Pakistan railways: Contrasting views of Indian engines

Published: October 1, 2012

"Pakistan should buy engines from a company of good repute and should not repeat the mistake of 2005," says Hafiz Abdul Qayyum. PHOTO: EPA

LAHORE: 

Pakistan Railways is in crisis and the Indian government’s offer to supply 100 engines must be given serious thought, said Pakistan-India Business Council Chairman Noor Muhammad Kasuri on Sunday.

Talking to APP, he said the addition of 100 engines to Pakistan Railways could help revive the department, which was an important source of livelihood for a lot of people. “The railways crisis has created a lot of problems, especially for those living in far-flung parts of the country,” he said.

Kasuri said India had made the offer as a goodwill gesture and it should be taken in the same spirit.

However, Daily Passengers Association President Hafiz Abdul Qayyum said the engines India was offering were too old. He said that India had bought the engines from an American company several decades ago. That company closed 26 years ago over quality concerns, he said. He said Pakistan should buy engines from a company of good repute and should not repeat the mistake of 2005. “Pakistan Railways spent a huge amount on the purchase of 69 engines from a Chinese company then, but 50 of them are not working now,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2012.

 

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Reader Comments (14)

  • Oct 1, 2012 - 6:43AM

    ” Daily Passengers Association President Hafiz Abdul Qayyum said the engines India was offering were too old. He said that India had bought the engines from an American company several decades ago.”

    it is strange that daily passengers’ Association is evaluating the quality of Railway engines to be bought ‘ No mention what type of engine is offered.
    For kind information – Diesel Engines for railway are manufactured in India.

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  • simsim
    Oct 1, 2012 - 6:46AM

    It is about time we stop building tanks and subs and start building our own train engines (deisel or electric). Leveraging some of the the existing resources from the army. They got enough toys already.

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  • Enlightened
    Oct 1, 2012 - 3:10PM

    Indian Railways manufactures around 500 locomotives ie 250 each of diesel and electric variants respectively of power ranging from 1250HP to 6000HP. India was earlier reluctant to sell rail locomotives to Pakistan since the latter repair and maintenance facilities are in shambles. However due Indian govt pressure to improve relations with its neighbor, 100 overhauled locomotives were agreed to be sold along with spares but this news report mentions about the US engines which are no longer in use and phased out long time back since India is using locally manufactured engines since 2002.

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  • Oct 1, 2012 - 3:34PM

    “Pakistan Railways spent a huge amount on the purchase of 69 engines from a Chinese company then, but 50 of them are not working now,”

    Look at the bright side. 19 are still working. China made goods have the tendency to do worse!

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  • Pradeep
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:12PM

    Indian Railways transport 20 million people a day. Put another way, India Railways transports a Pakistan once every 10 days. And this is just the passenger railways, not to mention goods transport. If our engines are that bad that they would literally fall apart, this would not be possible at all. Give some credit where it is due. This sounds like a good deal for Pakistan IMO.

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  • Ram
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:34PM

    When India offered medicines, blankets to flood victims, the Government of Pakistan didn’t accept them and victims suffered.

    Guys – Indian Railways is the world’s second largest railways. We make diesel engines in Varanasi, bogies in Perambur and Kapurthala. We are nearly self sufficient. Yes, we do import much powerful diesel engines from ABB and other reputed companies that can pull more load on long distance with a proviso that the technology will be transferred to India.

    It looks like steam engines are still used in Pakistan. We have phased them out few decades ago. Few vintage models can be seen in Railway museum Delhi.

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  • BangaloreBaba
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:51PM

    Pradeep: why give them anything at all? I don’t understand the fascination of our leaders for pappi-jhappi with Pakistan.

    If we are giving Pakistan anything, it should be sold at market rates, with the money paid upfront.

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  • Shamsuddin
    Oct 1, 2012 - 5:57PM

    Nobody can help a person (or a country) if he (or it) doesn’t want to be helped.

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  • HADI SAKEY
    Oct 1, 2012 - 7:00PM

    Indian Railway engines are operating in India efficiently. I do not think Indian Engines could be imported into Pakistan without palm greasing. Their Railway lines and gauge are the same as in Pakistan and in case of fault in the locomotive Pakistan can always call them and they will attend to rectify the fault. The only problem is Bilor- remove him and railway will run.

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  • Paul
    Nov 18, 2012 - 3:06AM

    India does not import locomotives, and she has not imported any locomotive for past several years.
    As far as quality is concerned, those have been serving the 1.2 billion people successfully so they can not afford to have many frequently broken down engines. JUST SIMPLE LOGIC–I am not a salesperson.

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  • Paul
    Nov 18, 2012 - 3:10AM

    @Ram: And who were the victims? Kashmiris.

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  • Naresh
    Nov 27, 2012 - 1:16AM

    @Ram Ji :
    .
    The Steam Locomotive in the picture is most probably one of the Steam Locomotives of the Pakistan Railway which are normally used to Power the “Safari” Trains favoured by International Steam Buffs who probaly visit pakistan for the “Steam” Experience.
    .
    Regarding the statement by the Pakistani Daily Passengers Association President Hafiz Abdul Qayyum : This is the Par for the Course.
    .
    ALCO was based, I think in New York and had a Candian Subsidiary “Montreal Locomotive Works” which was taken over by Bombardier.
    .
    ALCO was taken over by Fairbanks Morse and these Fairbanks Morse (Based on the ALCO Engines) are most probably still being used in US Coast Guard as well as the Icebreakers working in the St. Lawrence.
    .
    It is good to know that Pakistan Railways and Government “High Officials’” practice very high standards and as such they should acquire the Chinese Locomotives as around 2000-2002 Pakistan Railways acquired 69 Diesel Locomotives along with Transfer Of Technology and thus the Pakistani Railway Worshops’ Mechanics and Engineers are “well versed” in the Maintenance and Servicing of Chinese Locomotives especially the Dong Feng Models.
    .
    Cheers

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  • Ram
    Nov 27, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Dear Pakistani friends – Railways involve huge investments (we have exclusive ministry in India) and it is crime to keep the railway infrastructure idle/under utilized for want of engines and allow the public to suffer. If you guys don’t want Indian engines, please go ahead and buy from your all weather friend Chines. Whatever you do, be fast and quick!

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  • Paul
    Nov 27, 2012 - 8:12PM

    Do they have nexus between bus/truck lobby and government?

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