ISLAMABAD: A consignment of seven new and modern locomotives reached Karachi from the United States in a bid to strengthen Pakistan Railways’ existing fleet, said sources in the ministry of railways on Monday.
“Pakistan will receive a total of 55 locomotives in different phases from the US. The remaining 48 are expected to be handed over to the Pakistan Railways by June 2017”.
The locomotive consignment includes 4,000 horsepower modern diesel locomotives of General Electric with 676 mm gauge and fully assembled, they said while commenting on its specifications.
“The 137 tonnes six-axle locomotives are designed for a maximum speed of 120 km per hour, and are expected to provide better fuel efficiency and longer maintenance intervals than Pakistan Railways’ current fleet”.
The locomotives, with 12-cylinder of 563 horsepower engine, would help cope with the harsh operating conditions in Pakistan, having additional cooling capacity and an air-conditioned cab suitable for bidirectional operation, official sources added.
This is a first ever consignment of evolution series locomotives not only to Pakistan but also to anywhere in the South Asian region.
According to the contract, they said, a US based Corys Electric Company would supply a full-scope simulator for driver training.
The official sources continued that the locomotives would be used for transporting coal from Karachi’s Port Qasim to Sahiwal Power Plant in Punjab and Jamshoro Power Plant in Sindh.
In 2015, they said that Pakistan Railways had signed an agreement with the US for provision of 55 General Electric diesel locomotives, out of which 40 would be used to haul imported coal and 15 in general freight services.