ML-1 Railway-line project will turn Pakistan, particularly Peshawar into a global business hub & help open up Central Asia, says a report published by China Economic Net (CEN) on Thursday. According to the report, experts call ML-1 project a “game changer of CPEC” and in future predict that Peshawar city in northwestern Pakistan will become a “global business hub”. Not only Pakistan, but the countries of Central Asia, wherein many are land-locked, will also benefit from it.
The project is also expected to generate 150,000 jobs in the country. Basharat Waheed, the CPEC project head in Pakistan’s Ministry of Railways, told CEN, “The entire track from Karachi to Peshawar would be upgraded. The worn-out earthworks under the existing 150-year-old railway line will be completely uprooted and fresh sleepers and rails would be installed with new earthworks with an estimated lifespan of at least 50 years”.
He said the existing railway line between Shadra Lahore to Peshawar was single-track, so it would be doubled. The majority of the old bridges under ML-1 from Karachi to Peshawar would be reconstructed or renovated.
All of the curves between Lalamusa Punjab and Karachi would be realigned to allow the track to withstand a speed of up to 160km/hour. All 665 crossings over the existing ML-1 would be replaced with flyovers or underpasses while both sides of the line would be fenced. In transiting the cities, the railway line would be protected via concrete walls. “From Peshawar to Karachi, a modern computer-operated signalling system would be installed to minimize the risk of accidents,” Basharat Waheed said.
He added, “Under the new project, the three different traffic control systems would be integrated into a single centralized system in Lahore, and for communication.