Pakistan, India & Bangladesh : South Asian train service proposal

Pakistan’s nod for South Asian train service proposal

Islamabad: Pakistan’s Railways Ministry has “technically approved” an Indian proposal to launch a South Asian train service linking Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan and forwarded it to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Commerce for further evaluation. The proposal was floated by the Indian Railways two weeks ago, the Dawn quoted officials as saying. Experts had acknowledged the potential of the South Asian route and they see it as “more easy to operate,” the officials said. The three countries have broad gauge tracks and their operating systems are similar. Officials of the Railways Ministry said experts had suggested that the Dhaka-Delhi-Lahore train service was “viable in all respects.” The service could be extended to Karachi or Islamabad if the need arose, they said. “The initial trials would be container operations followed by passenger services,” said a report prepared by experts. The Indian proposal came in the backdrop of reports that the Economic Cooperation Organization planned to launch an Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul train service.

Source – The weekly Contact, Sept 16-22, 2009, issue- 318

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