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First Orange Line train rolls off production line in China, 26 more to follow

First Orange Line train rolls off production line in China, 26 more to follow

A Chinese locomotives manufacturer, contracted to provide trains for Lahore's Orange-Line Metro project, on Monday rolled its first train off the assembly line, with 26 more to follow, People's Daily China reported.

The scope of civil works on the Orange Line project involves the construction of a 27.1 kilometre metro train corridor, including 25.4km of elevated U-shaped viaducts and 1.72km underground sections, 24 elevated and two underground stations, depots, stabling yards, etc.

The train, with five coaches, an energy-saving air-conditioning system and systems configured to handle unstable voltage, has been produced by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co, Ltd.

The design brings together elements of the national flower of Pakistan, Jasmine, and the shape of the dome of Lahore's historic Badshahi Mosque, said a company official.

An engineer involved with the production revealed that the Orange line train will have heat-resistant bogies, aimed at increasing the locomotive's durability.

The designed maximum operational speed of the train is expected to be around 80km per hour.

It is expected to be delivered to the government of Punjab by July this year, with another 26 to arrive by the end of 2017.

As for the financing of the Orange-Line Metro project is concerned, a major chunk, Rs150 billion of the Rs165 billion project, will be provided by the Chinese government to Punjab under a soft-loan agreement, outside the financial realm of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In May 2016, the first tranche of the payment totalling around Rs33 billion was released by The Exim Bank of China.

Earlier in April, The Supreme Court was expected to deliver a decisive verdict on a petition, filed by Kamil Khan Mumtaz, regarding damage caused to heritage sites due to construction of the Orange-Line train.

However, the SC reserved its judgement and asked the Punjab government to file a comprehensive report to the court, detailing measures it would take to address the petitioner's and civil society's concerns over the matter.

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