Railway system will ease livelihood of citizens

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday February 25th, 2014

 I  REFER   to  an  article  titled “Japan to consider railways” for PNG.

I would like to thank Julianna Kubak for stating to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) that PNG would like  them to consider building railways in PNG. 

Kubak  is  well  aware that Japan built a considerable mileage of light railway in PNG during the WWII but they also built the Rouna number four head  water supply tunnel in the 1990s using railway and tunnel boring technology for PNG Power. 

Japan has the same geographical and terrain difficulties as PNG but they built a railway system of 30,000km and for many years was  the  leader  in high speed railway technology. 

Japan’s Narita Express is  an  example  of high speed train technology on narrow gauge railways suitable for PNG.

JICA chief representative Sugiyama San, stated that they are eager to promote railway transport in PNG  so long as PNG is serious about it. 

Well, if the secretary for planning is asking we are serious.

Railways will mean better and cheaper movement of our agricultural products to our markets and ports and therefore, better economic returns to our farmers  and  cheaper  prices to our growing urban communities. 

In 1976, an airline in PNG said “who needs trains  when we have got planes”. Well, it has never lived  up  to  that  and we need trains now because planes and roads cannot do the job of transporting our growing population and that will most likely be 25 million by 2050. 

The  roads of Port Mosby and Lae are already chocked with cars, PMVs and taxis and they cannot carry our growing population to work on time and cheaply. 

Japan knows this problem and most of its people travel to work by train. 

The 2015 South Pacific Games would have been a good time to build a railway system in Port Moresby  to carry spectators to and from the venues.

So when are we going to get PNG moving on track and build railways? 


Michael R Pearson, Via email