Islamabad – Pakistan Railways has added 1405 modern wagons for coal loading and unloading (hopper wagons) for Qadirabad Coal Power Plant at Sahiwal during the last 4-5 years.
'Pakistan Railways is in process of upgradation of cargo trains and system of transportation of coal for Qadirabad Power plant has been upgraded by purchasing high power locomotives and high capacity/high speed wagons,' an official in the Ministry of Railways told APP.
He said the proposed improvement on the anvil is procurement of 820 high capacity/high speed wagons to replace old and overage fleet of cargo wagons at a cost of Rs. 9516 million in next 1-2 years.
118 locomotives have been added in current fleet of locomotives to replace old and obsolete engines, he added. The official said that as compared to the year 2013-14 during 2016-17, the freight trains from Karachi Port were increased from 182 trains per year to 3318 trains per year.
He said that under a strategy different companies have been enlisted for freight loading in block rakes to increase freight earning.
Long haul long term agreements have been signed with major companies with advance payment in freight deposit accounts.
Maple Leaf Cement, Bestway Cement, Gharibwal Cement, Awan Trading Company and Chishtian Logistics are some of the major companies which deposit advance payments with Pakistan Railways for their transportation needs, he said.
In comparison to year 2012-13 when a total number of 46617 railway wagons were loaded, in 2016-17, 264256 wagons were loaded which is more than five times increase, he said. The official said to improve container traffic, Prem Nagar Dry port, Lahore Dry Port, Faisalabad Dry Port and Jia Bagga has been improved due to which container traffic has improved from 06 containers per day in 2014-2015 to 135 containers per day in 2016-2017.
The agreement between Pakistan Railways Freight Transportation Company (PRFTC) and Chinese company Shandong Ruyi for transportation of coal will benefit Pakistan Railways upto 13 billion rupees alone, he added.
He said that such agreements have been signed with PSO for transportation of high Speed diesel from Mehmoodkot to Taru Jabba, Chak Pirana to Sihala after 10 years, which is expected to bring enhanced freight earning for the Railways.