Pakistan railways has published a business plan to revive its rail freight service with the help of private companies. The private firms will provide Rs2 billion (US$23 million) to modernise 20 diesel locomotives at terminals in Rawalpindi, Lahore and Karachi.
Pakistan Railways will also receive a loan which it will use to pay its rent for two years. When the financial health of the railways improves, the balance will be returned to the organisations participating in the business plan.
According to a senior official at Pakistan Railways, it will cost Rs50 million to renovate each locomotive. They will be used to run freight train services from Karachi to the rest of the country.
Pakistan Railways says it will collaborate with the private terminal operators in carrying out a survey on how to run a successful freight train service when the plan has been approved.
Pakistan Railways has a stock of 16,499 freight wagons with a total capacity of 47,000 tonnes.