Pakistan Railways (PR) has received 46 high-speed modern coaches from China.
The coaches are completely built-up units manufactured in China. Pakistan will soon begin producing 184 similar coaches (passenger, luggage, and brake vans) at its carriage factory in Islamabad.
Initially, Chinese engineers will collaborate with Pakistan as part of the technology-transfer component of the purchase contract for 230 coaches.
PR will also soon receive 200 modern freight wagons from China. Soon after that, it will make 620 similar wagons at its Mughalpura workshop and the carriage factory in Risalpur.
PR signed the agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation Tangshan Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company last year for the acquisition of these trains. Regarding this development, PR’s additional general manager (mechanical) Shahid Aziz told Dawn:
We have received 46 new coaches with economy, A.C. standard, and A.C. parlour passenger classes, as well as luggage and brake trucks. Saturday night, the ship bringing them from China arrived at the port of Karachi. Currently, the coaches are being unloaded at the port.
He stated that it would take three days to unload the coaches. Aziz added that, before the coaches arrive in Lahore, PR officials will conduct test runs on the Main Line-1 (ML-1) from Karachi to Peshawar through Rohri, Sukkar, Bahawalpur, Khanewal, Lahore, and Rawalpindi.
Upon completion of the test run, he stated, the commercial use of these coaches will begin on various fast passenger trains.
According to PR’s Chief Mechanical Engineer (CME), Abdul Haseeb, the department will transport these coaches to the Karachi Cantt Railway Station through the port-connected railway line. From there, these coaches will embark on a test journey from Karachi to Peshawar. He added:
Once we complete the test run, which includes many electrical and mechanical inspections, the coaches will be sent to Lahore. We will begin using them on December 15, when the Greenline express train is expected to resume service.