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Why has an improved railway network not been a bigger priority in Pakistan?

Corruptistan

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I know that our road system (motorways in particular) is the best in South Asia by a long distance (I would argue one of the best in the entire developing world) but our railways are seriously lacking. We are missing a lot of revenue from freight and passenger transport.

There is also the question of interconnectivity across Pakistan.

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Railways are great for the economy since there is no cheaper way to transport goods or passengers overland than by railway. Less pollution, as well.

High-speed railways would be ideal of course.

Look at this map of China:

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Or Europe:

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Because its Pakistan πŸ˜‚

Well.:coffee:

The point I was trying to make is that it would have likely been smarter to use some of the investments used to improve the motorways and roads on an updated railway network for the reasons that I mentioned.

China could help in this regard as they did with the motorways.

I forgot to mention the tourist aspect as well. Imagine tourists traveling solely by rail from the foothills of the Karakoram in Gilgit-Baltistan once the Khunjerab line is finished all the way to the Arabian Sea in Karachi or Gwadar.

There is also the environmental aspect, interconnectivity across the country as I wrote and personally I really like railways.
 
Because its Pakistan πŸ˜‚

In this regard, Pakistan is obviously more like USA rather than India, china or Europe, favoring its road network over its rail network. Every country decides what to prefer in its transportation infrastructure for itself according to its priorities.
 
The point I was trying to make is that it would have likely been smarter to use some of the investments used to improve the motorways and roads on an updated railway network for the reasons that I mentioned.

That's not ever happening.
 


That's not ever happening.

With Chinese assistance it could happen. People said similar about our road system and motorways once. For the CPEC to work as intended Pakistan needs a functioning railway network.

In this regard, Pakistan is obviously more like USA rather than India, china or Europe, favoring its road network over its rail network. Every country decides what to prefer in its transportation infrastructure for itself according to its priorities.

Why not both options like China and Europe? India too has both. A large and stable high-speed railway network in Pakistan could make wonders. Important for the CPEC as well. There is a reason why the proposed Khunjerab railway line has Chinese involvement and is connected to the CPEC.

If Pakistan truly aspires to become a transportation hub, such infrastructural improvements are needed just for freight alone.
 
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Why not both options like China and Europe? India too has both. A large and stable high-speed railway network in Pakistan could make wonders. Important for the CPEC as well. There is a reason why the proposed Khunjerab railway line has Chinese involvement and is connected to the CPEC.

If Pakistan truly aspires to become a transportation hub, such infrastructural improvements are needed just for freight alone.

The simple answer: money and management, or, rather, the lack thereof.
 
The simple answer: money and management, or, rather, the lack thereof.

It is always about money, I agree, but this is where the Chinese come into the picture.
Similarly to how the road/motorway problem was solved.

As I see it if the CPEC is to be truly successful, we absolutely need to improve our railway network. A lot of money can be earned this way through freight and passengers. Add to that the more environmentally friendly aspect of it all.
 
The political interference, nepotism, corruption, poor maintenance of tracks & bridges and mismanagement in almost every field are the major causes of failure of Pakistan Railways. on top of it political leaders run their own freight forwarding companies so there is no political will to improve railway
 
Rail is both an additional network that has to be maintained, as well as is generally not economical outside of bulk freight.

Passenger railways have worse economics than busses (everyone hates busses, but they are extremely efficient)

High speed railways are wildly expensive and inefficient, so much so that the ones in europe are more expensive than flying pretty much 100% of the time.

This is because railcars have a limited width as opposed to planes that have less constraints. A High speed railway essentially requires it's own special rail network or else it's not going to be faster than the slowest freight train on the network.

In the past, where engine power and energy efficiency were lower, high speed passenger rail made sense (1800s to mid 1900s), but not anymore.

The reason why countries have high speed rail is purely for space efficiency, not for economic efficiency.
 
Rail is both an additional network that has to be maintained, as well as is generally not economical outside of bulk freight.

Passenger railways have worse economics than busses (everyone hates busses, but they are extremely efficient)

High speed railways are wildly expensive and inefficient, so much so that the ones in europe are more expensive than flying pretty much 100% of the time.

This is because railcars have a limited width as opposed to planes that have less constraints. A High speed railway essentially requires it's own special rail network or else it's not going to be faster than the slowest freight train on the network.

In the past, where engine power and energy efficiency were lower, high speed passenger rail made sense (1800s to mid 1900s), but not anymore.

The reason why countries have high speed rail is purely for space efficiency, not for economic efficiency.

If that is the case, how do you explain the massive railway network in China and Europe, high-speed railways included? Both examples have equally good road networks as well.
 
If that is the case, how do you explain the massive railway network in China and Europe, high-speed railway included?
Enormous subsidies for the high speed rail networks and passenger train networks.

The freight networks usually make economic sense though.
 
Enormous subsidies for the high speed rail networks and passenger train networks.

The freight networks usually make economic sense though.

Hence my emphasis on freight networks. I am looking at it from the lenses of the CPEC as well and as I see it, it is absolutely necessary that Pakistan improves its railway network, if that project is to succeed.

There would be additional costs but if we expand our freight networks to the desired levels, improve the overall infrastructure, we would not necessarily be losing money. There is also the environmental aspect that we cannot underestimate. With rising temperatures and climate change and rising number of cars in Pakistan, it is hard to put a figure (economic) on how much Pakistan is losing due to the aftereffects of human-induced global warming. Cars are a big sinner here.
 
Simply because it doesn't benefit the feudal class that dominates politics and their patrons the neutrals.
 
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