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Railway Projects in CPEC

This project underlines the main upgrades requirement for Pakistan’s ageing railway system. It includes the renovation of the Main Line 1 railway which is from Karachi to Peshawar by 2020. This line handles up to 70% of Pakistan’s Railway traffic. This plan will also complete a rail link ok 4693 meter high Khunjerab pass. Railway will give direct access of Chinese goods and East Asian goods at Karachi and Gwadar seaport of Pakistan by the year 2030.

Attaining of 250 new passenger coaches, and rebuilding of 21 train stations is also a part of the first phase of the project. It requires an investment of approximately $5 billion by the end of 2019. It also requires 180 coaches to be built at the railway carriage factory near Islamabad. The government of Pakistan is also planning to acquire 800 coaches later and from which 595 of those coaches will be build inside Pakistan. In September 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan reduced Chinese investment in Railway from $6.2 billion to $2 billion because of the financial situation of the country.

Main Line 1

The CPEC plan contains a complete renovation of 1,687 kilometer of Main line 1 railway which is between Karachi and Peshawar, which will cost $3.65 billion. In December 2017 this first phase is expected to get complete. China and Pakistan revealed the plan of second phase of the project with the total cost of $8.2 billion for phase 1 and phase 2 both. By 2021 the second phase of the ML-1 project is expected to get complete. This upgrade of the railway line will allow the train to travel at the speed of 160 kilometers per hour. Whereas the current speed of the train is 60 to 105 km per hour on the current track it will increase Pakistan Railways yearly revenues to approximately $480 million. It will also reduce the transit time from Karachi to Peshawar to half hour. Now the freight traffic of the country relies 4% on the Pakistani Railway system which is expected to increase up to 20% by 2025 after this project.

The first phase of the project is focused on renovating Multan to Peshawar Railway track. Further Hyderabad to Multan track will be followed and the final part will cover Hyderabad to Karachi track.

The ML-1 is comprised of dual railway track from Karachi to Lahore suburb of Shahdara and the long stretches of Single track. The track from Shahdara is mostly composed of single track till Peshawar. The Construction project to make this track dual was started in January 2016. The first phase of the project will include the upgrade to dual track of the remaining part between Shahdara and Peshawar track.

The part between Lalamusa north of Lahore and Peshawar needs complete rebuilding and construction of bridges and tunnels. This are is approximately 676 kilometer. The south part of Lalamusa to Karachi which is 900 kilometers also needs reconstruction to manage the capacity of 25 ton axle load.

A branch is needed to be built from Taxila to Havelian so a dry port will be constructed near Havelian. The whole railway track will have computerized signal system majorly to prevent any accident in the urban areas.

Main Line 2

This project will also upgrade the main track of approximately 1254 kilometer long from Kotri in Sindh and Attock in Northern Punjab which includes the cities of Larkana and Dera Ghazi Khan. This project also contains a connection between Gwadar to Jacobabad Sindh. This is mainly the intersection between ML-2 and ML-3

Main Line 3

This includes the construction process of the track between Bostan to Kotla Jam which is 560 kilometers. This track is near Dera Ismail Khan. This will make a connection between Southern Afghanistan. This process is expected to be completed by 2025.

Lahore Metro

The project of Lahore metro which is still in under construction phase. This commercial project worth $1.6 billion and is under CPEC.

The first part of the project was completed in 2017 however this project is delayed several times. The deadline was January 2019. The length of this track will be 27.1-kilometre long. 25.4 kilometers of this track will be elevated and the other part will be built underground from Jain Mandir and Lakshmi Chowk. After the completion of this project it will be able to transport 250,000 travelers per day which will further be increased to 500,000 travelers per day by 2025.

Khunjerab Railway

The long term project of Khunjerab Railway line between Havelian to Khunjerab Pass which is near by Chinese border is comprised of 682 kilometer. This railway line will be parallel to the Karakoram Highway which is expected to get complete in 2030

This project will cost approximately $12 billion and it will require 5 years to get complete. The final feasibility report is still under process for the construction of the railway track between Havelian and the Chinese border.