Commercial management of 14 trains outsourced
Pakistan Railways would receive the first batch of 46 new coaches from China on December 15 which would not only upgrade the current rolling stock but also provide modern traveling facilities to the passengers.
“Out of the total 230 coaches, 46 will be provided as completely built units and the remaining 184 to be manufactured in the county by the department’s engineers and technical staff under the supervision of the Chinese experts,” an official said.
He said the coaches would have the capacity to run at the train’s speed of 160 kilometres per hour and the teams of Pakistan Railways were in China for the inspection of the prototypes of the coaches as well as the modern high-capacity wagons.
The official said the experts of China were also proving training to the technical staff of Pakistan Railways on the manufacturing of such rolling stock.
He said Pakistan Railway was planning to upgrade the dilapidated track as the Khanpur-Kotri section was not fit for high-speed train operation while most of the Main Line-I parts were fit for the 120km per hour train operation.
“After the completion of the ML-I project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the entire ML-1 track would have the capacity to bear the rolling stock operations at the speed of 160km per hour,” he added.
He said that under another similar nature contract, a Chinese company would manufacture 800 freight wagons and 20 brake wagons. The manufacturing of 184 coaches in Pakistan would be under the ‘Transfer of Technology’ project.
For the coaches planned to be manufactured in Pakistan – Pakistan Railways Carriage Factory, Islamabad – the Chinese firm would provide spare parts and raw materials, he added.
Pakistan Railways has outsourced the commercial management of 14 trains to private parties under public private partnership through fair and transparent bidding process.
The basic purpose to outsource the trains is to provide better facilities to the passengers and generate more revenue for the department, an official in the Ministry of Railways said.
Pakistan Railways has privatized the trains included Mehr Express, Fareed Express, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Mehran Express, Sir Syed Express, Badar Express, Ghauri Express, Mianwali Express, Mohenjo Daro, Thal Express, Tezgam Express, Subak Kharam, Rawal Express and Ravi Express. The official said that the trains had been awarded through transparent procedure of tendering under Public Procurement Regulatory Authority Rules through advertisement in the leading newspapers.
He said that only those trains were awarded whose bids had been received over and above the Pakistan Railways earning.
The official said the trains had been awarded with the objective to increase earning and reduce losses of Pakistan Railways, improve cleanness and provide better food facilities to passengers—APP