KARACHI: Travel time will be improved significantly as Pakistan Railways (PR) has decided to upgrade its existing tracks to achieve speeds of up-to 120/160 Km/h with axle load of 25/30 tones. Currently, the maximum speed of trains on most railway lines is 110 km/h while broad gauge track axle load limit is 22.86 tones. In this regard, PR has invited Expression of Interest (EOI) for prequalification of contractors/firms/consortiums for up-gradation/rehabilitation/construction of existing track. The PR will rehabilitate/ upgrade/ construct the sections on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis which is a form of project financing, wherein a private entity receives a concession from the private or public sector to finance, design, construct, and operate a facility stated in the concession contract. The construction of new track and rehabilitation/improvement of existing track is desired to be carried out to achieve higher speeds of upto 120/160 Km/h for which feasibility studies of some of the above sections are being conducted / revalidated by the nominated consultants, PR said. The work include; laying of track from Gwadar-Talar Pass-Turbat- Hoshab-Panjgur- Besima Surab Mastung (901 km) and Jacobabad – Besima (300 Km) on BOT basis, laying of railway track from Bostan – Zhob- D.I Khan- Kotla Jam (560 km) on BOT basis, laying of track from Havelian- Khunjrab (682 km) on BOT basis. Upgradation of existing Main Line -II (ML-II) from Kotri to Attock city (1254 kms) on BOT basis, rehabilitation/upgradation of railway track from Quetta – Taftan (680 kms) on BOT basis. Laying of new track from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad via Murree (107 Km) on BOT basis, up-gradation of Wazirabad-Sialkot-Narowal-Shahdara (234 Km) on BOT basis.Construction of double line from Shahdara to Faisalabad via Sangla Hill and up-gradation of existing line (135 Km) on BOT basis, construction of double line from Khanewal to Faisalabad and Sangla Hill to Wazirabad (280 Km) and upgradation of existing line on BOT basis. Upgradation of track from Rohri to Quetta via Sibi including realignment of Bolan Pass ( 384 km) on BOT basis, rehabilitation/ up-gradation of Nowshera-Dargai (65 Km) and laying of new line from Dargai to Mansehra about (172 Km) on BOT basis. PR said in order to meet the transportation demand of imported coal for coal fired power plants, to be built in Sindh & Punjab and the anticipated traffic to emerge after establishment of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the existing infrastructure needs to be substantially improved, up-graded and expanded. In order to enhance the capacity and productivity of the system, the sectional speed is proposed to be raised to 120/160 KMPH by rehabilitation of complete infrastructure including track profile with flatter grades and easy curves along with latest signaling system to suit the design speed.