To you Ralph, the author of this thread and other like minds.
I am all for it.
So long as the desk top studies show that it is feasible, there is minimal land owner issues to process, there is political will, money to spend, government regulatory process in place, and a waiting industry to recieve it. Why should the world get ahead and PNG with a lot of untapped opportunities remains laid back, backward and behind?
Or in other words. If it is viable and an important alternative of transport in other parts of the world, what is the problem with PNG? Is it that we have too many problems? Is it the size of our PNG minds? Or the self destructive mentalities about negativity that has enveloped PNG on progress? What is truly stopping PNG?
To Pro PNG,
even thogh I posted it as a joke, that is the nub of the matter.
PNG is just too mountainous to have an extensive network of railways. The cost of all that tunnelling would be prohibitive. In many of the coastal areas, there would have to be an extensive system of viaducts or bridges, because of the large marshy areas. Once again tremedous cost.
To um up: Because of the limited system that could be built at a reasonable cost, the investment in rolling stock, (Engines carriages etc) would be too high, to make any chance of running at a profit, possible.
It may not be feasible to build them across country, but around the coastline (eg Lae to Madang, Kerema to Moresby) it might be worthwhile. You could then build feeder roads from the highlands to carry down crops and products to the railheads where stuff can then be railed to the ports.
Also a light rail system around Moresby would ease road problems and could be a lot safer and more reliable than PMVs. Day from Gerehu into town, around the coast via Ela beach, out past 3 mile to Taurama, then to Jacksons airport and beyond up to 17 mile and Bomana area.
They could run on biodiesel fuel generated from local biofuel plantations. Green trains!
Maybe some of the billions from the LNG project could be used to build useful infrastructure for a change.
You need to read more about railways before you come up with these ideas.
Railways are economic only where there is high volume of freight or passengers. PNG's population and population density, even around Moresby, doesn't even come close to meeting the minimum requirements. Railways are very expensive to operate.
Our geography and terrain make railways for the most part, impossible. A highway can have at least an 8% grade or even more and be usable with 2 wheel drive. A railway can't even exceed 2% slope. To cross mountains in other parts of the world, railway engineers have mastered world class feats but at tremendous cost.
Need I remind all of you that PNG nogat moni because we're always giving our wealth to foreigners in terms of buying imported goods, recruiting foreign experts, sending out unprocessed 'cheap' raw resources, and bringing in foreign investment? We will always be desperately poor as long as we remain so totally dependent on foreigners, lacking self-sufficiency.
Yes, PNG has had railways before but that was long ago when Papua New Guinean villagers could be used as near-slaves to build the things, and the cost of everything was much less. Railways in the world are on a slow decline, not a rise, and this is because of the cost.
Even Indian Rail, the largest government employer in the world (over 1 million railway employees) is cutting back on service more than increasing.
Your renditions are without basis and just rantings about negativity or some seclusion. Please look at Port Moresby now, the roads are just inadequate for the number of users during peak hours. Even during weekends like Sundays, Port Moresby is experiencing Traffic jams at certain parts of the city. Hey, Port Moresby has moved.
More roads will not help. But a mass and rapid form of transport system will offer an alternative to the travelling public. Heavier forms of cargo will also find an alternative to current sixteen wheelers that clog the traffic system during peak traffic hours.
Whereby trams or trains are absolute solutions. Moving kids to schools in Port Moresby is a night mare. When staging public events, event planners are really tested to obtain value for their event, because the public transport system is a mess. The regulatory system on PMVs does not work.
If it is about money, why do we have people buying cars in Port Moresby like lollies? Hey come out of your cave.
Hello AST and RH, you both sound like you are living in the sixties!!!
"The cost of 17 miles (27 km) of highway improvements and 19 miles (31 km) of double-track light rail worked out to $19.3 million per highway lane-mile and $27.6 million per LRT track-mile. The project came in under budget and 22 months ahead of schedule."
Initially more expensive han a highway,but not by much. This is offset by the revenue-generating potential of the railway. Roads don't give you an income. Raileays do.
The 1.5 km of the Waigani Highway upgraded a while ago (by Pius Wingti's company) cost around K45 million. I bet its wearing out already, and NCD makes nothing from the people using it.
