The first set of coaches and engine of Pakistan’s first metro train service has been unveiled on Sunday in Lahore, the capital of the country’s eastern Punjab province, officials said.
Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab, unveiled the bogies and an engine of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) in the presence of Chinese officials and engineers, as well as thousands of cheerful citizens.
The first consignment of the OLMT, including three coaches and two engines, reached Lahore from central China’s Hunan Province last week.
A total of 27 sets of trains, each comprising five cars, are being produced for the project by the CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd..
The project, as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), will be the country’s first modern mass rapid transit system and will be a fully automated and driverless system.
On the occasion, Shahbaz said the arrival of the first metro train represents a development worth celebration.
“Orange Line is not just a public transport project but a means of extending respect to citizens and delivering world-class transport facility,” he added.
Talking about the CPEC projects, the chief minister said that all the development projects either completed or under construction under the CPEC had a singular aim of lifting Pakistani people’s standard of living.
According to the Mass Transit Authority of the Punjab Province, the contractor has promised to deliver total 23 train sets before the end of this year.
Khawaja Ahmed Hassan, chairman of Orange Line Metro Train Steering Committee, said that around 75 percent of the construction work of the project were completed and it would be finished by the year-end.
An energy-saving air-conditioning system suitable for the constant high summer temperature and unstable voltage in Lahore is the main trait of the train, said the official, adding that the train has heat-resistant bogies which will increase its durability.
The OLMT is the first of the three rail lines of the proposed Lahore Metro project which is expected to transport half a million people daily.
The Orange Line, with operating speed of 80 km/h, is expected to be used by up to 250,000 passengers a day at 26 stations along the route of 27.1 kilometers.
Out of the total line, a 25.4-km section is to be elevated, while a 1.72-km section will be underground, and 0.7 km of the track will be laid in the transition zone between elevated and underground sections.