ISLAMABAD                     -                  Pakistan Railways is planning to outsource as many as 16 trains on different routes across the country to earn more revenue to turn the department into profitable institution.

The department would outsource ten passenger and six freight trains to private sector and working in that regard is in the final stage, an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.

The passenger trains including Lasani Express (runs between Lahore and Sialkot via Narowal), Jinnah Express (runs between Lahore and Karachi) and Fareed Express (runs between Lahore and Karachi) were being outsourced. The official said that seven more passenger trains would also be outsourced in phases for which several parties were showing interest to take the trains of Pakistan Railways.

He said that six freight trains would also be given to private companies to run and all these trains which Pakistan Railways was going to privatize were running in deficit.

The official said that Main Line-I (ML-I) would bring revolution in Pakistan Railways and tendering process of the project would be completed in the month of May.

He said that Ml-I was a 1,872km-long track from Peshawar to Karachi would be laid out in addition to the existing one – turning it into a double track route and the track would be fenced under the project.

“The project will increase the speed of passenger trains from the current 65km-110km per hour to 160km per hour, while freight trains will be operated at 120km per hour,” he added.

He said the track would have a computer-based signaling and control system as well as a grade separation to ensure the safety of train operations. The main line would cover Karachi to Peshawar via Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Rohri, Rahimyar Khan, Bahawalpur, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Lahore, Gujran-wala, Rawalpindi and Peshawar.