Jakarta, Indonesia (AFP) – India and Indonesia agreed on Monday to invest about $6.5 billion in the $7.8 billion Pakistan Electric Railway, the largest project in the world of electrifying a vast, untapped part of the country.
The two Asian neighbours have long been partners in the electrification of the railways in both countries, which they share a border.
The railway was inaugurated in June and has the potential to be a model for electrification in South East Asia.
Its chief executive, Pratap Singh, said the agreement with Indonesia would help speed up the completion of the project.
“It is our duty to deliver a railway system that has the capacity to serve the people of Indonesia, and the whole of the world,” Singh said in a statement.
Indonesia’s Railways Minister, Lina Gohil, said on Twitter that the agreement was a “significant step in the construction of a global railway”.
“We are pleased that the two countries have agreed to invest in the project and that they are aiming to create a new high-speed corridor that will be one of the most important in the Asia-Pacific region,” she said.
Indos rail system was built by the state-owned National Railway Corp. in the 1960s and has a passenger capacity of almost 50 million passengers a day.
Its current status is a major hurdle in the Asian Pacific region.
It is widely regarded as the most complex railway system in the region.