Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for the expansion and reconstruction of existing Karachi-Lahore Peshawar (ML-1) railway track.
The document was signed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and his counterpart Li Keqiang in Beijing on Sunday.
In a statement from Beijing, Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said it is a great day in history of Pakistan Railways.
He said under the project a double track from Peshawar to Karachi will be laid. The minister said speed of train on new track will be 160 kilometer per hour.
According to the project details available on CPEC website, the entire track of 1,872 kms from Karachi to Peshawar would be dualized.
The speed of passenger trains would be raise from 65/110km/h to 160 km/h however, the freight trains would operate at 120 km/h.
Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line (also referred to as Main Line 1 or ML-1) is one of four main railway lines in Pakistan, operated and maintained by Pakistan Railways. The line begins from Karachi City station or Kemari station and ends at Peshawar Cantonment Station. The total length of this railway line is 1,687 kilometers (1,048 mi). There are 184 railway stations from Kemari to Peshawar Cantonment on this line.The line serves as the main passenger and freight line of the country. 75% of the country’s cargo and passenger traffic uses the line.
The present-day Karachi–Peshawar Railway Line was built as a patchwork of different railways during the 19th century. The present day line consists of the following historic sections built between 1861 and 1900:
Karachi–Kotri section, opened in 1861 (Kotri Bridge over the Indus River, opened in 1899)
Kotri–Rohri section, opened in 1900
Rohri–Multan section, opened in 1879 (Empress Bridge (near Bahawalpur) over the Sutlej River, opened in 1878)
Multan–Lahore section, opened in 1861
Lahore–Peshawar section, opened in 1876 (Attock Bridge over the Indus River, opened in 1883)