China supplies Pakistan with 70 freight wagons after friction resolves

Image: Unsplash Salman Haider khan

State-owned Pakistan Railways received 70 new freight wagons supplied by China. The state-of-the-art wagons arrived in Karachi on Monday, 16 January. This is the first batch of China-supplied wagons this year, as Pakistan Railways expect 130 more to arrive in March.

The new wagons will be able to operate with speeds up to 100 kilometres per hour while carrying a maximum weight of 70 tons. The rolling stock owned by Pakistan Railways can currently run with a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour and a weight ceiling of 60 tons.

In addition to the direct supply of rail freight equipment, Pakistan and China also cooperate on a transfer of technology level. This means that Pakistan Railways will start manufacturing their own equipment utilising Chinese knowledge and resources. According to the Pakistani company, 620 freight wagons will be built in Pakistan in addition to the imported equipment.

Slight controversy

The supply of freight wagons to Pakistan Railways by China comes after the resolution of a light controversy also concerning the supply of rolling stock by the latter to the first, only that this time equipment was destined for passenger rail.

In late December, Pakistan imported 46 coaches from China. However, those coaches would first enter a trial period to define the needed technical adjustments to make them suitable for the needs of the Pakistani railway network. When the import was completed, reports from some Pakistani media and Twitter accounts mentioned that this was a scandal since Pakistan Railways paid 149 million US dollars to import equipment unsuitable for operations in Pakistan.

The Chinese embassy in Pakistan took the lead and spoke of fake news spreading in the media. While clarifying the situation, the Chinese embassy mentioned through a series of tweets that the 46 coaches belonged to a larger procurement of 230 coaches in total and that the delivered equipment should undergo adjustments to fit the technical requirements of the Pakistani railway network. On top of that, it underlined that mentions of defective imported equipment are ungrounded.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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