Railway tracks from Karachi to Peshawar will soon be made signal-free and gate-free during the first phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. Reports indicate that the physical work on the project will begin as early as next month and railway tracks from Rawalpindi- Peshawar will be in focus during the first phase.
As per official data, the project is expected to reach its final stage by 2021 and will cost approximately $8.2 billion. It is also reported that the work to build fencing around the railway tracks will start in the first week of January, 2017. Also, Pakistan Railway (PR) is currently working on a feasibility report for connecting railway tracks of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Torkham and Peshawar.
According to the official data, “The railway track from Karachi to Peshawar via Kotri, Multan, Lahore and Rawalpindi (including Taxila-Havelian) would be upgraded and 15% of the total cost of the project would be borne by Pakistan and 85% financed from relevant Chinese financial institutions under the CPEC project,”
Many reports indicate that the main aim of the government behind this move is making railways from Karachi-Peshawar signal-free and gate-free to make journeys safer and faster. Several sources believe that the once the project is completed, the tracks may be able to accommodate high speed trains.