REVIVING JAMAICA’S DORMANT RAILWAY

The railway in Jamaica dieselised in the 1950s. This reduced operating costs but the operating deficit was about £300,000 annually. Having run for over 150 years, the system ceased operation in 1992, except for sections on which bauxite is drawn.

Currently the Jamaican government is discussing revival of rail service with Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES). The first phase, commuter services between Kingston and Spanish Town then Kingston to Linstead at a cost of some $US8 million, was expected to be up and running by January 2001 but there have been continuing delays. The government is said to be considering an initial 40% private shareholding, to be used for improving infrastructure and the purchase of new rolling stock.

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