The Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore

Update (October 26, 2020): The Orange Metro Line Train (OLMT) has officially kicked off at the inaugural ceremony held on October 25, 2020 at Dera Gujran. The OLMT is the first electricity run mass transit project with many automatic systems to facilitate the common people. The fare of OLMT is set at PKR 40 to facilitate residents. It will serve 26 stations and is expected to handle 250,000 passengers on a daily basis.


Update (March 10, 2020): As per the latest updates, the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) completed its high-speed test run this week. Senior members of the provincial government of Punjab hopped on the train as it completed the journey from Dera Gujran station to Ali Town station (Raiwind Road) in about 20 minutes at a speed of over 70 km per hour. It is expected that the test run of all the sets of trains will be completed in March. Drivers will start receiving training in April and May and, in June, the service will be available to the public.


Update (January 20, 2020): The Chairman, CPEC Authority, Lt. Gen. (R), Mr. Asim Saleem Bajwa, in a high level meeting stressed the government authorities to complete the remaining work of the Orange Line Metro Train. It has been decided that the Orange Line Metro Train will be launched on 23rd March, 2020 on Pakistan Day.


Update (January 13, 2020): Punjab’s Mass Transit Transport Authority finalized the fares for Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) during a session on Jan. 11 in Lahore.

The authority has recommended a fare of PKR 40-50 for OLMT. It will be finalized by the provincial cabinet.


Pakistan is all set to operate its first-ever metro project in Lahore. The Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) is part of a larger plan of introducing a mass-transit system in Pakistan to help control the increasing traffic problem and to make intracity travelling easier.

Out of the three metro lines that were proposed under the Lahore Metro master plan, the OLMT has successfully completed its test run and is expected to be completely functional by March 2020.

How will this metro train in Lahore resolve the city’s traffic problems? How will it help the environment on a broader scale? How will it improve the city’s infrastructure and outlook? What is the expected fare of OLMT? We will attempt to answer all of these questions in this blog as well as shed light on the features, design and benefits of Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore. So, keep reading to find out more about the project!

SIGNIFICANCE OF ORANGE LINE METRO TRAIN

OLMT is set to be launched in March 2020
Orange Line Metro Train is set for an official launch Credit: Website/CPEC

A mass-transit system in a huge city like Lahore is essentially a necessity. Firstly, because such densely populated cities are almost always facing traffic problems. To address and control traffic jams and to help the city achieve a smooth traffic flow, a mass transit system is the need of the hour. This is why the test run of the Orange Line Metro Train holds great significance.

Anyone taking a rickshaw or a bus will now easily be able to commute via the OLMT. The addition of this mode of transport will also reduce the number of smoke-emitting vehicles on the road that pose an environmental threat as the increasing smog and air pollution is a major problem that Lahoris are facing these days.

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT ORANGE LINE METRO TRAIN

Before we take a peek into the backstory of the OLMT and learn more about the project’s features and benefits, let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts about the first metro train in Pakistan that is all set to revolutionize the public transport system in Lahore.

orange line metro train in lahore
Some interesting facts about Orange Line metro train in Lahore
  • First-ever mass-transit electric train in Pakistan
  • Successful first trial run held on December 10, 2019
  • Trains are capable of traveling at a maximum speed of 80 kmph
  • Capacity to carry 250,000 passengers each day
  • Expected to complete the entire route in 45 minutes
  • Exim Bank in China provided a loan of $ 1.5 billion for its construction

BACKGROUND OF OLMT

The Orange Line Metro Train Project began when the government of China and Pakistan signed a memorandum of understanding back in 2014. China, Pakistan’s neighbour to the north, gave an initial grant of $1.55 billion in 2015 through the Export-Import (Exim) Bank of China. Soon in the month of October 2015 construction work for the urban metro train in Lahore began.

Initially, Habib Construction Services were given the contract for $ 150 million. In 2016, ZKB Engineers and Constructors were assigned to construct the railway line from Chauburji to the Ali Town area.

A budget of PKR 11.39 billion was spent on it. Later, CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, which is a Chinese company that manufactures electric trains, gave the first set of twenty-seven 5-bogie trains for the orange line metro in the year 2017.

After many trials and tests in 2018, the Orange Line Train had a successful test run in December 2019.

WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR A METRO TRAIN?

The increasing problem of air pollution in Lahore has been quite alarming lately. The air quality has gone quite low and people suffer due to smoke-emitting vehicles plying the road all day.

Once the Orange Line Metro Train launches in Lahore, people will prefer opting for the electric train for commuting purposes than taking out their vehicles every time they need to travel. Apart from the environmental benefits, the two underground stations of the OLMT are situated near historical sites that will provide easy travel to foreign tourists who visit these historical buildings.

FEATURES OF ORANGE LINE METRO TRAIN

benefits of orange line train
Features of Orange Line Metro Train Credit: Website/CPEC

The following are some of the notable features of the orange line train that you should know of.

  • The railway line comprises elevated and underground portions
  • Orange Line spreads over 27 km. The underground stations cover 1.7 km and the transition points between the elevated and underground areas cover 0.7 km. Rest of the line is elevated
  • It will have a total of 26 stations out of which 24 will be elevated and two stations will remain underground
  • Anarkali station and Central station are the underground stations
  • The elevated stations are 102 meters long with a 22.5-meter width
  • Anarkali underground station has a 16-meter width and Central station has a 49.5-meter width. They are 121.5 and 161.6 meters long, respectively
  • The metro train has 27 train sets with 5 bogies in each train which makes a total of 135 bogies or cars
  • The orange line train will have some important touchpoints such as Shalimar Gardens, Chauburji Square, Ali Town and University of Engineering and Technology (UET)
  • The railway line will be linked to the Lahore Metrobus through an underground walkway that begins from Anarkali station of OLMT and connects to the Government Mohammad Anglo Oriental (MAO) College
  • A depot at Dera Gujran has been made which will house the train and provide maintenance services. It comprises an operation control center, overhauling facility and an elaborate parking area
  • A stabling yard at the Ali Town station has a washing and repair facility

DESIGN OF ORANGE LINE STATIONS

The OLMT route will have 24 elevated and two underground stations; the former comprise Anarkali and Central stations.

