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Transport and Works Minister, Michael Henry, has advised that a submission is expected to be made to Cabinet shortly, regarding efforts to revive rail services across the island.
Speaking at last week’s post-Cabinet media briefing at Jamaica House, Mr. Henry said that the submission, jointly undertaken with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, has been completed. He told journalists that feedback is being awaited from the Finance Ministry, to proceed to Cabinet with the document.
Local rail service, which up to 1992, was being provided by the Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC), has been dormant for the past 16 years. Over the period, unsuccessful attempts have been made at resuscitating the service.
Within recent years, efforts have been made at incorporating the input of overseas interests, primarily from India, which did not materialise, and China, which the Government is currently in discussions with.
Regarding the Chinese interest, Mr. Henry advised that, while he has held discussions with representatives from China, there is a procedure to be followed.
“The procedure…has to be Government to Government. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must now begin to take up that discussion with the Chinese, with whom I have had my own discussions and arrived at the funding. That relates to the process of the railway’s implementation, and as soon as I have the response of the Ministry of Finance, it will be going to Cabinet for them to accept my position, hopefully,” Mr. Henry informed.