Photo taken on Oct. 24, 2020 shows an Orange Line metro train preparing for commercial operation in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore. (Xinhua/Liu Tian)
Pakistan's first ever metro train service, the Orange Line, started its commercial operation Sunday in the country's historical city of Lahore, the capital city of Punjab province, opening a new stage for the South Asian country in the public transportation sector.
As an early harvest project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Orange Line was constructed by China State Railway Group Co., Ltd. and China North Industries Corporation and was operated by Guangzhou Metro Group, Norinco International and Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service.
During the five years of construction, the Orange Line created over 7,000 jobs for locals and in the operation and maintenance period, it will create 2,000 employment for locals.
Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar told the ceremony of the commercial operation held here on Sunday that the provincial government of Punjab is grateful to China for its unprecedented support for the completion of the state of the art mass transit project, adding that the friendship between the two countries will strengthen with the completion of metro train system under the CPEC.
He said that the Orange Line is the first eco-friendly mass transit project and will provide world-class travel facilities to the people of Lahore.
It will lead to green GDP growth, further promote urban development and modernity of the Pakistani eastern megacity and increase economic activities, he added.
Addressing the ceremony, Long Dingbin, Chinese consul general in Lahore, said that the Orange Line is another fruitful achievement of the CPEC and it will greatly improve the traffic conditions in Lahore and become a new landmark of the city.
He added that the launching of the Orange Line will greatly improve the traffic conditions in Lahore.
The Orange Line covers a total of 27 km distance and has 26 stations including 24 elevated stops and two underground stations.
Some 27 sets of energy-saving electric trains, each comprising five fully air-conditioned wagons, with the operating speed of 80 km per hour, will provide a comfortable, secure and economical traveling facility to 250,000 passengers daily.