Indian Railways to connect with 27 countries from Thursday

June 9th, 2009 - 10:53 pm ICT by IANS  

United Nations, June 9 (IANS) An agreement aimed at linking railroad systems of India and 27 other countries in Asia and Europe comes into effect Thursday.
The Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway Network (TAR) enters into force June 11 - 90 days after China became the eighth country to have ratified the treaty, according to a press release issued by the UN Information Centre.

The other parties to the agreement are Cambodia, India, Mongolia, Republic of Korea (South Korea), Russia, Tajikistan and Thailand.

The TAR network comprises 114,000 kilometres of rail routes of international importance, aiming to offer efficient rail transport services for the movement of goods and passengers both within the region and between Asia and Europe.

It will also provide improved access for landlocked countries to major ports, the Bangkok-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said.

The Agreement identifies stations of global importance, most of which are located inland and function like ports in coastal areas. These so-called “dry ports” will act as consolidation and distribution centres in the hinterland, spur growth and bring the benefits of economic and social development to a wider population, according to ESCAP.

The new pact is the second to have been developed under the auspices of ESCAP, with the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network having entered into force in 2005.

The two networks are major building blocks towards the realisation of an international integrated inter-modal transport and logistics system for the region, ESCAP said.

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