ISLAMABAD: In order to provide cheaper, faster and convenient mode of passengers and freight transport, the government will spend Rs 77 billion on 45 development schemes including doubling of tracks, purchase of new locomotives, wagons, bogeys and up-gradation of signaling system during next fiscal year.
In addition to the revival of the existing system, the Prime Minister has a vision for high tech, modern and viable railways.
Therefore, some entirely new and bold steps are being taken to take Pakistan Railways to new heights.
Huge investments are being made under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which will bring fast, modern and reliable railways to Pakistan, according to official sources here on Sunday.
The Government has allocated amounts in the next budget for doubling of track from Khanewal to Lalamusa, covering a major portion of the North-South mainline. Remaining tracks will also be doubled in coming years.
Similarly, allocations have been made for rehabilitation of track from Karachi to Khanpur and Khanpur to Lodhran. Allocations have also been made to strengthen and rehabilitate 159 weak railway bridges. These measures will improve the speed and reduce travel time.
A sufficient amount has been made in the current budget to add more than 500 engines to the system through procurement and repair. This will address the issue of shortage of engines.
Around 1500 new wagons/bogeys are also being arranged. Pakistan Railways is taking these steps to improve the travelling experience of its customers.
In order to further enhance the convenience of travelling with Pakistan Railways, this budget has allocated special amounts to renovate and upgrade railway stations in various cities.
In order to make Pakistan Railways profitable, funds have been made available to procure additional wagons for freight operations and a feasibility study is being commissioned to study the possibility of a dedicated freight corridor.
Urban railway is being introduced initially in Karachi and Lahore for which sufficient amounts have been kept to revive the Karachi Circular Railway while the government of Punjab has planned to introduce a modern metro rail in Lahore.
A path-breaking project of Islamabad-Murree-Muzzaffarabad Rail Link is being initiated and a new company with the name of Kashmir Railways is being established to construct and manage this exceptional project in the scenic area of Galyat and Kashmir.
This project will open new avenues in tourism and travel pleasure and this would prove to be a special gift to the nation.