India may rent out 50 locomotives to Pakistan


As part of the efforts to strengthen bilateral trade ties, the Indian Railways is mulling to rent out 50 diesel locomotives to Pakistan. Under the plan, India is likely to charge an approximate rent of Rs 1,500 per hour for each locomotive of 3,000 HP, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported. Besides leasing out, India will also provide training facilities to Pakistani railwaymen to run Indian locomotives.
“The Ministry of External Affairs has already Okayed the proposal, and now the modalities of supplying locomotives are being worked,” a senior Indian Railways Ministry official said. “If the supply takes place, it will be for the first time that Indian Railways will come to the aid of Pakistan,” the official said.
Though India regularly supplies locomotives to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Mozambique, Tanzania and Ghana, it will be for the first time that locomotives will be rented out to Pakistan, said the official. “The Railways supplies about 10 locomotives on an average in a year. Generally, we sell locos on outright purchase basis to other countries but this will be for the first time that we are considering to give it on hiring basis because Pakistan Railways is preferring leasing to buying,” said the official.
Currently, India is manufacturing about 250 diesel locomotives in a year. With the continuous growth in traffic volume, there is a demand for the production of more locomotives.
The three-member team of the Pakistan Railways Advisory and Consultancy Services Limited (PRACS) had earlier held preliminary discussions with the officials of Railway Infrastructure, Technical and Economic Services (RITES). RITES have received request from Pakistan Railways regarding the supply of locomotives from India. “A formal agreement will be signed between RITES and PRACS after the finalisation of modalities,” said the official.
Pakistan is facing an acute shortage of locomotives as it has about 520 locomotives out of which about 450 are under repair.