ACCORDING to a Dawn report (Nov 11), Pakistan Railways had 821 locomotives in 1948, it now has 528. The rest of the data on the Railways is equally depressing. The writer also says that only 140 locomotives out of the 528 are functional.

Does it require any more data to pinpoint the issues being faced by the Pakistan Railways today?

The report points out that the Pakistan Railways has three American brand engines from G.E, Alco, GM; then they have Hitachi from Japan, Adtranz from Germany and of Chinese make.

The writer also talks about issues faced by the Pakistan Railways in almost all these designs. Does this mean that American, German, and Chinese engines have faulty designs or Pakistan Railways engineers have some basic issues of their own?

Railway engines are like any other diesel engine, the only difference is their size.

A diesel engine needs constant supply of oil, cooling water circulation in engine bodies and timely replacement of air, oil and fuel filters. If only this part is done, 90 per cent of the maintenance work is completed.

During planned maintenance different components are cleaned, inspected, re-calibrated and replaced if required. It seems that these basic activities are not being done.

Diesel engine driven flat bed trucks operating at Karachi Port are 50s and 60s model.

Their poor owners maintain these machines in great working conditions. The spares for these old models are no longer available therefore they are scavenged from other types and models. Using their ingenious and innovative minds, they also use parts available in Shershah scrap market to good use.

Railway engineers should share notes with these heroes of Pakistan and ask for ideas to scavenge parts from the 288 idle engines that are rotting away.

I would even go ahead and hire them as consultants. Bringing more engines on the tracks will resolve most of Railway woes, rest will fall into place automatically.


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Comments (16)

November 17, 2012 5:54 pm
They should buy engines from Japan. More expensive,better quality, and more kickbacks for the minister of railways.
November 17, 2012 2:27 pm
Pakistan will be without engines and we are happy living in stone age but we will not buy Indian engines.
November 17, 2012 1:34 am
Buy locomotives from India. It is next door. Parts will be easy and communications between engineers will easy.
November 18, 2012 4:38 pm
We Pakistanis prefer superior products like German BMWs Pakistan should award the railways contract to the Germans or Japanese Afterall,we prefer quality over cost
November 17, 2012 11:13 am
Indian Govt was very much willing to lease or sell engines to Pakistan but Indian railways denied as there was not gurantee of payments from either govt. And major issue is not buying engines. They bought US, German and Chines engines which I believe are equal if not better than Indian engines. Major issue is maintenance which was not done properly becasue of reasons best known to Pakistan railways officials responsible for upkeep of engines.
inam noor
November 17, 2012 12:27 pm
Thank you Kumar
November 17, 2012 3:26 pm
if railway engineers know anything else except signing papers & sitting idle in their offices they can solve locomotive problems.
November 17, 2012 3:56 pm
Excellent idea Mr.Kumar Not only it would be convenient but also improve neighbourly relations. And why stop there: let India buy goods from Pakistan. All great ideas are simple , this is one of them.
Yousaf Shah
November 17, 2012 4:05 pm
It is not matter of buying locomotives, it is matter of not buying it at all to destablize this department forever, it is amazing to know that Indian Railways sells ticket online, until today you won't find complete map of Pakistan Railway on website, online ticket is as far as you can think. Moreover the railways tracks are getting disappeared day by day, when there is no tracks what would you do with your new locomotives, the new engines Pakistan railway had are now converted into pices and easily available for sales. Korean compaines offered Pakistan railway services on contract basis even as far as my knolwedge is concer, they were much interested in contract, but how our railways employees will grab money if it goes private, don't you people remember what our PIA employees did with their director for his step getting into deal with Turkish Airlines. Pakistan has long railways track, with China, India and Korean companies help it can be used for fast trains, BUT who will initiate........................
November 17, 2012 4:40 pm
Entire Pakistan Needs Help; Devine Help! Nothing short will work.
does not matter
November 17, 2012 4:58 pm
And if pakistan railway is unable to maintain those engines, they can always be sent to india for the maintenance .
November 17, 2012 2:24 pm
Everything and Everyone in Pakistan need. :(
November 17, 2012 2:10 pm
why do we need indian locomotives when German and Chinese are superior?
November 18, 2012 5:24 pm
Better give Pakistani railways to Indian Railways on lease for 99 years. You will see big improvement and investment.
Agha Ata
November 17, 2012 8:04 pm
HELP! HELP! Plase come out of train and push locomotove bogies. We need help.
November 18, 2012 3:15 am
A non functional railway is a punishment to the populace.!
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