India may lease out 50 locomotives to Pakistan

Published: May 18, 2012

COMING THROUGH: 250 diesel locomotives is manufactured by Indian Railways in a year.

NEW DEHLI: Following the energy’s sector lead by lending a hand across the border, Indian Railways is considering the proposal to provide 50 diesel locomotives on hire to Pakistan.

Indian Railways is likely to give at an approximate rate of Rs1,500 per hour per locomotive of 3,000 HP to Pakistan for leasing purpose as per the plan, reported Press Trust of India on Wednesday.

Besides leasing out, India will also provide training facilities for Pakistan railwaymen to run Indian locomotives.

In a similar effort to strengthen ties between the two old foes, India offered Pakistan 5,000MW electricity to meet its energy requirements on an urgent basis which could be transmitted through Punjab within months.

“The Ministry of External Affairs has already approved the proposal and now the modalities of supplying locomotives are being worked,” said a senior railway ministry official.

“If the supply takes place, it will be for the first time that Indian Railways will come to the aid of Pakistan,” the official said.

Though railways regularly supply locomotives to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana, it will be for the first time that railways will supply locomotives to Pakistan, said the official. “Railways supply about 10 locomotives on an average in a year. Generally, we sell locos on outright purchase basis to other countries but this will be for the first time that we are considering to give it on hiring basis because Pakistan Railways is preferring leasing to buying,” said the official.

Currently, railways manufacture about 250 diesel locomotives in a year. With the continuous growth in traffic volume, there is a demand for the production of more locomotives.

The three-member team of the Pakistan Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services Limited (PRACS) had earlier held preliminary discussions with the officials of Railway Infrastructure, Technical and Economic Services (RITES).

RITES have received request from Pakistan Railways regarding the supply of locomotives from India. “A formal agreement will be signed between RITES and PRACS after the finalisation of modalities,” said the official.

Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of locomotives as it has about 520 locomotives out of which about 450 are under repair.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Indian
    May 18, 2012 - 9:26AM

    Good development….. This will enhance economic interdependence and avoid unnecessary wars…

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  • Indian
    May 18, 2012 - 12:21PM

    Leasing is bad business from india’s point of view. Indian railway should sell the engines rather leasing them.

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  • May 18, 2012 - 12:52PM

    Jobs will be created in India. Thank you.

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  • Disco
    May 18, 2012 - 1:02PM

    Strengthen ties? This is more like humiliation, but its not like we don’t deserve it. We voted this government into power, now sit back and watch the show.

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  • Malatesh
    May 18, 2012 - 1:15PM

    Indian railway is bleeding due to revenue loss. Why not to lease some locomotives to private sector instead?

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  • Naresh
    May 18, 2012 - 3:17PM

    Leasing Indian Locomotive could be a problem for Pakistan Railways.
    .
    It would be better if Pakistan Railways Imported Chinese Locomotives as the last Import of Locomotives included Transfer of Technology so that the Pakistan Railways Engineers, Locomotive Drivers, Mechanics etc. are well versed in the Maintenance of Chinese Locomotives whereas with Imports of Indian Locomotives the Pakistan Railway Engineers, Engine Drivers, Maintenance Support Staff will have to be “re-trained” for working on Indian Locomotives.
    .
    Cheers

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  • G. Din
    May 18, 2012 - 4:32PM

    @Naresh:
    “It would be better if Pakistan Railways Imported Chinese Locomotives”
    Last I heard was that those locomotives started quite normally on their run but never reached the other end. They found they were cracking catastrophically in the middle of the run. Most of what Chinese transfer is absolute junk.

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  • Babloo
    May 18, 2012 - 4:34PM

    So Pakistan will print fake currency in return for real locomotive ? or else how will it pay ?. India is a fool to engage in any shape or form with Pakistan.

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  • Ali Tanoli
    May 18, 2012 - 5:00PM

    pakistan need indian electricity, railway engins, teachers for master digree classes, labour for
    our railway to run, sikh farmers to lease land in pakistan because we are so lazy that dont wanna do any thing …..

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  • Easy Rider
    May 18, 2012 - 5:15PM

    Indian Locomotives are of a much better quality and they more user-friendly as their origin can be traced to ABB or GE which are top notch companies when it comes to Locomotives. I think It’s a good move by Pakistan to lease these locos from India in order to meet their current deficit, it would be much cheaper than buying a new one from china or for taht matter any other country.
    the issue of Pakistan developing its own technology comes later and should be a part of long term plan, it can’t be done to save the current situation.

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  • moonjely sony
    May 18, 2012 - 5:20PM

    why Chinese stopped selling ? china is all whether friend or seasonal ?

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  • Indian
    May 18, 2012 - 6:28PM

    @moonjely sony: Chinese backed out for various reasons hence best alternative is Indian engines which have better performance value.

