Piggy Back Electric Rail Tunnel at Lowari Pass

Name of associated firm :
Project Location within Country:
Chitral and Dir
Start Date:
Completion Date:

Project Description

Dir & Chitral cities in the Northern Area of Pakistan are connected by a 2 lane road and it takes 2.5 hours in  the summer season and the road is closed in winter season due to heavy snowfall. The accessibility between Dir and Chitral are completely cut off with the rest of Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan had initiated the  project “Lowari Tunnel” during 1987 – 1989 to facilitate the people of Northern Area. It was proposed to construct 2 lane Road tunnel (8.50 km). The project cost was estimated at 2.389 billion. The project was not  matured due to lack of funding.

In 1990 ECIL presented a viable conceptual plan for an alternative design of “Piggy Back Rail Tunnel” to NHB. ECIL was appointed as prime consultant to undertake the feasibility study and detailed design of Piggy Back  Tunnel in Oct. 1990. ECIL completed the assignment in Feb. 1991. The Project was founded economically Viable and cost effective. The travel time via portals estimated as 15 minutes.

Following are the salient features of the piggy back tunnel at lower pass.

Tunnel X-section area                = 22 sq-m

Travel time between portals       = 15 minutes

Portal Terminals Facilities:

Vehicle parking areas

  • Platforms for loading and unloading of vehicles

  • Control/administrative centre

  • Signalling, utilities, power house & other operating facilities

NHA again appointed ECIL in 2002 for redesigning the South Portal Approach Road (19 km) and North Portal Approach Road (20 km).


Start Date (month/year):

October 1990 - Oct. 2002

Completion Date (month/year):

February 1991- Ongoing



Former Contract:

Survey and investigation

Feasibility study

Design of Structures

Design of access roads

Design of Road Tunnel & Piggy back Rail Tunnel


Current Contract:

Reconnaissance survey and detailed topographic survey.

Traffic studies and reports

Condition survey of existing paved road stretches

Soil investigation & reports

Material survey and testing report

Land acquisition report and utilities relocation report

Detailed design/drawings and cost estimate for approach roads

Tender documentation

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