US to fund railway infrastructure KARACHI, May 15: United States Consul General William Martin signed an agreement providing for Rs. 56 million to Premier Mercantile Services (PMS) for expert assistance to facilitate the acquisition and operation of a fleet of locomotives on the Karachi-Lahore railway line. CG Martin, on behalf of the US Trade and Development Agency, along with Captain Haleem Siddiqui of PMS inked the agreement that will enable the private sector company to help Pakistanâ€™s rail system handle the growing volume of cargo between Lahore and Karachi, a press release said. â€œThe initiative is central to improving the capacity of one of Pakistanâ€™s most important trade corridors and promoting continued economic growth. To remedy a shortage of properly maintained locomotives, Pakistan Railway has agreed to allow PMS to deploy and operate a fleet of locomotives using PRâ€™s existing rolling stock and railway infrastructure. The assistance will also provide PMS with an assessment of future freight volumes, financing requirements for the project, and other technical assistance,â€ the release stated. Speaking on the occasion, CG Martin stated that the â€œUnited States remains committed to partnering with the Pakistani transportation sector,â€ because of its importance in supporting economic growth in the country, while also â€œincreasing and strengthening Pak-US commercial ties.â€ The US Trade and Development Agency aims to create sustainable infrastructure and economic growth in partner countries. Brian McCleary, Commercial Counselor, US Embassy Islamabad, and Aasim Siddiqui, MD, Marine Group of Companies, were also present on the occasion.