Pakistan Railways to Introduce Smart Railway Cars on Four Routes

The Senate Standing Committee on Pakistan Railways (PR) was informed on Wednesday that Pakistan Railways would introduce four smart railway cars on different routes under public-private partnership.

“Pakistan Railways is committed to moving towards public-private partnerships and is planning to introduce four smart railway cars for routes between Lahore-Islamabad, Lahore-Faisalabad, Lahore-Multan, and Karachi-Hyderabad at a cost of around $45 million,” stated Secretary Railways Syed Mazhar Ali Shah, during the meeting.

He noted that under this public-private partnership, private parties will contribute a portion of the profit to maintain the tracks.

The meeting, chaired by Senator Jam Saifullah Khan, was attended by Senators Saifullah Sarwar Khan Nyazee, Kamil Ali Agha, and Dost Ali Jessar, along with Secretary Syed Mazhar Ali Shah and other senior officials.

Shah briefed the committee on the operations and performance of the ministry. He said that railways were 62 percent safer and 72 percent more environmentally friendly than roads.

He highlighted that railways can economically contribute by lowering the oil import bill. Despite its potential, the first transport policy in the country was only formulated in 2018, aiming to provide safe, affordable, efficient, durable, and environmentally friendly transport.

Currently, Pakistan Railways was working towards self-reliance by increasing its market share from 8 percent to 30 percent, but financial constraints were hindering progress.

The secretary noted that 95 percent of the railway budget was spent on pensions, pay, and fuel, leaving only 5 percent for maintenance. For the financial year 2024-25, the liabilities related to pensions amount would be around Rs. 62 billion.

Pakistan Railways has taken measures to minimize operational costs and requested the federal government to include railway pensioners in the national account.

Discussing the ML-1 project, the secretary explained that ECNEC has approved the ML-1 upgradation project at a cost of around $6.68 billion.

The first phase will upgrade the railway track from Karachi to Multan, followed by the track from Multan to Peshawar in the next phase. The committee decided to hold an exclusive session on the ML-1 project and to visit the Islamabad and Lahore railway workshops to examine their performance.

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  • FROM THE LAST 10 YEARS NO TRAIN IS OPERATIONAL FROM JHANG . BEFORE THAT 3 TRAINS WERE OPERATIONAL . BUT NOW NO TRAIN. THERE IS THE MONOPOLY OF OTHER BUS TRANSPORTATION. I REQUEST IF ANY TRAIN WOULD BE OPERATIONAL FROM JHANG TO KARACHI. THANKS


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