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News Entry# 70686
Apr 27 2012 (04:38)  Pak team scouting for locomotives in India (
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Posted by: rdb*^  131754 news posts
New Delhi : In a move that signals the rapid progress in normalizing relations between India and Pakistan thawing, a team from the latter’s railways body is in New Delhi to seek help of Indian Railways in improving its rickety train service. Reports emerging from Rail Bhawan said a three-member team of the Pakistan Railways Advisory & Consultancy Services Ltd (PRACS), led by its managing director Mohammed Junaid Qureshi, held discussions with state-owned Railway Infrastructure, Technical & Economic Services (RITES) on Thursday to explore the idea of India supplying Pakistan with rail locomotives that would help it improve its train service. Officials here said the railways ministry is discussing a PRACS proposal with the external affairs ministry. One of them said Indian Railways had received a request from Pakistan, which was being explored in consultation with the external affairs ministry. The proposal is at a preliminary stage, the officials said while...
adding it had got a push forward with the arrival of the PRACS team, which includes project director Mohammed Hyatt Malik and chief mechanical engineer Mobinuddin. Pakistan has pitched an upgraded offer to buy or lease about 100 locomotives from India. Of the 520 locomotives in the Pakistan Railways, only 76 were operational in March 2012. An acute shortage of locomotives has forced Pakistan Railways to suspend operations of about 128 passenger trains."These are initial discussions to assess their requirement," said a RITES official.The team will also meet private players, including Escorts India, to explore options on off-the-shelf purchase of compressors, braking systems and other components that Pakistan Railways need to retrofit its defunct locomotives. "This is an exploratory visit, which will be followed by a bigger delegation of the Pakistan Railways," railway sources said. India has a price advantage in manufacturing locomotives as compared to other countries, sources said. The average cost of producing a state-of-the-art engine in India is estimated at US $2.4 million as compared to $3-4 million elsewhere. Pakistan Railways also wants to buy or lease older generation locomotives, which come at a much lesser price tag of $1.4 million. Given the state of its finances, the lease option is also being considered. Indian train locomotives are usually leased out for Rs 900 an hour, or Rs 21,600 a day.
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