Islamabad: The upcoming government of Pakistan is set to conclude negotiations with Chinese authorities on the financing terms for the Main Line-1 (ML-1) project, a key initiative under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
According to Amir Ali Baloch, Chief Executive Officer of Pakistan Railways (PR), discussions will focus on the loan’s interest rate, repayment period, and other financial conditions.
This development follows the completion of all preparatory stages of the project, with only the loan agreement pending.
The ML-1 project, which aims to upgrade and modernize Pakistan’s railway infrastructure, has been agreed upon at a revised cost of $6.678 billion, down from the initial estimate of $9.85 billion.
This cost adjustment was formalized through an addendum signed by representatives of both countries during the Belt & Road Initiative forum on October 17 and 18, 2023.
The project, spanning 1,726 kilometers, will be executed in phases, enhancing connectivity between Karachi, Multan, Lahore, and Peshawar, with speeds potentially reaching up to 160 km per hour after further upgrades.
In addition to infrastructure development, PR is expanding its modernization efforts to include the introduction of state-of-the-art restaurant cars on three express trains within the next few months, as part of its broader initiative to enhance passenger services.