BusinessPakistan has the second largest public railway network in South Asia: World...

Pakistan has the second largest public railway network in South Asia: World Bank

A new report from the World Bank states that Pakistan has the second largest public railway network in South Asia, covering an area of ​​about 80,000 km.

According to Media report, Pakistan has 7,700 km of operating network from the end of 2019, followed by Bangladesh at about 3,000 km and Sri Lanka at 1,500 km.

According to the report, the Indian network is the largest network ever with 67,000 km.

The existing railway network in South Asia consists of 4 countries including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Until the independence of India in 1947, 3 out of 4 railways for South Asia were part of the same system.

Since then, they have continued to function as government departments under the Ministry of Railways.

Pakistan and Sri Lanka now have a complete operating network of 1,676 mm, but both Bangladesh and India still have a small number of meter gauge rails.

Pakistan and Bangladesh Railways are both corporations, but in both countries the Railway Minister and the government play a major role in its management and funding.

Railways in Pakistan and Bangladesh need government support for operations and capital expenditures, the report said.

Passenger services in all four countries contribute very little to the cost of maintaining basic infrastructure, as government fares have kept passenger fares lower for many years and the financial gap has to be filled by freight services.

In all, the four South Asian Railways carry approximately 750 billion net tons-kilometers of freight and more than 1,200 billion passenger-kilometers annually.

There is no link between other Southeast Asian countries, there is only one non-standard link between Pakistan and Iran which has very little traffic.

In Pakistan and Bangladesh only a limited number of goods are shipped by freight, while in Sri Lanka it is almost non-existent.

All coal-fired power stations in Pakistan are located on the coast and are supplied by sea or by short-distance transportation.

According to the report, Pakistan has a very strong road system, and it is a major challenge for the railway administration to provide an attractive service despite the important freight area at a distance of about one thousand kilometers from the port.

The report said that the non-citizen passenger service is facing stiff competition from buses in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh in terms of price and service frequency while it is facing competition from airplanes in India and Pakistan in terms of travel time.

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