India's First Trans-Continental Freight Train from Dhaka to Istanbul

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India takes lead to run freight train from Dhaka to Istanbul
Indian Railways is going to run a trans-continental container train full of goods from Dhaka to Istanbul, which would cover a 6,000-km journey across five countries - Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

Taking a leaf from China’s run to Europe, India is going to showcase its might in freight movement by running a trans-continental container train full of goods from Dhaka to Istanbul, covering a 6,000-km journey across five countries — Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

Codenamed the ITI-DKD-Y corridor, the container train’s route is scheduled as Dhaka-Kolkata-Delhi-Islamabad-Tehran-Istanbul. Eventually, Yangon will also be connected to Dhaka. The missing Tamu-Kalay link in Myanmar is still to be built.

Indian Railways has called South Asian railway heads involved in the project to work out the nitty-gritty at a high-level meeting on March 15-16. Pakistan railway chief Javed Anwar is also being invited. There is one issue with Pakistan that needs to be fixed. While Pakistan allows freight trains and passenger trains from Delhi to Lahore via Attari, it has historically cited security reasons to not allow movement of containers on this route. For the demonstration, Indian officials said, it will not be a problem as it is a one-off run.

What energized the project is that a long missing link of 150 km in Zahedan, in the Baluchestan province of Iran, has now been established, connecting the country to the Pakistan Railway network on the border. So the Trans-Asian Railway Southern Corridor, as it is formally named, under the aegis of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), is good to go all the way to Turkey after certain operational exchange of notes and coordination between the nations concerned, which India is anchoring this month.

“The demonstration run will happen very soon in 2017 and we will sort out all the issues with the countries concerned. It’s a great leap for South Asian regional connectivity in the rail sector. This will also demonstrate to the world that there can be a real, commercial trans-Asian container corridor of this magnitude in the rail sector,” Mohammad Jamshed, Railway Board Member (Traffic), told The Indian Express.


The missing link of 150 km in Zahedan, in the Baluchestan province of Iran, has now been established, connecting the country to the Pakistan Railway network on the border.

Currently, goods take a long, roundabout route from Ludhiana to Lahore which otherwise are just a few hours apart by rail. The March 15-16 meeting is aimed at discussing some common technical and operational parameters between the railway systems of the countries involved. So far, in communications between the railway systems, all countries have on paper endorsed the project and have said that the demonstration is technically feasible.

India, on its part, had already sent a high-level team of officers from the Railway ministry and Container Corporation of India late last year to Dhaka on a reconnaissance of the proposed route. It was found that the rail bridge over the Padma river cannot carry the load of heavy freight trains and allows only passenger operations. So it was agreed to keep the demonstration train relatively light, filling it preferably with a cargo of cotton garments.

Past the Dhaka border, there is the inland container depot in India which will service the rail cargo train on its way to Kolkata. From Kolkata to Delhi and then to Attari and Lahore will be smooth sail, officials said.

In January this year, China sent a container train from East ‘hina’s Yiwu all the way to London via Germany, covering a distance of 12,000 km and demonstrating that it can be cheaper, even faster mode of freight movement between the Asian giant and countries in Western Europe and all in betwe”n.

“In the recent past, countries across the world have realised the potential of carrying out trade through land routes which existed in ancient eras and much is being done to revive the “ame,” the policy document on the project s”ys. “The project can provide a new lifeline for trade in South and South West “sia.”

Source:- India takes lead to run freight train from Dhaka to Istanbul
Inputs from @chanakya's Chant
 

Chinmoy

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Not happening.Chinpaks are there.
Even better. Pakistan is already at not so good diplomacy with Dhaka, but recently China is trying hard to woo Bangladesh economically and strategically. Now for their own benefit, China would have to check their cry baby if they want to show solidarity with Dhaka in economic front.
 

Bengal_Tiger

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Even better. Pakistan is already at not so good diplomacy with Dhaka, but recently China is trying hard to woo Bangladesh economically and strategically. Now for their own benefit, China would have to check their cry baby if they want to show solidarity with Dhaka in economic front.
If Pakistan blocks this or doesn't officially block but in practice renders it ineffective, then in the long term there can be a Bangladesh-India-China-Afghanistan-Iran route as an emergency option, even if it means going as far east as from Arunchal Pradesh to China (due to the barrier of the Himalayas mountains). No this may be tortuously long, but it would be better than nothing and the Chinese want Bangladeshi connectivity with their province of Yunnan anyway.

If Pakistan misses out on trade it hurts itself. Its population is around 200 million. Its main mega-city Karachi is bursting at the seams and the country could implode.
 

Chinmoy

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If Pakistan blocks this or doesn't officially block but in practice renders it ineffective, then in the long term there can be a Bangladesh-India-China-Afghanistan-Iran route as an emergency option, even if it means going as far east as from Arunchal Pradesh to China (due to the barrier of the Himalayas mountains). No this may be tortuously long, but it would be better than nothing and the Chinese want Bangladeshi connectivity with their province of Yunnan anyway.

If Pakistan misses out on trade it hurts itself. Its population is around 200 million. Its main mega-city Karachi is bursting at the seams and the country could implode.
It would have its short term implication first. China is not going to ask Pakistan to permit the trade route, effectively rendering Pakistan toothless in so called south asian economic affairs. It would emerge as the only opposing factor to the growth of trade in the region which is good for India. Moreover it would create doubt in mind of Dhaka regarding the implication of trade with China because of its Pak policy. So on both count its a win win situation for India.

On other hand as far as alternative trade route is concerned, I think India would look towards the route through Nepal instead of AP for some very obvious reason. But anyway lets wait and see.... :)
 

Bengal_Tiger

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It would have its short term implication first. China is not going to ask Pakistan to permit the trade route, effectively rendering Pakistan toothless in so called south asian economic affairs. It would emerge as the only opposing factor to the growth of trade in the region which is good for India. Moreover it would create doubt in mind of Dhaka regarding the implication of trade with China because of its Pak policy. So on both count its a win win situation for India.

On other hand as far as alternative trade route is concerned, I think India would look towards the route through Nepal instead of AP for some very obvious reason. But anyway lets wait and see.... :)
So rail lines can go through the Himalayas?

That't not some insurmountable physical obstacle?

If so, then of course go through the Himalayas, go to western China in the quickest way possible, go to Afghanistan and then Iran, bypass Pak.

Pak misses out, Afghanistan wins.

The Chinese do not care about any country...they only care about their interests....and they are trade orientated people. I think they'd support such a route if the Pakistanis are obstinate....and even if Pakistan "agrees" to transporting goods from India, the India-Nepal-China (Xian Jiang)- Afghanistan- Iran line can still function as a contingency line.
 

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