Expansion of Railways

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) will finance the locomotives fleet expansion plan of Pakistan Railways. Under the agreement signed with the Bank, Railways would induct 300 locomotives with the assistance of IDB. In an earlier development, General Electric had reached an agreement with Pakistan Railways for supplying 20 locomotives for use in the mountainous northern regions.
Pakistan Railways has made tremendous progress under the dynamic leadership of Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq and the most significant part of the entire efforts is that much of the work has been done without any financial support from the Government. Today, Pakistan Railways has become a role model in how to bring about improvements in its working and output without adding to its financial burden. PR has also embarked upon a monumental programme of upgradation and expansion of its facilities and network. A major chunk of the programme is being financed with the Chinese assistance under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) while efforts are also being made to reform and upgrade its system and infrastructure through other means. Islamic Development Bank has always been forthcoming in providing generous support to Pakistan in different sectors and the latest agreement for expansion of Railway locomotives is also reflective of this reality. However, at a time when efforts are being made to upgrade and expand railway services to bring it at par with other railway networks of the world, logic demands that a plan should be drawn for indigenisation. Basic infrastructure is available as we have Railway Locomotive Factory and Railway Carriage Factory besides a big workshop in Lahore. Replacement and replenishment of locomotives and coaches is a continuous process and therefore, instead of placing huge orders after every few years for import of locomotives, our own facilities should be upgraded with the help of friendly countries. There should also be focus on research and development.

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