The Pakistan Institute of Development Economy (PIDE) has said that the much-anticipated Mainline-1 or ML-1 project will reduce the journey time between cities quite significantly.
The information was shared during a PIDE webinar on the impact of the ML-1 project on the Pakistan Railway (PR) on Tuesday.
— Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) (@PIDEpk) August 31, 2021
The project is part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and entails a complete infrastructure overhaul of the 1,680 km railway tracks from Karachi to Peshawar.
After the upgrade, the speed of trains is expected to increase from 65 to 105 km/h to 120-160 km/h, which will cut the travel times significantly.
Under the project, computer-based signaling and control system, as well as grade separation to ensure the safety of train operations will be introduced.
According to a document shared during the PIDE webinar, the ML-1 project will reduce the journey time between Karachi and Lahore from 18 to 10 hours. Here is how this project will affect the journey time between cities:
|Reduction of Journey Time After Completion of ML-1 Project|
|Between Cities||Old Journey Time Reduction (hours)||New Journey Time (hours)|
|Karachi – Lahore||18 hours||10 hours|
|Lahore – Multan||5 hours||3 hours|
|Islamabad – Lahore||4 hours 30 minutes||2 hours 30 minutes|
|Peshawar – Islamabad||3 hours 45 minutes||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Karachi – Hyderabad||2 hours||1 hour 20 minutes|
The Deputy Chief Marketing Manager of PR, Tariq Anwar Sipra, who was one of the speakers at the webinar, shared details of various projects under ML-1, including the estimated cost and execution period.
According to Sipra, who also serves as the Traffic Specialist, Project Implementation Unit of ML-1, a 183-kilometers long track will be laid down from Nawabshah to Rohri, a 339-km track from Multan to Lahore, 132-km from Lahore to Lalamusa, a 52-km track from Kaluwal to Pindora. These projects will cost $2,705 million and are estimated to be completed within five years.
Further, a 183-km track will be carpeted from Keamari (Karachi) to Hyderabad, and a 566-km track from Hyderabad to Multan, excluding the Nawabshah-Rohri track. The project will be completed in seven years at the cost of $2,675 million.
The final package includes a 105-km track from Lalamusa to Rawalpindi and a 174-km track from Rawalpindi to Peshawar as well as the establishment of a Dry Port at a cost of $1,376 million.
All these projects will start simultaneously and will be completed within the stipulated timeframe, he added.