ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Railways is all set for up-gradation and construction of more than 50,000 kilometers long tracks across the country on the basis of Build Operate Transfer (BoT).
For this purpose, the Ministry of Railways recently has invited Expression of Interest (EoI) for pre-qualification of contractors in which as many as ten companies' consortium were selected through a bidding process, the sources in the Ministry of Railways told APP here on Thursday.
Giving details, the sources said the tracks include; around 900km long construction of new track from Gwadar-Talar Pass-Turbat- Hoshab-Panjgur- Besima Surab Mastung and 300km long track from Jacobabad-Besima, laying of railway track from Bostan-Zhob-D.I Khan-Kotla Jam (560 km), laying of track from Havelian-Khunjrab (682 km), upgradation of existing Main Line-II (ML-II) from Kotri to Attock city (1254km), upgradation of railway track from Quetta-Taftan (680 km), laying of new track from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad via Murree (107 km), upgradation of Wazirabad-Sialkot-Narowal-Shahdara (234 km), construction of double line from Shahdara to Faisalabad via Sangla Hill and up-gradation of existing line (135 km), construction of double line from Khanewal to Faisalabad and Sangla Hill to Wazirabad (280 km) and upgradation of existing line, on BOT basis.
They said the rehabilitation and improvement of existing track will be carried out to achieve higher speed of up to 160 km per hour for which feasibility studies of some of the sections are being conducted.
The sources said that BoT resolves financing issue, which has remained one of the main hurdles in implementation of various projects.
They said that in the plan more emphasis is on new tracks and their up-gradation in Balochistan, which is going to play a crucial role in the success of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Balochistan's share would be 1,760 km out of around 3000-km of new track that are going to be laid.
The new lines would inter-connect Gwadar with different parts of the country, they added.They said that up-gradation of ML-I and ML-II would enable running of fast trains, reducing travel time significantly. The plan will also link Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir with other parts of the country.
In order to enhance the capacity of the system, the sectional speed was proposed to be raised to 120/160 KMPH by rehabilitation of complete infrastructure including track profile with flatter grades and easy curves along with latest signaling system. Currently, the maximum speed of trains on most railway lines is 110 km/h while broad gauge track axle load limit is 22.86 ton, the sources further said.