BRI Factsheet Series – Karachi-Peshawar Line

The Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line is one of four main railway lines in Pakistan. The line begins in Karachi and ends in Peshawar connecting the north and the south of the country. Currently the line consist of 184 stations with a total length of 1,687 km with a total travel time of 22 hours. Parts of the Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line have been established during the 19th century. Under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor the line will be upgraded in order to increase the average rail speed from current 105 km/h to 160 km/h. Furthermore, a computer based signaling and control system will be introduced and the entire track will be doubled. This upgrade is essential to the development of Pakistan since the Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line serves as the main passenger and freight line.


Project Information

Project name
Karachi-Peshawar Railway Line (Main Line 1 or ML-1)


From Karachi to Peshawar/Pakistan

BRI Corridor
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

Current Status
A framework agreement has been signed on May 15, 2017, during Prime Minister Sharif’s visit to China. Furthermore, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Pakistan’s Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms (MPDR) and China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). A feasibility study has been conducted and the project has been approved by the Central Development Working Party (CDWP).

Project Start

Chinese Involvement
Financing, Operation

Projected Total Project Costs
USD 8 billion

Pakistan Railways

China will provide 85 percent loan on concessional terms while the Government of Pakistan is going to bear 15 percent.

Work will be awarded through open bidding as per Public Procurement Rules (PPRA) rules through Engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract.

Additional Project Information
With the help of ML-1, it has been estimated that the freight traffic would increase by five times from 5 million to 25 million tonnes per annual while passenger traffic would be increased from 55 to 88 million passengers on annual basis. The train transit time will be reduced by half, helping in reducing congestion at roads and ports and contribute for reducing cost of doing business in Pakistan. As many as 2,700 bridges, 550 turns and 11 tunnels are supposed to be upgraded. The tracks will be protected through fencing. Furthermore, advanced road warning and centralized traffic control will be adopted.

Further Information
CPEC – China Pakistan Economic Corridor

Belt and Road Projects (selection)


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