[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: Papua New Guinea Rail

peter berrett wrote:
> Hi All
> Has anyone seriously contenplated a railway line from Cairns to Port
> Moresby?

No - for the very good reason that PNG would be the world's worst place
for railway construction. The same reason why the interior of the
country was still a question mark on the maps until the 1930s. The
mountain barriers were (and still largely are) impassable.

> 1. We spend millions in aid (including developmental aid) each year to
> PNG. A rail line could significantly improve the economy of PNG by
> providing a direct link for tourists coming from Queensland and freight
> coudl easily pass between the two countries.

Shipping and air travel would be far cheaper.

> 2. Any such line could be extended to Irian Jaya at a later stage thus
> assisting to develop this region as well.

Why? The Indonesians (the current owners) don't seem interested in doing
anything with the country.

> 3. The Channel Tunnel has demonstrated that long distance underseas
> tunnels can be built. The distance from the top of Australia to PNG is
> only about 100 miles or so and there are a few islands along the way
> (and relatively shallow water. In many areas a land bridge could be
> built thus helping reduce costs.

Just because something can be built, does not mean that it should.

> 4. Once such a link is built it would demonstrate the feasibility of
> long tunnels of this type. I wonder if we might eventually see a single
> train London to Melbourne. Of course the Cairns line would need to be
> standardized but this will happen eventually anyway.

By then, air travel (using sub-orbital hyperplanes) would do the
Sydney/Melbourne - London trip in about an hour.

Peter Ware