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Metro train solarisation to save Rs1.9b annually

The first urban railway system Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) in Lahore is going to be solarised to save Rs1.9b annually.

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Orange Line Metro
Orange Line Metro

The first urban railway system Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) in Lahore is going to be solarised to save an annual electricity bill of more than Rs1.9 billion being consumed for running the metro train.

In an interview with CEN, Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA) General Manager (Operation) Ozair Shah said that electrifying the Orange Line train with a solar system was inevitable as the per unit cost of electricity varied between Rs18 and Rs21 was not viable for the long term.

PMTA is operating OLMT since the train was handed over to it by Chinese contractor CR-Norinco, a joint venture between China State Railway Group (CR) and China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) in 2020. He added that many conceptual plans were on the cards to install the solar system for the metro train as their merits and demerits were being considered.

“One of the plans is to build a solar plant with a capacity of 50MW or 70MW. The solar plant will activate a mechanism of input to output through WeLink to power up OLMT instead of using traditional electricity apparatus,” he elaborated.

After the operationalisation of OLMT, its total passenger traffic has exceeded 20 million. It has achieved advanced operating international standards with 90,000 train trips, covering a total distance of 12 million kilometres, with a trip efficiency of 99.9% and a punctuality rate of 99.9%.

Orange Line Metro Railway Project has 26 stations. Shah emphasised that the travel efficiency of citizens had greatly improved, and the journey of the entire route was reduced from 2.5 hours to only 45 minutes.

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