Pakistan Railway Proposes Upgradation of Main Line 1

Pakistan Railways has proposed an upgrade for the Railway Line of Rawalpindi-Havelian (87 KM), as part of the upgradation plan of Main Line-1 (ML-1) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Project (Phase-1) by 2020.

The upgraded Rawalpindi-Taxila section will cater for speeds of up to 160-120 KM/h, whereas, Taxila-Havelian Line will be upgraded from 65 KM/h to 120 KM/h.

The documents further revealed that Pakistan Railways has started a project for upgradation of Main Line-1 (Peshawar to Karachi) and establishment of new dry port near Havelian, under CPEC.

The project entails upgradation of railway system from Peshawar to Karachi, including Taxila to Havelian section, with a speed of 160/120 km/h, modern signaling system, upgraded stations and rolling stock.

For implementation of the project, a Framework Agreement has already been singed between the two Governments i.e. Government of Pakistan and Government of China in May, 2017.

Currently the preliminary design of the project is under review and it is expected that the work on ground would be started early next year.

In order to make Pakistan Railways a substitute for cargo transportation in the country during last two years, the following steps have been taken:

  • Agreement with PSO on 24-05-2017 for transportation of two million tons of fuel in a year.
  • Freight Deposit Account (FDA) based agreement with Maple Leaf Cement Factory and MOUs with Awan Trading Co., the Chishtain Logistics, Jam and Sons, Agro Trade and Bestway Cement for transportation of Coal.
  • Improved availability of locomotives in freight pool. During June, 2013 only 8 locomotives were available for freight operation per day which has now increased to 95. • Preferred loading of high rated commodity like POL.
  • Addition of dedicated, freight specific 55 new locomotives of 4000 to 4500 HP in the freight pool.
  • Terminal facilities are being improved by introducing modern loading/ unloading facilities to curtail loading-unloading time.
  • High Capacity/high/speed Hooper Trucks are introduced for swift transportation of coal.
  • Existing track on main corridor (ML-I) is being up-graded under CPEC to increase speed of passenger & freight trains and to improve better turn round of wagons and locomotives.
  • Establishment of Pakistan Railway Freight Transport Company (PRFTC) which has entered into long term contract for transportation of 4.4 million tons of imported coal for Coal Fired Power Plant at Yousafwala.
  • The commercial management of Cargo Express train carrying 27 high capacity wagons has been outsourced under Public Private Partnership (PPP) running between Karachi Bandar-Badami Bagh/ Lahore on daily basis. Another proposal for outsourcing of commercial management of Cargo Express train (503UP/504Dn) between Karachi Bandar-Faisalabad via Multan City is under process.
  • Negotiations are underway to re-introduce international ECO Container train on Islamabad-Zahidan-Istanbul route.
  • As a result of these efforts the number of freight trains originating from the port has increased to 12 per day which was less than one train per day in June, 2013. Accordingly the revenue from freight sector which was Rs.1.90 billion in June, 2013 has risen to Rs.10.768 billion in June, 2017, registering an unprecedented 567 % growth.