Rail Expansions and Re-Alignments

In Yunnan Province in the southwest of China, vice governor Qin Guangrong told the China news service four railway links to ASEAN countries are important to economic development.

A rail link between Kunming, Yuxi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam is progressing and is scheduled for completion in 2009. Qin wants to see a similar link in Mengzi in Yunnan to the Sino-Vietnam border begin this year. Meanwhile, preparatory work has begun on a China-Myanmar railway expansion and preliminary work building a Kunming-Bangkok railway was launched.

Elsewhere in Asia, the Indian government is reviewing a draft policy document to establish multi-modal logistics parks to handle intermodal traffic including container terminals, break/bulk cargo, warehousing and other services.

The stated objective of the draft policy is to “enhance the presence of rail transport in the overall transport chain and attain increased freight traffic volumes and movement by rail through reduction in the logistics costs for the users.”

Three types of logistics parks are being considered. One is the large multi-modal logistics park, which would be set up on 300 acres of land and would be well served by rail and road corridors. Medium-sized multi-modal logistics parks would be smaller (50 to 300 acres) and would include most but not all of the services of the larger sites. Small multi-modal logistics parks would be created on less than 50 acres.

In Europe, the German government is pushing for a sale of 25% to 30% of the Deutsche Bahn German railway. The railway is scheduled to undergo an initial public stock offering (IPO) in September or October that could raise € 5 billion ($7.2billion). The IPO would create a holding company for the Deutsche Bahn that would include its logistics operations (Schenker, Stinnes, and Bax Global), among other divisions.

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