Orange Line Train has commercially started to run in Lahore after being inaugurated by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Sardar Usman Buzdar on 25th October, 2020. It is the first metro train service since Karachi Circular Railway which had closed its operations during 1999.
This project is a great deal in the public transportation sector. This project is under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It was aided and completed by China State Railway Group Co., Ltd, China North Industries Corporation, Guangzhou Metro Group, Norinco International and Daewo Pakistan Express Bus Service.
The chief minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar believes that this project will not only improve the traffic conditions in the highly populated city of Lahore but also strengthen the relations between China and Pakistan. He also added that it is the first eco-friendly project and will provide advanced travel- facilities to the people of Lahore. He also thanked China for the completion of this project. During its five years of construction the Orange Line Train Project created 7,000 jobs for the locals and now for its maintenance and operation it is expected to create 2,000 more jobs opportunities for the locals.
The orange line train has a line length of 27 km with an operating speed of 80 km/h. It will cover total 26 stations of which 24 are elevated and 2 are underground. The orange line starts from Ali Town on Raiwind Road and terminates at Dera Gujran. Following is the route alignment of the Orange Line Train in the order of section, along and station names:
Stabling Yard to Thokar Niaz Baig: Raiwind Road, Ali Town, Thokar Niaz Baig.
Thokar Niaz Baig to Chauburji: Multan Road Canal View, Hanjarwal, Wahdat Road, Awan Town, Sabzazar, Shahnoor, Salahudin Road, Bund Road, Samanabad, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Chauburg.
Chauburji to GPO Chowk: Lake Road/ Edward Road/ Ustad Allah Bakhsh Road Lake Road, GPO.
GPO Chowk to Qila Gujjar Singh: McLeod Road Lakshmi Chowk.
Qila Gujjar Singh to Bohar Wala Chowk: Nicholson Road Railway Station
Bohar Wala Chowk to Sultanpura (Coop Store): Over the Railway Lines.
Sultanpura (Coop Store) to Dera Gujran: GT Road UET, Baghbanpura, Shalamar Garden, Pakistan Mint, Mahmood Booti, Salamatpura, Islam Park, Dera Gujra.
Source of the route alignment: https://pma.punjab.gov.pk/olmts
The public areas of the train are fully air conditioned and the elevated stations feature natural ventilation throughout the platforms. It has a stainless steel body and is illuminated by the LED lighting. Finally people of Lahore can cover the distance of 30 minutes within few minutes by traveling through the orange line train. It is also expected to handle 250,000 passengers per day and this number is believed to rise to 44,000 by 2025. 20MWs of electricity is required to power the train and the stations. However, it has also a second and third backup unit in case of power failure. The Orange Line Train will operate for 12 hours per day. The initial fair is set at Rs.40. Separate areas are present for women and special people.
The public response is mostly positive at this project. Some are giving credit to the government of PML-N while others are giving credit to the government of PTI for the completion of this mega project. Some believe that it is neither PML-N nor PTI’s property but of the whole nation. We wish good luck and a safe journey to the people of Lahore and hope these projects spread in other cities of Pakistan as well!