ISLAMABAD  - Islamic Development Bank (IDB) is likely to invest 264 million dollar for procurement of Locomotives and doubling of Track.

Government of Japan through Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has also shown interest to revitalization of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) at an estimated cost of 2.6 billion dollar.

Pakistan and China had also signed an MoU for construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said an official of PR while talking to APP. Up-gradation of existing railway track from Karachi to Peshawar via Rohri, Multan, Sahiwal, Lahore, Rawalpindi would be part of MoU.

Under the agreement, development of Dry Port and Cargo handling facilities at Havelian would be made operational.

The whole investment will be dealt as a soft loan on mutually agreed terms and conditions and contracts will be awarded through open bidding in accordance with Public Procurement Rules.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Railways has received 56 passenger coaches as Completely Build Units which have been put in operation to help improve performance and facilitate the travelers.

These coaches were manufactured under a contract agreement, the

Department signed for procurement and manufacturing of 202 new design passenger coaches. The remaining 146 coaches are being manufactured at its Carriage Factory, Islamabad, of which 95 coaches have been manufactured so far and turned out for operational use.

According to Pakistan Railways here on Sunday, the project is scheduled to be completed by September 2014.

The Department said, under its development plan, it had initiated some projects for purchase of new locomotives and passenger coaches, (bogies). A contract agreement for procurement of 58 locomotives has already been signed and supply of first batch of 23 locomotives is expected in current financial year. The remaining 35 locomotives would be shipped during September-December 2014.

Moreover, under a contract agreement signed to procure five locomotives at Risalpur Factory, Letter of Credit (LC) has been established.

The material/kits for locomotives are expected to be supplied next month and manufacturing/assembling will be done by June 2015 while procurement of 75 locomotive is also under process through

Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP).

Furthermore, a contract agreement for procurement/manufacture of 40 Power Vans has also been signed and material/kits for power vans are expected to be supplied from July 2014 to March, 2015.

The Department said only 11 railway stations were closed down over the system during last ten years and there is no proposal under consideration to reopen the operationally closed stations for the following reasons.

Pakistan Railways is improving signaling system, hence there is no operational requirement of opening closed stations. Besides,some of the stations were closed as they were provided for operational purpose only and not meant for passengers.

Now with the Doubling of Track (DoT) between Lahore and

Lodhran, there is no operational need to keep these stations open.

About the performance of Pakistan Railways, the Department said reduction in fares resulted into attracting extra passengers towards Rail that consequently increased the passenger earning as well as other coaching.

Availability of locomotives in freight pool has been enhanced from eight locomotives to 25 locomotives on daily basis that generated activity and made it possible to start three to five freight trains ex-Karachi port daily for up country.  Punctuality of passenger trains has been improved from 10 to 55 per cent. The HSD Oil reserve was limited for two days which has been enhanced to 12 days to streamline the operation of trains.  Punjab Food Department cleared outstanding of more than Rs. 787 million.

Moreover, 500 acres encroached Railway land has been retrieved from January 2013 till March 25, 2014. The value of which is approximately Rs.1997 million.