Monday, April 28, 2014

Khawaja Saad Rafiq terms new locomotives as lifeline for Railways

By Abdul Qadir Qureshi
Pakistan News & Features Services

Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, has said that after many years new locomotives are being inducted into the system as they are the lifeline for the Railway system. He briefed the media corps after formally receiving nine locomotives from China at the port in Karachi.

Five engines had arrived early this month while the second consignment of four engines arrived on April 27.

So far nine locomotives had reached here out of total 58 engines being acquired from China and the remainders would be supplied by the manufacturers by the end of the current year.

The Minister said that a team of 50 Railway officials had been sent to China for training to operate and maintain these locomotives which will also serve as the master-trainers to guide other staff.

He said that contract for these engines was signed by the previous government, adding that that a Chinese and an American companies had jointly manufactured these locos and assured that these are of high RPM capacity made of durable material.

A modern shed had also been built for them where the trained maintenance staff would look after them, he informed.

He said that in the next three to four years 400 more locomotives for goods and passenger train operation and another 100 exclusively for coal operation would be needed by then.

The Railway Minister about train punctuality said: "When I took the charge of his ministry it had dropped to 10 per cent but since then it had improved to 50 percent due to discipline.”

“The Railways was now focusing more on quality than quantity and decisions were being taken on administrative grounds and not for political considerations,” he remarked.