Railway officials briefed the Sub-Committee of Senate Standing Committee on Railways which met with Senator John Kenneth Williams in the chair about the upgradation work of Main Line 1 from Karachi to peshawer. Basharat Waheed Team leader of CPEC project at Railways said that The overall project i.e. ML-1 upgradation has been planned to be executed in three packages. Physical works for phase-1 projects of the ML-1 are expected to be commenced in January 2020 and would be completed in four years with an estimated cost of $2.248 billion. The PC-1 for Package-1 based on cost estimates validated by the third party review consultants, will be submitted to the Planning Commission in June 2019.
The CPEC project of the Railways will consist of early harvest—ML-1 upgradation and establishment of dry port, mid-term — establishing new rail link from Gwadar to Mastung and Besima to Jacobabad while long term—establishing new rail link from Havelian to Khunjrab (China border).
Upgradation of Main Line-1 and establishment of dry port near Havelian is an early harvest project which will be completed by 2025.
After upgradation of ML-1, train speed will increase from the current 65-105 to 120-160 km per hour. Line capacity will increase from 34 to 171 trains each way per day, freight volumes from 6 to 35 million tonnes per annum by 2025, and railways share of freight transport volume will increase from less than 4 percent to 20 percent.
Establishment of a new rail link from Gwadar to Mastung and Besima to Jacobabad is a mid-term project to begin in 2025 and end by 2030 and establishing a new rail link from Havelian to Khunjerab is a long-term project which will commence in 2030.
The senate subcommittee was told that 277.35 acres of land will be acquired within Gwadar for station and right of way. Besides, 363.68 acres of land has already been acquired for container yard and right of way at cost of Rs 1.332 billion.