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W O R L D : R A I L W A Y S
Future : Connected
Trans-Asian Railways will make Asia a home

Trans-Asian Railways has made an effort to bring the world together by an inter-governmental agreement. It will establish a rail network connecting Europe and the whole of Asia.

As India joins the proposed route, rail travel from Singapore to as far as London might be possible in the near future. Having its fair share of romance and adventure, the proposed rail network might do on a global level what the Trans-Siberian Railway did in Russia. In fact, this rail linkage across Europe and Asia would help make transportation of goods and people much cheaper and serve beyond just being the subject matter of literature (inspiring Agatha Christies and Boris Paternaks).
The United Nations' International Trade Data has revealed that trade partnership between ASEAN and several countries across the globe has risen by 169% over the past decade. Indian exports, positioned in 2006 at $112b (f.o.b), along with ASEAN, can expect newer pastures to open up. The best part of the proposed linkage then obviously would be the cheaper transportation cost and new and exciting destinations for exports and tourism.

Caution, however, is warranted with excitement. With the expansion of the transportation corridor, smuggling of contraband goods and terrorism-related men and material might also get incentivised. International cooperation then needs to be cemented for preventing future Samjhauta Express like incidents.

Akram Haque

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