According to news reports, the Chinese government has submitted a proposal to the Exim Bank of China to construct Pakistan’s Main Line-1 (ML-1) railway project, with the government seeking approval of a USD 6 billion loan for the project’s development.

After a comprehensive technical and administrative review, work on the proposal will begin. After the Exim bank approves the loan, the project will be sent to the Chinese ministries in charge of railways, planning, and construction.

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According to local media reports, the ML-1 project will be built in three stages, as approved by the National Economic Council’s Executive Committee (ECNEC). The project’s cost was initially set at USD 9 billion, but it was later reduced to USD 6.8 billion.

The new ML-1 railway track will be laid from Karachi to Peshawar and Taxila to Havelian as part of the upgraded network (1,872km). Improved rail cars with a top speed of 160 km/h, bridge reconstruction and construction, updated signalling and telecom systems, new underpasses and flyovers over level crossings, and full track fencing are all part of the project.

Also, there are proposals to build a dry port near Havelian and upgrade the Walton Training Academy.

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