BEIJING (APP): Pakistan and China have finalized the multi-billion dollar Main Line-I (ML-I) project of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said here on Wednesday. “I held a meeting with my Chinese counterpart this morning and finalized the project,” he told media at Diaoyutai State Guest House.
Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed is part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s delegation currently visiting China. While expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking great interest in the project, he said the Main Line-I (ML-I), an important project for Pakistan Railways has got a real shape after 14 years. The Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that he has also shared copies of a feasibility report of ML-2 (Fast Train) project with his Chinese counterpart.
“We are planning to start work on the Fast Train project soon after the completion of ML-I in the next 3-4 years,” he said. Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that after completion of ML-I, it would increase speed from 65-105 km/h to 120-160km/h, increase freight volumes from 6 to 35 tons per year by 2025 and increase the railway’s share in freight transport from less than 4% to 20%.
Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that the length of railway track from Karachi to Peshawar would be around 1,800 kilometres and the new signaling system would be installed. There would not be any crossing on the new track and all the existing railway crossings would be abolished after completion of the ML-I project, Sh Rashid said.