ML-I to reduce travel time between Karachi and Lahore to 10 hours
After the completion of Main Line-I (ML-I) under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistan Railways is expecting to handle over 20 percent of the country’s freight business. This will make profitable entities for the department. Currently, Pakistan Railways is transporting only four percent of freight traffic in the country which was not sufficient for the department. The statement has been given by an official source in the ministry of Railways. As, ML-I has been planned to be executed in three packages, the preliminary design of the project has been completed and a formal request for the loan for Package-I has been conveyed to the Chinese side. ML-I is 1872-kilometer long track from Peshawar to Karachi and is expected to create around 24,000 jobs. This will increase train speed to 160 kilometers per hour. Moreover, the railway line would be upgraded from Karachi to Peshawar and Taxila to Havelian while a new track would be laid with improved sub grade for 160km per hour. Bridges will also be rehabilitated and constructed. Apart from this, the provision of modern signaling and telecom systems, conversion of level-crossing into underpasses or flyovers, fencing of track, establishment of dry port near Havelian and up-gradation of Walton Training Academy (Lahore) are also the components of this huge project. The completion of this project would not only create direct (20,000 local labour/technical experts and 4,000 Chinese experts) jobs but also reduce travel time between Karachi to Lahore from 18 to 10 hours.