LAHORE - Orange Line Metro Train will be operational by end of September as more than 85 percent of electric, mechanical and track work on the multi-billion urban transport project has been completed, say officials.

Although, Punjab former chief minister Shehbaz Sharif in May inaugurated the test run of the train, the project could not be fully operational due to incomplete work on different sites.

Seeking anonymity, officials attached with the project said that work will be completed in less than two months and no further delay is likely.

To meet the target, according to some insiders, the contractors have deployed additional workforce on different parts of 27.1km (cut and cover section: 1.72km, elevated: 25.4km) long track.

The former government had set many deadlines for completion of the project, but failed to meet any of them. But now, according to the sources, no further deadline will be announced.

According to details, progress of civil work on package-I from Dera Gujjaran, GT Road to Chouburji was 97 percent and on package-II from Chouburji to Ali Town was more than 95 percent. Work on Depot near Dera Gujjaran and Stabling Yard near Ali Town is almost complete.

Sources said that 90 percent of electrical and mechanical work on the project is complete. Also, 85 percent of work on metallic track as well as installation of electrical and mechanical equipment is complete. They said electric, mechanical and track work, especially on package-II, will be completed in next two to three weeks.

The steering committee on OLMTP holds weekly meetings to review the work and change in governments had not affected the pace of work, they said.

At least 27 sets of orange trains have already arrived and negotiations on fare with the Chinese company responsible for train operation will be finalised in consultation with the incoming government.

Officials said that five coaches are attached with each train, which holds capacity to transport 1,000 passengers in one trip. More than 27,000 passengers will be able to travel on 27 metro trains in one trip. One train is set to make 10 trips in a day and hence relying upon the official claims it is estimated that more than 250,000 passengers will travel daily through metro trains when they will fully start their operation in the city of more than 11 million people. It is claimed the number of commuters will double in the next five years, the time when the Chinese company will hand over the train operation to the Punjab government.

The metro train will operate at a commercial speed of 80 kilometres per hour and cover 27km Ali Town to Dera Gujjaran journey in 45 minutes. There are total 26 stations on the track -- 24 are elevated and two are cut and cover stations.

The Parks and Horticulture Authority designed an ornamental lighting system for illumination of track. As the train will operate with electricity, an electric sub-station near University of Engineering and Technology has also been completed.