Papua New Guinea (Photo: Sue Mansfield/Pixabay)

PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Proposals for what would be country’s first major railway are being developed, according to Prime Minister James Marape.

The line would begin in Lae and run via Markham, Ramu and the East Sepik plains to Vanimo, supporting plans to increase agricultural production in the area.

Marape said plans are being drawn up by the Department of Transport and Kumul Consolidated Holdings, which holds the government’s non-petroleum and non-mining assets. The project could be implemented using private finance through a public-private partnership.

Morobe Governor Luther Wenge said building a railway could be better than trying to maintain and extend the roads.

The country is described in the book End Of The Line: A History of Railways in Papua New Guinea as ‘a land of rugged terrain, broad rivers, swamps and jungles which are not inviting to the railway engineer’ and has never had a national rail network, although there have been at least 150 mining, industrial and plantation lines.