The underground stations will be well-equipped with automatic systems, such as automated doors and a special air conditioning system, which will be a blessing during Lahore’s scorching summers.

DESIGN OF ORANGE LINE TRAINS

The design of the trains used in the orange line mass transit project is modern and of international standards. They will be driverless and fully automated. Each train consists of 5 bogies with 4 doors each. It will have a beautiful and elegant stainless steel body that will be lit using LED lights. Each bogie or car can easily accommodate around 200 passengers seated. Passengers can also comfortably stand through their journey by holding on to grab-handles and railing.

The design of the trains used in the orange line mass transit project is modern and of international standards. They will be driverless and fully automated. Each train consists of 5 bogies with 4 doors each. It will have a beautiful and elegant stainless steel body that will be lit using LED lights. Each bogie or car can easily accommodate around 200 passengers seated. Passengers can also comfortably stand through their journey by holding on to grab-handles and railing.

DESIGN OF ORANGE LINE TRACKS

As far as the length of the track for the project is concerned, it’s 25.58km. It comprises:

  • Underground line — 1.07km
  • Elevated transition line — 0.71km
  • Elevated line — 23.80km

There are two lines, therefore, the overall length of the Orange Line track is 51.16km.

The tracks have incorporated Chinese technology, where jointless track circuits are embedded in the track, which will detect the presence or absence of a railway track. The main track can support around 60kg/meter while at the depot, where the trains are kept, can support 50 kg/meter. The track is laid on a concrete bed. The crossovers, where the train changes its direction, have been installed after every 2 and 3 stations.

ROUTE OF ORANGE LINE METRO TRAIN

The map of orange line train
Route map of Orange Line Metro Train

The Orange Line Metro Train in Lahore has a route that touches major important areas of the city. Starting from Dera Gujjran, the metro line’s track is elevated and runs through the middle of the GT Road until it reaches the Shalimar Station.

However, near Shalimar station it does not navigate through the middle but passes through the southern side of the GT Road so as to avoid any damage to the tall trees beautifying Shalimar Gardens. From there the track resumes its position passing through the middle touching stations of Baghbanpura, UET, Lahore junction to Lakshmi Chowk. The route changes its direction from Lakshmi Chowk where it enters the first underground station – the central station. The central station is situated at the junction of The Mall and Mc Leod Road. Lahore General Post Office and Lahore High Court are in front of the central station.

From there the track continues its underground journey and enters the other underground station called the Anarkali Station. Here the OLMT will be linked to the Lahore Metrobus through an underground walkway. It then passes through Lake Road and ends up at the elevated station – the Chauburji station.

From there, the line passes through the middle of Multan Road, where elevated stations like Samanabad, Bund Road, Gulshan-e-Ravi and Shahnoor are located. At Sabzazar station, the line shifts from the middle of the Multan Road towards its eastern side. After Awan Road station, the track shifts back to the middle of Multan Road. The remaining 5.2 km journey traverses through Hanjarwala, Canal View, Thokar Niaz Beg culminating its journey at Ali Town.

HOW WILL THE TRAIN OPERATE?

The train is expected to carry around 30,000 passengers per hour, which means around 250,000 passengers will benefit daily from the service.

Supply of electricity to help run OLMT

Approximately 75 MW of electricity is required to power the trains and stations. Moreover, alternate electricity solutions are also being provided to keep the system rolling. It is expected that the electricity to run the orange line metro train project will be provided from 8 grid stations. At the moment, the UET grid station and 3 stations from the Shahnoor grid are the only electricity suppliers.

Operating hours of OLMT

Once the Metro Train in Lahore is operational, its timings will start from 5:30 AM to 11:30 PM, roughly covering 18 hours per day.

Maximum speed

The speed of a train determines its efficiency and efficacy. The Orange Line Train will have a maximum speed of 80 kmph. Compared to the time required to travel between Dera Gujran to Ali Town, which takes around an hour, it will take 45 minutes once OLMT is operational.

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TEST RUN

The test run of the Orange Line Train will be carried out for a period of 3 months before it is officially launched and is open to the public. The test run of the Orange Line Metro Train has kicked off from December 10, 2019. During the testing phase, 5 bogies were attached to the main engine that covered a distance of 25 km in approximately 35 minutes. The test run was initiated from Dera Gujran all the way to the Ali Town neighbourhood.

WHEN WILL OLMT BE FUNCTIONAL?

Once the Orange Line completes its trial phase, it is expected that it will be officially launched in March 2020. However, before that, Punjab Transport Secretary Asad Rehman Gilani stated the project’s alignment, brakes and signaling need to be tested.

Once completely functional, Lahoris will get to experience the first-ever urban mass-transit train that will help ease out traffic problems in the city and make commuting easier for the residents.

EXPECTED FARE OF OLMT

The provincial government has plans to set the fare of Orange Line Metro Town around PKR 40 to PKR 50. This has been stated in an initial proposal from the finance department of the provincial government of Punjab. The expected fare of the metro train in Lahore is for a single trip. We will be updating the blog as soon as the fares are finalized by the provincial government.

So, this was all there was to know about the first metro train in Pakistan. If you are looking for more updates on Orange Line Train in Lahore, then bookmark this page as we will be regularly updating the blog from time to time.

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