MP’s Continue to be Stuck on Railway Decision

By , 26 May, 2010, No Comment

No agreement on the railway transportation policy is in sight. No decision can be taken on this very important part of the wider minerals policy as MPs continue to be stuck on both the direction of the new network and on the width of the track. Some MPs give their view.

S.Oyun: I think it would be wrong to have the same width everywhere. A combination would be a better option, depending on where the track is leading. Companies who are investing ought to estimate their needs. I would give more importance to economic factors than to political considerations when deciding on the railway policy. Similarly, the final choice of the route, whether it goes south or north or both ways will depend on the amount needed and the transportation benefits.

R.Amarjargal: Our national security and foreign policy concepts should be the deciding criteria. The first says Mongolia will develop an equal relationship with its two neighbors. That has to be followed no matter whether the rail gauge is wide or narrow.

R.Rash: Our position of lying between two superpowers makes it a difficult decision. We already have a long railway built by the Soviet Union and we cannot change the gauge used in it. We should not have two gauges within the country. However, new tracks built exclusively to connect to ports that will link us with Japan or South Korea can have the more international narrower gauge. We already have a few km of such narrow track between Zamiin-Uud and Erlian in China.

Work on taking Ulaanbaatar Railway to Umnugobi, where an industrial district will be built soon, must start immediately. Building a railroad takes a long time and those who say it can be done in two years are wrong. Take the Yeruu railroad. We have completed only 60 km in two years, and the remaining 30 km may not be finished this year. We must be realistic. We can utilize Tavantolgoi only after we have built the railroad. The present practice of transportation by trucks is not viable, economically, environmentally, and practically.


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