ML-1 Project Sees Further Development


Islamabad: The upcoming Pakistan Government is poised to finalise the terms and conditions regarding a loan from Beijing for the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project of Pakistan Railways (PR), as reported by a news source on February 11.

Read: Rail links planned to connect Gwadar Port with ML-1, Quetta

According to PR Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Amir Ali Baloch, all aspects of the project have been addressed, except for the specifics of the financing agreement with the Chinese authorities. The process involves a government-to-government (G to G) dialogue, where the new administration will conclude the loan agreement, determining factors such as interest rates and repayment periods. Mr Baloch confirmed that apart from the loan agreement, all other matters concerning the project, including an addendum on the project’s cost, have been resolved.

The ML-1 project, integrated within the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), has undergone revisions, with a revised cost of USD 6.678 billion instead of the initial USD 9.85 billion. This adjustment was formalised through an addendum to the CPEC’s framework agreement signed during the Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) forum in October 2023.

Read: ‘Gwadar Intl’ Airport set to open in August 2024′

Under the revised plan, the project entails four phases covering a total distance of 1,726km, spanning from Karachi to Peshawar. The upgrade aims to increase the design speed to 140km per hour initially, with the potential for further enhancement to 160km per hour upon completion of additional infrastructure improvements. Furthermore, Pakistan Railways is extending its modernisation efforts to include the introduction of state-of-the-art restaurant-on-wheel services on three express trains in the coming months.


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