India Wants First Rail Link with Europe

02 July 2007 Monday, 19:31

Plans for a new version of the Trans Asian Railway, which for the first time will link India to Europe, have been set in motion again after India signed a UN agreement to revive the project.

The Indian Railway board has initialled a UN agreement for the Trans Asian Railway (TAR), prompting 20 nations to sign up to the revived project.

TAR was initiated in the 1960s with the objective of providing a continuous 14,000km rail link between Singapore and Istanbul in Turkey, with possible onward connections to Europe and Africa. The network was initially divided into four major components and covers a distance of almost 81,000km in 26 countries.
The UN hopes to develop joint border stations to implement a one-stop-shop concept under which all rail and non-rail operations of two neighbouring countries are performed at one single location in order to move towards greater operational efficiency.

The TAR is divided into a northern corridor connecting the rail networks of China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, the Russian Federation and the Korean Peninsula; a southern corridor connecting Thailand and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan with Turkey through Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Iran with Sri Lanka; a subregional network covering the Indo-China subregions; and a north-south corridor linking Northern Europe to the Persian Gulf through the Russian Federation, Central Asia and the Caucasus region.

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