FAISALABAD: Pakistan Railways has decided, in principle, to double the rail tracks over 5,582 kilometers in 11 different sections across the country and is likely to adopt the model of Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) for the purpose.
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Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Engineer Mohammad Saeed Sheikh welcomed the plan, believing it would enhance the capacity of Pakistan Railways to accommodate additional passenger and cargo traffic by increasing the rail service.
In a statement issued on Monday, Sheikh appreciated the planned building of double track on Faisalabad-Shahdara and Faisalabad-Khanewal sections, which would bring Faisalabad from the branch rail line to the mainstream.
Pakistan Railways has decided to upgrade and build dual track on the 135km Faisalabad-Shahdara section, which will help run speedy trains on this important and profitable route.
Similarly, a 280km rail line from Khanewal to Faisalabad and from Shangla Hill to Wazirabad has also been part of the “dualisation” plan.
Sheikh pointed out that traffic load on the existing road network was expected to increase manifold with the operation of Gwadar deep-sea port and linkages between Pakistan and China as well as landlocked Central Asian states through the economic corridor.
In that regard, he underlined the importance of a cheap, speedy and safe mode of transportation, saying Pakistan Railways was the only one that had the potential to absorb the entire traffic load in Pakistan as well as from regional countries.
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“Hopefully, it (Pakistan Railways) will be in a position to earn maximum revenue for the country in addition to facilitating the shipment of export goods from upcountry to the sea ports of Karachi as well as Gwadar deep-sea port,” he said.