PR faces dire technical challenges

Only 72% of 461 diesel-electric locomotives functional

APP November 28, 2022
A senior official of the Pakistan Railways said the department had improved its quality and timings through continuous efforts and passenger-friendly policies. PHOTO: MOHAMMAD AZEEM/EXPRESS


The Pakistan Railways is facing dire technical challenges as only 72 per cent of its 461 diesel-electric locomotives are in a functional condition which is not sufficient to run the entire operations of the department.

An official of the Ministry of Railways told APP that the railways had only 332 locomotives in a running condition out of a total of 461, while 129 (28 per cent) diesel-electric locomotives were non-functional.

Of 129 locomotives, around 41 were under normal overhauling schedules and maintenance, the official said, adding that the locomotives would be rolled out after routine schedule maintenance turn by turn.

He said that 11 locomotives met with an accident on various dates and locations, and fabrication work and procurement of spares were under process for these locomotives.

The official said that 69 DPU class diesel-electric locomotives were held up for repair and need major modification while eight locomotives were temporarily deleted and under condemnation process due to overage.

To a question, he said that the Pakistan Railways was planning to procure as many as 25 diesel-electric locomotives for various shunting points across the country which would help to replace outdated locomotives that were to be scrapped very soon.

The project for the procurement and manufacturing of 25 shunting locomotives would be implemented in three years at an estimated cost of Rs14 billion, he added.

Currently, he said, only 51 locomotives were being operated for this service against the 98 shunting points at various railway stations across the country.
Additionally, most of the old locomotives would be discarded due to high maintenance costs.

He said the project was aimed at procuring and manufacturing 25 shunting diesel-electric locomotives of 2000-2200 horsepower HP to replace the overage and uneconomical locomotives.

The official said the old locomotives consumed excessive fuel and in most cases, high horsepower locomotives were under-utilised during shunting operations.
He said with the addition of the new locomotives would enhance the capacity of Pakistan Railways by removing the bottlenecks during the shunting of heavy-load freight trains and the placement of freight loads at departure yards in Karachi, Lahore, and other places.


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