People watching the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) during a test run in eastern Pakistan's Lahore. (Xinhua/Sajjad)
Pakistan on Wednesday made a test run of its first metro train service in Lahore, the capital of the country's eastern Punjab province, from Dera Gujran to Lakshmi Chowk on a 12-km portion of the total 27.1-km route.
According to a statement from the Punjab government, Shahbaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab, inaugurated the test run of the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT), which has been tested once earlier.
"The OLMT is Pakistan's first mass rapid transit train project launched by the Punjab government. It will prove to be a real game changer for the people of Lahore and Punjab, who will experience a comfortable, secure and economical traveling facility," said the statement.
The test run was free of cost for travelers. The chief minister also took a tour of the train along with Chinese consular general in Lahore and senior officials of the Punjab government.
"The OLMT project will transform people's lives. The project will become the basis of an interaction between different classes of society by creating a sense of equality and ownership in social terms," said the chief minister.
A total of 27 sets of trains, each comprising five cars, will be used for the service in the project, a part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
An energy-saving air-conditioning system suitable for the constant high summer temperature and unstable voltage in Lahore is the main trait of the train, said the officials, adding that the train has heat-resistant bogies, which will increase its durability.
The OLMT is the first of the three rail lines of the proposed Lahore Metro project that is expected to transport half a million people daily. The OLMT, with operating speed of 80 km per hour, is expected to be used by up to 250,000 passengers a day at 26 stations.
Out of the total line, a 25.4-km section is to be elevated, while a 1.72-km section will be underground, and 0.7 km of the track will be laid in the transition zone between elevated and underground sections.