Lahore will be receiving Pakistan’s first-ever metro project, The Orange Line Metro (OLMT). Part of a larger plan, the OLMT is on a mission to make traveling easier in Pakistan while at the same time solving the increasing traffic problem, essentially taking down two birds with a single stone. The Lahore Metro master plan had proposed three metro lines, and now the first test run by the OLMT has been completed. It is expected to be completely functional by March 2020.
Table of Contents
BACKGROUND OF OLMT
SIGNIFICANCE OF OLMT
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BACKGROUND OF OLMT
The project of the Orange Line Metro Train came into being when the government of Pakistan shook hands with its friendly neighbor China, signing a memorandum of understanding back in 2014. The construction work of the urban metro train in Lahore began when China gave an initial grant of $1.55 billion in 2015. This project was done by the Export-Import(Exim) Bank of China.
A contract of $150million was given to Habib Construction Services, and then later in 2016, ZKB was assigned for the construction of the railway line from Chauburji to the Ali Town area. The cost of the project was more than 10 billion PKR.
Then in 2017, the first set of twenty-seven 5-bogie trains was given by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive. The first unbeaten test run was in December 2019.
SIGNIFICANCE OF OLMT
Like any densely populated city, Lahore has a severe traffic problem. The Orange Line Metro Train will solve this efficiently as many vehicles will be off-road when people use public transport. Moreover, this will also lead to a reduced amount of air pollution in Lahore, as fewer people will be using a rickshaw or a bus.
The trains will have new stainless steel bodies, be driverless, fully automated, and will be lit by LED lights. Each train will be equipped with five bogies, and each will have four doors. Moreover, a single bogie can easily carry around 200 passengers. Grab handles and railing are also built for standing passengers.
Notable features of the Orange Line Train include:
- Elevated and underground portions of railway lines.
- The Orange Line spreads over 27 km.
- The underground stations cover 1.7 km, with the distance between the transition points between the elevated and subterranean areas to be 0.7 km.
- The stations will be both elevated and underground making up the number 26 in total with 24 elevated ones.
- The underground stations include the Anarkali station and the Central station.
- All the elevated ones are around 22.5 meters in breadth and 102 meters in length.
- The Anarkali station is 16 meters wide and 121.5 meters long.
- The Central station is 49.5 meters wide and 161.6 meters long.
- A total of 135 bogies with five bogies will be available on each train.
- Notable touchpoints include Shalimar Gardens, Chauburji Square, Ali Town and University of Engineering and Technology (UET)
- A railway line that will be linked to the Lahore Metrobus through an underground walkway connecting the Anarkali station of OLMT to the Government Mohammad Anglo-Oriental (MAO) College
- A depot at Dera Gujran for maintaining services as well as housing the train
- A washing and repair facility at the Ali Town station
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The route of the OLMT touches all the significant points of Lahore. Having Dera Gujjran as its starting point, the metro line goes through to the GT road until it goes to the Shalimar Station.
In the route near Shalimar station, the center side has been avoided, and it passes through the southern side of the GT Road, preserving the trees of the Shalimar Gardens. The track then continues touching stations of Baghbanpura, UET, Lahore junction to Lakshmi Chowk. The direction of the route is changed from Lakshmi Chowk to enter the central station, located at the intersection of The Mall and McLeod Road. In front of the station will be the Lahore General Post Office and Lahore High Court
The track then continues to the second underground station, the Anarkali station. Here, through an underground walkway, the OLMT forms a link to the Lahore Metrobus. Continuing its journey, it passes through Lake road reaching the Chauburji station.
Then it goes through the center of the Multan road. The stations located here are Samanabad, Bund Road, Gulshan-e-Ravi, and Shahnoor. The line shifts from the center of the Multan Road towards its eastern side from the Sabzazar station. As soon as the Awan Road is passed, the track shifts back to the center of Multan Road. Then remains a 5.2 km journey that goes through Hanjarwal, Canal View, Thokar Niaz Beg, ending its journey at Ali Town.
The fare is set as 40 and 50 PKR for a single trip, as stated by the financial department of Punjab government, as initially, the OLMT budget was around 3 billion US dollars, which has to be recovered.
Orange Line Metro Train is an ambitious project and is expected to be completed by March 2020, benefitting the people and improving the traffic issue all over Lahore.