GE locomotives to enhance Pakistan’s cargo capacity

US envoy dedicates new rail engines at Karachi Cantt station

The newly-arrived locomotives are fuel-efficient and provide longer overhaul cycles than the ones Pakistan currently has. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ AYESHA MIR

KARACHI: US Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale has said that many of General Electric (GE) locomotives being delivered to Pakistan Railways will support power plants and improve the rail company’s capacity to carry even more cargo to the industrial heartland.

“The delivery of these locomotives is also great news for US private sector’s engagement with Pakistan, enhancing the ties between our countries,” the ambassador said at a ceremony at the Karachi Cantonment Railway Station where he dedicated the GE locomotives on Friday.

US Consul General for Karachi Grace Shelton and Pakistan Railways Chairperson Parveen Agha were present on the occasion.

Hale highlighted how US technology and equipment would play a key role in the long-term infrastructure upgrades that would fuel Pakistan’s sustainable economic development.

“We are proud to support the government’s goals to strengthen and modernise Pakistan’s transportation infrastructure with the early delivery and commissioning of GE’s Evolution Series locomotives,” said Sarim Sheikh, President and CEO of GE Pakistan and Central Asia region.

“Evo locomotives provide better fuel efficiency and longer overhaul cycles than any other locomotives in their class, substantially reducing both the costs and environmental impact of transporting essential freight.”

A representative of Pakistan Railways noted that Pakistan was the first country in South Asia to import and use the GE Evolution Series locomotives, which would help with modernisation and connectivity of Pakistan Railways.

In June 2015, GE signed a deal with Pakistan Railways for the delivery of 55 state-of-the-art diesel locomotives. The 4,500 horsepower locomotives are fully built and assembled in the US.

They will be shipped to Karachi Port in several phases throughout 2017. First seven locomotives arrived two months ahead of the scheduled date at the port on January 23, 2017.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2017.

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