Pakistan: The national operator launched a passenger train on the Islamabad – Karachi route. Six coaches in it are newly produced by CRRC and the other 3 built in 2015 were refurbished by the Chinese producer. A ceremony was joined by the country’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif. A new batch of 46 passenger coaches was delivered in Pakistan in late 2022.
The rolling stock was produced at the CRRC plant in Tangshan under a contract worth PKR 31 bln (€130 mln), concluded in 2021. Under its terms, a total of 230 coaches are to be delivered, including 80 economy class vehicles, 80 vehicles with air conditioning, 30 first-class vehicles and 20 baggage and service vehicles, correspondingly. One coach is worth $694,000-$859,000 depending on the class, according to the Arab News.
The coaches are designed to run the lines with a 1676 mm track gauge at a maximum speed of 160 km/h, while the current top speed of trains in Pakistan is about 120 km/h. The design features of new rolling stock include low axel load as well as high passenger capacity. CRRC produced last year 100 similar coaches for Bangladesh with bodies from ferritic stainless steel but designed for the speed of 120 km/h.
Under a technology transfer agreement, the remaining 184 coaches will be assembled in Pakistan at the Pakistan Railways plant in Islamabad with Chinese engineers taking part.
In January Pakistan also received a batch of 70 freight cars from CRRC. The rolling stock with carrying capacity of 70 tons is designed to operate with a maximum speed of 100 km/h. The second batch of 130 cars is expected to arrive in March. The supply is part of a large order for 820 cars, with 620 of them are to be produced in Pakistan at the Mughalpura and Risalpur plants.