Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed while talking to the media announced the Free Track Policy (FTP) where private sector could utilize Railways tracks while bringing their own engines, wagons and fuel after paying fare.
He said Free Track Policy will encourage private sector to run its own freight trains. The move would eventually increase Pakistan Railways’ (PR) earning, besides boosting the country’s economy, the minister said. Under the policy, he said the private freight trains would only be charged with the track fee that would be fixed by following the international market rates.
He informed the media that the $8.2 billion Railways Main Line (ML-1) project would be initiated in March 2020 and invited the prime minister and transport minister of China to witness the start of ML-1 project under which 1,800 km track would be upgraded.
With the upgrade of ML-1, train speed will increase from the current 65-105 km to 120-160 km, line capacity from 34 to 171 trains each way per day, freight volume from 6 to 35 million tons per annum by 2025, and railway share of freight transport volume would increase from less than 4 percent to 20 percent.