The Jamaica Government is moving to revive its railway service and Minister of Transport and Mining Mike Henry says he is exploring a public-private partnership in this regard, according to a report in the Jamaica Observer.
The minister said that Jamaica, in adopting a modern day integrated multi-modal transport system, of which the railway is a key component, would be embracing the reality of the changing and fast-paced world.
“The railway is the most important element of transport anywhere in the world and Jamaica has the second oldest railway in the world, connecting every port in Jamaica. We exist in a just-in-time world where you need to deliver goods and services as early as possible, in order to be on top of the niche markets and be able to grow your economy,” he said in an interview with the Jamaica Information Service.
“This means that if the economy must grow, it must get its goods and services right there. We are therefore going to connect rail, sea and air.”
The existing railway runs from Pechon Street, in downtown Kingston, to Vernamfield in Clarendon in the south of the island, but not into any of the island’s two international airports.
Henry pointed out that a distinguishing feature of many modern countries is the building of underground railways to facilitate the necessary elements of connectivity.