Pakistan News

Pakistan Railways to receive 70 flat wagons

Pakistan Railways to receive 70 flat wagons

LAHORE: Part of the 820 wagons procurement contract, Pakistan Railways (PR) is set to receive the first consignment of completely built units (CBUs) of 70 high-capacity flat wagons from China on Monday.

“Despatched on Dec 25 by the Chinese firm, the wagons will reach Karachi port on Monday,” PR’s Chief Mechanical Engineer Abdul Haseeb told Dawn on Saturday. “These are the flat wagons on which containers would be kept and used for the transportation of various goods to various parts of the country from Lahore, Karachi and other major stations,” he added.

Mr Haseeb said under the contract, the Chinese firm is also responsible to manufacture 200 CBUs including 70 flat, 70 open-top and 40 covered wagons and 20 brake vans, he said.

According to the contract, the PR is procuring as many as 800 high-capacity wagons and 20 brake vans.

A letter of credit had already been opened in March last year.

Under various clauses of the contract, 600 wagons are to be manufactured in Pakistan at various carriage factories of Pakistan Railways in association with the Chinese engineer.

The arrival of 46 high-speed modern coaches from China on Nov 27, 2022 paved the way for the provision of state-of-the-art travelling facilities to the masses. Arrangements have also been made to start manufacturing of 184 similar coaches (passenger, luggage and brake vans) under the technology-transfer component of the 230 coaches’ purchase contract.

Since the test-run of these coaches has recently been completed, the PR has started using them in various express trains on the main-line reportedly. Modern train coaches and wagons can run at speeds of 160km and 80 km per hour.

“In November 2021, when looking to upgrade and enhance long-distance passenger services in the country, the federal government had inked an agreement with China Railway Construction Corporation Tangshan Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company for the supply of 230 high-speed coaches for PR.

Similarly, another contract was also signed with another company to provide 820 wagons,“ explained an official source in the PR.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the department says that the remaining 130 CBUs of wagons would be received by end of March this year.

“The manufacturing of the 620 wagons under the technology transfer component of the contract will help Pakistan save its foreign reserves. The new wagons would earn a revenue of Rs1.5 billion per annum,” he said, adding that the new wagons can run at a speed of 80km and 100km per hour with 60-tonnes and 70-tonnes loads respectively,“ the spokesman explained.

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2023

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