Sunday, September 13, 2009

India Request Link to South Asian Freight Railway

Could prove of immense benefit to South Asian and European trade
Shipping News Feature

ISLAMABAD - According to news sources in Pakistan the country’s Ministry of Railways has been approached by their counterparts in India and Bangladesh with a proposal to launch a South Asian freight train service between the three countries.

According to GEO TV the idea has been greeted favourably by officials at the Ministry and has been forwarded to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for further evaluation and potential approval.

If agreed, the new link would allow rail freight to access the new Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul freight service which began operations last month. In theory such a development could prove a boon for nations across the whole of South Asia, including those not directly concerned such as Nepal and Bhutan, by opening up potential trade opportunities that are not currently viable.

Additionally, any new link will be able to exploit the existing rail links between Turkey and Europe, therefore opening up the possibility of rail freight offering a viable alternative to ocean freight between the two regions in the near future.