ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Railways are suffering severe technical difficulties as only 72% of their 461 diesel-electric locomotives are operational, which is insufficient to support the department’s complete operations. Out of a total of 461, only 332 locomotives were operational, according to a Ministry of Railways official, and 129 (28%) of the diesel-electric locomotives were inoperable.
The official stated that out of the 129 locomotives, about 41 were undergoing routine maintenance and overhaul programmes. The official also stated that the locomotives would be rolled out one at a time following routine maintenance schedules.
He said that 11 locomotives experienced accidents on various occasions and in various places, and that for these locomotives, fabrication work and the acquisition of spare parts were ongoing.
As per official, 69 DPU class diesel-electric locomotives were delayed for maintenance and required significant modification, while eight locomotives were temporarily removed and were in the process of being condemned for being overage.
In response to a question, he stated that the Pakistan Railways intended to purchase up to 25 diesel-electric locomotives for use at various shunting locations throughout the nation. This would help to replace old locomotives that were shortly to be scrapped.
At an anticipated cost of Rs14 billion, the project would be carried out over a three-year period to acquire and manufacture 25 shunting locomotives.In contrast to the 98 shunting points at various railway stations across the nation, he said that only 51 locomotives were now being operated for this service.
Due to excessive maintenance expenses, the majority of the elderly locomotives would also be removed. Purchasing and building 25 shunting diesel-electric locomotives with 2000–2200 horsepower was the project’s stated goal, replacing older, less efficient locomotives.
The official claimed that high horsepower locomotives were frequently underused during shunting operations and that outdated locomotives used excessive amounts of fuel.