Roads wear out, but railroads require far, far more maintenance than roads.
I guarantee you that whatever a rail system would cost in another country, multiply 10x the cost for the inefficiency which you and I are capable of creating through our poor work habits, then add another 15% for corruption payoffs.
Keep dreaming but start keeping your feet on the Ground of Feasibility from now on. Pleeease!
it doesn't make economic sense whatsoever. after we've done all we can with roads which are cheaper to build and maintain then we can look at railways. we have to look at better roads, more roads, better planned roads, better maintainence on roads. once we do this then the economic benefits of a good road network might actually make a railway affordable to PNG in areas where there is high passenger and cargo volume. this applies to both rural and urban situations.
I agree with RH and the others who are against rail as a mode of transport for PNG.
Our coutry is far too mountainous to even consider rail. Buiilding roads is a different matter. we can build roads over mountian etc. Rail need relatively flat area to be used effectively.
As mentioned by a few commentators already, the cost of tunneling, and building etensive network of bridges etc and othe infra structure will cost too much for the country to initially build the system and to maintain it.
Remember once the system is in place, it will need to be maintained. We may have had some sort of rail in times gone - did they know something we don't when they decided not to extend the rail system then.
I suggest keeping with the road building and develop ports along the coastline from Daru to Vanimo and Lae to Buin and Manus to connect a ferry system funded by the government to offer our people a cheaper and a more luxurious form of transport other than air transport.
BUILD more roads? We aren't even close to maintaining the ones we've already got!!!
You mentioned maintenance, and of course that is critical to a nation's infrastructure. But until we start maintaining what falling apart infrastructure we've already got, there should be NO MORE NEW INFRASTRUCTURE IN PNG.
We either have to practice what we preach about maintenance or realise that we're all hypocrites (such like our leaders).
bro, if you read what i wrote carefully you will realise that my point is that a better road network should be the priority before some pie in the sky rail plan. you are right that current roads need to be better maintained before building new roads but that is another side issue and not the issue on point. so next time keep you argument on point.
On "Light Rail",
I think there is some confusion about definitions.
Many posters hsve mentioned "Light Rail" in the same breath as "Railways". Unless I am badly mistaken, "Light Rail' is not trains. Light Rail is Trams, or even suspeded monrails. (As is in Surfers Paradise)
A Tram system would be suitable in Mosbi, but it would be the only city big enough to support it. It would replace much of the PMV transport, but not all of it. Obviously, because it will only go where the rails are laid.
I think Light Rail is a great idea, where suitable. The worst thing Brissie ever did was to get rid of the Trams. That decision is now coming back to bite them on the bum. The more buses the greater the losses. Also they require much more maintenance than Trams, and more frequent replacement. Probably in this day and age, a suspended Monorail system would be the best decision here, for public transport. It might even be suitable for POM.
Heres an interesting study on transport options for Canberra which considers light rail the best option. (Acrobat document). Canberra is about the same size as Moresby. A tramway system could be built sharing existing roads (eg as it was in Brisbane, Melbourne), would reduce pollution (have you seen the smog from the rush hour PMV traffic along Waigani Drive lately?), be cost effective and offer better safety and reliability than PMV's.
Light rail is an inflexible, fixed route mode but this is an advantage over
bus as it means the service has a degree of permanency. The very
flexibility of bus becomes a disadvantage as services can readily be
A text by Haus-Klau, Light rail and bus: making the right choice, summarises
the results of a worldwide study of buses and light rail. They found that the
operating speed is similar for bus rapid transit and light rail and the costs are
similar but that light rail is slightly cheaper than buses on a lifetime basis. It
also shows that the pollution and noise considerations favour light rail over
You can always start small and move systems upward later.
Tram, suspended monorails, trains n railways and what have you next.
Experts will not come to us to help us unless we first realise that we are sick and need to go to them for professional help. We have enough sick people in PNG who will never engage expert advice. Even trialing out something that is world proven, simple and inexpensive.
PNG, let us first admit that we do not know rather than openning up our arses and letting out all the pekpek before we reach the haus pekpek.