Mr Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour, federal minister for railways, says that the loan agreement will be finalised in mid-2010 with the Japanese International Cooperative Agency (JICA) providing 93.5% of the funding required for the project through a 40-year loan charged at 0.2% interest. The Karachi Urban Transport Corp (KUTC) will provide the remaining 6.5%.
Once opened, Bilour says that up to 290 trains per-day will operate at 6 minute headways in each direction on the network which will have a daily capacity of 690,000 passengers. He added that the upgrades will include the addition of computerised ticketing, automated ticket gates, vending machines and elevators at stations as well as the electrification of lines and installation of modern signalling and telecommunications systems across the network.
The network closed in December 1999 following declines in infrastructure and rolling stock investments which decreased the efficiency of the service resulting in a reduction in passengers. However, a 2005 study by the Japan External Train Organisation recommended the revival of KCR as a solution to Karachi's commuter transport problems. Work on the project will be conducted in two simultaneous phases with the refurbished network expected to resume operations in 2014.