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  • Raja
    May 18, 2012 - 6:36PM

    I see not many comments from my pakistani friends …

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  • G. Din
    May 18, 2012 - 6:56PM

    @Easy Rider:
    “…they more user-friendly as their origin can be traced to ABB or GE which are top notch companies when it comes to Locomotives. “
    I don’t know about ABB but I can tell you from accounts of first hand witnesses that GE locomotives are poorly designed and have catastrophic failures in the middle of the run when heavy equipment has had to be called to remove the locomotive from the line.
    Incidentally, India’s collaboration is with the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors Corporation, GE’s competitor in US, which holds the record for locomotive production at one/day and also filled the order for largest number of locomotives to one customer, Burlington Northern Railways of the US.

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  • John B
    May 18, 2012 - 7:09PM

    @G. Din:
    Take a break. GE locomotives are work horses of nearly all railways running in this world.

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  • Taji
    May 18, 2012 - 7:15PM

    This is a good move, but at the same time Pakistan Railways needs good governance, stop waste, and corruption.

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  • let there be peace
    May 18, 2012 - 7:20PM

    I don’t mind if it makes money for India but they should sell it instead of leasing out. You never know when some incident happens and Indo-Pak relations fizzle out.

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  • Naresh
    May 18, 2012 - 7:30PM

    @G. Din Ji :
    .
    Last I heard was that those locomotives started quite normally on their run but never reached the other end. They found they were cracking catastrophically in the middle of the run. Most of what Chinese transfer is absolute junk.
    .
    The Chinese – Dong Feng – have been building “High Speed Trains-Locomotives” for quite some time.
    .
    The cracking of under-frames could be due to the Railway Track not being suitable to withstand the weight of the Locomotives. The WD3 and WD4 Type Locomotives weigh between 117 to 126 Tons and I am sure they will have the same problems as the Chinese Locomotives if the Pakistan Railway does not “upgrades” its Broad Gauge Tracks.
    .
    Cheers

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  • Jayesh
    May 18, 2012 - 8:00PM

    @moonjely sony: China is still an “all-weather” friend but unfortunately the locomotives they sell are not. They break down in the summer heat.

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  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    May 18, 2012 - 8:19PM

    Geography plays very important role when it comes to business. China can never compete with India in Pakistan if normal rules of business are followed. If there is good business, India can open an engine repair facility near Wagah border to serve Pakistani Railway exclusively. Broken down engines can be towed easily there for repairs. Can China ever offer such facility at competitive price? Let us not forget that it was one Railway till 1947 and we know it much better than Chinese. Similarly, we can help Pakistan in coal mining. India can develop Thar coal mines much more economically than any other country. Sky is the limit of cooperation.

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  • G. Din
    May 18, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @John B:
    “GE locomotives are work horses of nearly all railways running in this world. “
    Please read my comment again and note the words “first hand witnesses”. Your assertion is at best anecdotal and not that of a first hand witness. This is not to say that all their locomotives suffer from such catastrophic failures. But, those which do are still being offered for sale. Of course, the buyer has to be aware and “wary”. As with their locomotives, their off-highway equipment – trucks- have the same kind of catastrophic failures for years now. Ask the mining companies which bear the brunt of such failures.
    GE at one time was a reputable organization but it is beset with failures now. Its product line has shrunk dramatically because it couldn’t make any profits from those lines. It was in “Neutron” Jack’s time that the number of product lines shrank from about 1600 to just 11. What does that tell you about the company? Plants were closed left and right. Entire “company” towns were destroyed in pursuit of disappearing profits. Not still convinced. Try contacting CBS which had several “60 Minutes” segments devoted to this sordid affair.

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  • G. Din
    May 18, 2012 - 8:40PM

    @Naresh:
    Correct me, Naresh ji, if I am wrong.
    In a normal engineering design it is the weaker link that fails. I do not know about how capable are Pakistan’s Broad gauge tracks. But, if you think they need to be upgraded, shouldn’t the tracks have failed first before the undercarriage of the locomotive would? My engineering knowledge may not be up to par but commonsense would indicate that if the undercarriage cracks, it is that which needs fixing, don’t you think?

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  • Concerned
    May 18, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @ET
    I am utterly disappointed that you did not publish my comment regarding poor quality of 69 locomotives received from China which is a reality. Is China such a holy cow who should get away for selling sub-standard equipment to a cash strapped state and Pakistanis be kept in the dark since considered as a so called all weather friend of the country ? I consider this as most pathetic and deplorable, if this is the policy of moderation by ET.

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  • John B
    May 19, 2012 - 4:16PM

    @G. Din:
    What does closing plants have anything to do with quality. Perhaps you should study what product lines GE concentrates today, and see if the world can live without it.

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  • Sandip
    May 30, 2012 - 8:30AM

    @Disco: Could you please explain what is the humiliation here? Pakistan will be paying for goods or services it needs and India can provide? Where is the humiliation in this business?

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