About 80 percent of railway tracks and bridges in the country have completed their life span and 1482 unmanned level crossings on operational sections of Pakistan Railways need due attention to avert any kind of mishap, official sources have revealed.
While these bridges are being maintained and rehabilitate, they still require immediate attention to avoid any kind of mishap. Some of these bridges are over 100 years old.
The overage percentage of tracks in the railway system, with respect to the classification of tracks, is as follows;
- There are 13,959 major & minor bridges in the system where the design life varies by different years. Although, 86% of Railways Bridges are more than 100 years old but regular maintenance, rehabilitation & strengthening of these bridges continues according to prescribed scheduled and at present all Pakistan Railways bridges are considered to be safe for train operations due to effective maintenance.
- The SOPs for inspection of bridges in accordance with the different schedules i.e. monthly, quarterly, biannually and annually are followed.
- Pakistan Railways plans to upgrade Main Line-1 (except Khanewal-Shor Kot-Faisalabad-Shahdara Section) from Karachi to Peshawar via Lahore under CPEC, which includes up-gradation of the entire railway line, and dualization of track between Lahore to Peshawar via Rawalpindi, during the next five years.
However, 730 kilometer track has been rehabilitated/ partially rehabilitated through Complete Track Renewal, Sleeper Renewal and Rail Renewal under different PSDP Projects. PC-I for rehabilitation of Track and Bridges in Sukkur Division is in process.
- Furthermore, all the bridges are inspected annually as per schedule & minor repairs are carried out departmentally in routine to ensure safety.
- Recently, 230 bridges have been rehabilitated under various development projects.
There are 2777 level crossings on operational sections of Pakistan Railways (1295 Manned & 1482 Unmanned).
The inspection of Level Crossings (Track Portion & Road Portion) is carried out regularly by the field Engineers and Supervisor to maintain the Level Crossings as per prescribed standard.
The track parameters are kept fully maintained as per standards for safe running of trains. However, a complete overhauling of all level crossings is carried out annually. In the case of deposit work, the road owning authorities are responsible to bear the cost for operation and maintenance of Level Crossings. The maintenance is carried out on the receipt of maintenance charges from the sponsoring agencies.