The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has agreed to give a $140m loan to Pakistan to upgrade signalling on the Lodhran-Lahore rail line.

The modernisation of the nearly four decades old signals system would help smooth operation of trains at the Lodhran-Multan-Khanewal-Lahore-Shahdara Bagh main rail line.

Work involves enhancing train safety, increasing rail line capacity from 56 to 214 lines and equipping 160 locomotives with automatic train protection.

Computer-based interlocking at 31 stations and an auto-block system on the 433km double-line section will be installed.

The loan will also be used for training, project supervision and creating a project implementation unit.

The final approval of the loan is scheduled for October.