capacity electric trains operating on dedicated tracks.

CDA officials, along with representatives from China Railway, recently held a meeting in this regard. Member Planning Waseem Hayat Bajwa stated that the initial meeting was deemed “very successful” and hinted at an impending breakthrough in forthcoming discussions scheduled in the next 10 days.

CDA envisions launching the LRT on two key routes: on the Islamabad Expressway and from the new airport to H-8. These routes have been selected for their strategic importance in easing the city’s growing traffic congestion.

One notable feature is the potential utilization of existing railway tracks from H-8 to Golra, boosting the feasibility of the LRT system. Moreover, officials are considering integrating these LRT routes with the city’s existing network of metro buses.

Should China Railway’s proposal be accepted, both parties anticipate signing a government-to-government agreement to advance the project. Previously, CDA explored funding from international donors, including the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). However, China Railway has provided new hope for securing the necessary funding and expertise.

The collaboration between CDA and China Railway holds the promise of transforming the city’s public transportation landscape, offering a sustainable and efficient alternative for its residents.


  • Another scheme on a multi billion dollar loan. Chinese will give loan to Pakistan, then they will buy all locomotives and parts from China. So essentially money will go back to China. Then Pakistan will be fully dependent on China in the longer run.
    Chinese are very shrewd and intelligent people. They exactly know what they are doing. Pakistani government officials are dumb. They are making sure that all dollars will flow out of Pakistan with these types of projects.

    • Peshawar’s BRT with ADB funding is a good project, which is implemented well in given circumstances. Problem with Lahore and other cities Metro is compromising on design n routes for political maneuvering and kickbacks. Feasibility studies weren’t reflective enough, n then projects were heavily commissioned. Intell8gent handling is needed. That’s all.

  • Please dont fall into the trap of Chinese. If you will not build anything locally then no local jobs will be created. Money will not come to Pakistan as almost all Money will go to China to buy these trains. Dont become a Colony of China. Look at India. They are forcing foreign companies to build trains in India.
    Why Pakistan is just becoming a market of China now?.

  • Hopefully, this project will be accepted and launched in Pakistan, we would see the modern Pakistan. Insha’Allah

  • We always act (if we act at all) first and then think (if we think at all) later. LRT was a preferred mode of transport right from the beginning, not the metro buses. With the country’s population swelling with every passing day, LRT would have helped ease some of the traffic woes provided it covered some areas of the capital through a network, not just a single straight line.

    Large stations with huge expenditure are not constructed for buses but for LRT. Even LRT would not have required the sort of infrastructure prepared for metro buses.

    As regards LRT with Chinese cooperation, where would the money come from? Your foreign exchange reserves are bare minimum, sufficient for day to day essentials. CDA officials will have the opportunity to have China tours for the so-called follow-up discussions. Good for them, not good for the poor common man.

  • I think Islamabad needs no light rail transit.due it small size and in the presence of already an operational metro service. It wastage and uncessary burden on the national echewuer in the form external debt and an opening a venue of corruption.The CDA should refrain of unnecessary expenditure when the country is passing through a stage of critical financial crunch.The Premier should immediately strike down the project before commencing and documentation process.

  • Light rail and other communications are a public good . Money well spent. No profits may be earned but the masses will benefit.


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