CPEC: Pakistan Railways ML1 upgradation worth $8 billion starts

CPEC: Pakistan Railways ML1 upgradation worth $8 billion starts

ISLAMABAD (APP): The upgradation and dualization of Pakistan railway's main line track (ML1) from Karachi to Torkham, at a cost of US$ 8 billion, would pave way to run fast moving trains in the country.

Pakistan Railways projects under CPEC

Pakistan and China have agreed to upgrade main line (ML1) to be completed in next five years, would help provide an infrastructure to run fast moving trains in future, a senior official in the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms said here on Wednesday.

The Pakistan Railway would carry out upgradation and dualization of main line track from Karachi to Torkham, at a cost of US$ 8 billion, of which US$ 5.5 billion would be a concessional loan from China while Asian Development Bank (ADB) would contribute remaining US$ 2.5 billion for the project.

He said, the "ML1 is used for 75 percent traffic but infrastructure and equipment on this line has not been improved since long which has resulted in decrease of railway speed from 120 to 60 KM per hour.

Pakistan Railways upgradion projects under CPEC

The upgradation of the ML1 would not only improve existing railway infrastructure and increase the current speed up to three times but would also support modern fast movement trains.

The cost of passengers and cargo service has increased due to low speed, he said and added, Pakistan railways would be expanded.

He said, Quetta-Peshawar and Havilian-Khunjrab would be linked through railway in the next phase to be started after this upgradation.

During a recent meeting between Pakistani and Chinese officials held in Beijing, both sides expressed satisfaction over cooperation in railways projects including the ML1 (Karachi-Peshawar) railway project and China and discussed ways of its speedier implementation.

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Both sides agreed that the railway network project formed the backbone of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) communications infrastructure projects and was of particular significance to regional connectivity.

Both countries also shared the vision for developing effective railway system from Kashghar to Gwadar which would provide a cost competitive mode of transportation and instant connectivity to China for transportation of goods.

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The official said, railways transportation is a critical element of connectivity between Pakistan and China, adding, the implementation of railways projects would have a tremendous impact on socio-economic development of the region.