LAHORE: For the first time, Pakistan Railway has started local manufacturing of 184 state-of-the-art high-speed passenger coaches under a technology-transfer agreement with China.

Since a team of the department has also started pre-shipment inspection of the required material in China for making coaches, the manufacturing of 620 high-capacity flat goods’ wagons has also been launched in Pakistan under another technology-transfer agreement with China, Dawn has learnt.

“We have started manufacturing of the 184 modern high-speed designed (up to 140km) passenger coaches after the required machinery was installed at our Islamabad carriage factory under the technology-transfer agreement with China,” PR’s Chief Executive Officer Amir Ali Baloch said while talking to Dawn on Thursday.

“We will also receive other required material from China soon, as our team is currently there for a pre-shipment inspection of the same,” he added.

620 goods wagons to be made under another technology-transfer agreement with China

According to him, the manufacturing of the high-speed coaches will gradually end the PR’s 1,964 low-speed designed (100km per hour or so) coaches being used by the department at the moment.

In November 2021, the PR while planning to upgrade its rolling stock had inked an agreement worth $140 million with China Railway Construction Corporation Tangshan Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company for the supply of 230 high-speed coaches. In this regard, the department had, in the last week of November 2022 received a consignment of 46 completely built units (CBUs) of high-speed modern coaches from China under the technology-transfer component of the 230 coaches purchase contract.

Similarly, the department received various consignments of 200 CBUs of modern goods/freight wagons from China under another agreement of the procurement of total 820 wagons under which 620 wagons are to be manufactured in the carriage factory Risalpur and Lahore Mughalpura Workshop.

The modern train coaches and wagons received from China in the form of CBUs had been designed for a speed of 140km and 100km per hour respectively. The 820 wagons included 800 freight wagons and 20 brake wagons.

“Besides high-speed feature, the suspension of both coaches and trains has also been designed with modern technology,” the CEO said while responding to a question.

To another question, Mr Baloch said the new technology of manufacturing the goods’ wagons had been adopted by the PR 20 years ago. But the manufacturing of these wagons was done under semi-complete knock-down method. But, now under the new agreement with China, the wagons would be manufactured locally under the complete knock-down method/technology, he maintained.

He said the PR, at present, had over 3,000 freight wagons and it wants to increase it to total 4,000 in phases.

Talking about increasing the railway income, he said the PR would achieve its annual revenue target of Rs85 billion till June 30, this year which is Rs22bn more than the last fiscal ended on June 30, 2023.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2024

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