Pakistan requires 1000 Locomotives & 12 Billion USD to transform Railways: Khawaja Rafique, Railway Minister

Lahore: Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday pointed out that Pakistan Railways requires at least 1,000 locomotives and 12 billion dollars to transform it into a best train service.

The Pakistan Railways (PR) Saturday signed an agreement was with General Electric (GE) USA to procure 55 locomotives. PR Director Procurement Ziauddin Ahmed Qureshi and Mr Ishfaq representative of General Electric of the United States signed the agreement here at Railways Headquarters.

An agreement for Pakistan Railways to purchase 55 GE Transportation diesel locomotives was signed on June 20
An agreement for Pakistan Railways to purchase 55 GE Transportation diesel locomotives was signed on June 20

The 1 676 mm gauge 4 500 hp locomotives are to be supplied from the USA fully assembled, with deliveries scheduled to run from November 2016 to April 2017. They would cost Rs500m each, including taxes, and are expected to pay for themselves within three years.

Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said 40 of the locomotives would be used to haul coal to the Sahiwal and Jamshoro power stations, and 15 would be used on general freight services. ‘It is the first time in the history of PR that such locomotives of latest technology are being inducted in the fleet,’ said Rafique, adding that all future procurements would be from companies with a proven export record.

Addressing a press conference Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique who oversaw the signing of the agreement said today was a historic day for the Paksitan Railways as it was going to procure locomotives of 4,000 to 4,500 horse power from a company whose export profile was good. In future also all procurements would be made from companies having good export profile and no compromise in this regard would be made he added.

He said that the PR was fulfilling its promise of procuring modern items as the GE was one of the best companies in the world. Saad Rafique said out of 55 completely built up (CBUs) locomotives 23 to 24 would be used for the Sahiwal Coal Power project 10 for Bahawalpur project and the remaining would also be used for coal operation. He said that the first shipment of the locomotives would arrive in 16 months. These locomotives he said remained operational more than their age and would return their price in three years.

Pakistan Railways was also focusing on manufacturing locomotives in Pakistan and for the purpose it would reach an agreement with a company giving best offer for transfer of technology (TOT) in Rasalpur factory.

The minister said soon Eid operation would be announced. The Green Line train he said was running successfully with 100% occupancy. He said the PR wanted to add value to two to three trains in current fiscal year.The minister said service structure would be made for employees in Grade 1 to 16 adding that companies would be invited through open advertisement for this purpose. To a question he said that the PR had set its priorities and work would be carried out in all areas in steps. PR Chief Executive Officer Javed Anwar and other officials were also present.