Federal govt approves feasibility of Karachi Circular Railway

By Imdad Soomro
March 25, 2023

KARACHI: The federal government has approved the second revised feasibility study report of the Karachi Circular Railway of the Sindh government worth $2.027 billion.


The project will be completed in 36 months for primary mass transit in metropolitan to improve the public mass transportation system, and the Sindh government’s Transport and Mass Transit department will be the sponsoring agency.

A review meeting of Karachi Circular Railway (KCR) was held on February 9, 2023, under the chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ihsan Iqbal and attended by Chairman Planning and Development Board Hasan Naqvi, Secretary Transport Sindh Government Abdul Halim Sheikh. The participants of the meeting were briefed that the China Railway Authority required fresh feasibility based on Chinese standards. In the current KCR feasibility, the cost of civil works has been slightly increased however other costs remained the same. The previous cost estimate of 2017 was in USD, therefore, the inflation impact is insignificant and there is no change in KCR alignment, concept design, and allied facilities.

It will be 43.13 km out of which 17.74 km will be on the ground and 25.51 km elevated, there will be 24 stations out of which 11 are on the ground and 13 stations will be on the flyover above the ground. According to an estimate, some 650,000 people will travel daily. Each train will have six coaches and 162 seats and 240 passengers will be able to travel. The minimum speed of the train will be 35 km per hour and the maximum speed will be 100 km per hour. It will run from Wazir Mansion to Baldia Town, Baldia to Liaquatabad, Liaquatabad to University Road and from University Road to Chinesar Halt, from Chinesar Halt to Karachi Cantt, from Karachi Cantt to Karachi City, from Karachi City to Wazir Mansion. The Karachi Circular Railway was commissioned in 1964 and remained an effective mass transportation system in the metropolitan till 1984. However, deteriorating operational efficiency drastically reduced the number of travellers leading to its subsequent closure in December 1999.

The current organization Karachi Urban Transport Corporation dealing with Karachi Circular Railway is under the ownership of Pakistan Railways (federal government). The transfer of KUTC ownership to the Government of Sindh and its restructuring is underway to perform the implantation and operation of the Karachi Circular Railway.