Out of 230 new high-speed passenger coaches, 46 have already been sent to Pakistan Railways by sea. It would take them around three weeks to arrive at Karachi port.
By the end of this month, these carriages will travel on the Karachi-Lahore Main Line 1 after being turned over to the railway authorities.
“Yes, China sent out 46 new coaches on Friday. Within the next three weeks, hopefully, we will have them in Karachi, PR’s Additional General Manager (Mechanical) Shahid Aziz on Friday.
A major Chinese company has produced 230 cutting-edge passenger coaches under a $140 million contract, of which 46 will be delivered as fully built units (CBU) and the remaining 184 will be produced in Pakistan by the PR engineers and technical employees under the guidance of the Chinese specialists.
An additional deal of a similar type has a Chinese company producing 800 freight wagons and 20 brake wagons. While some wagons are currently being constructed in China, the majority will be produced in Pakistan via the technology-transfer process.
For coaches and wagons planned to be manufactured in Pakistan at the PR Carriage Factory, Islamabad, the Chinese firm will be responsible to provide spare parts and raw materials under the contract.
In the second week of August, an 18-person team of PR officials traveled to China to undertake design reviews and training sessions relating to the transfer of technology.
However, because the wagon prototypes weren’t made yet, they couldn’t be examined.
The Chinese manufacturer will send the first batch of high-speed wagons next month, according to the AGM, which also added that the new coaches and wagons would assist PR to upgrade its infrastructure for rolling stock.
It is important to note that the railway is attempting to upgrade the worn-out track (ML-1) because the Khanpur-Kotri stretch is unsuitable for the use of high-speed trains.
The poor condition of the railway tracks, faulty signaling system, officials’ negligence, overspeeding, poor maintenance, financial crises, and shortage of staff, etc have caused several fatal accidents during the last couple of years.
The year 2019 was the worst for the railways in terms of fatal/non-fatal accidents.