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Trans-Asian rail: BIMSTEC Members' meet on Monday

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Sept. 17

WORK is in progress on the Trans-Asian Railway project, which aims at establishing a rail link between European and Asian countries, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Cambodia, Thailand, China and Bulgaria.

Some of these countries, which are a part of Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC), will meet soon to discuss the issue. The chief executives of the railway bodies of all the BIMSTEC nations are meeting for a two-day summit, starting Monday, to iron out techno-economic feasibility features of the project.

Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal are the BIMSTEC nations.

These countries are to discuss the national railway network of the member-countries, including the various different possible routes. They would also discuss technological developments in the railway sector, their benefits and work out a process for harmonising different technologies, a Railways spokesperson said.

Additionally, the BIMSTEC railway representatives will discuss possible knowledge-sharing options among the countries, such as joint trainings.

The Trans-Asian Railway project to link Southern China and South-East Asia with Europe was first mooted in 1992 — as part of the UN's Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development Project.

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