JRC Exploring Back-Up Plan to Revive Railway System

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The Jamaica Railway Corporation (JRC) says it’s actively pursuing contingencies in case a plan by the US-based Herzog International company to revive the country’s railway system falls through.

Chief Executive Officer of the JRC, Fitzroy Williams, gave the update at the most recent sitting of Parliament’s Public Administration and Appropriations Committee, PAAC.

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In December, 2016, Herzog signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Transport to formalise an arrangement to repair, upgrade and operate the country’s railways.

The proposed works were valued at USD$250-million.

However, the MOU expired in June this year. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Transport, Dr. Alwin Hales, told the PAAC that the government is no further along with the project, though remaining in discussions with Herzog. But, Mr. Williams says other proposals remain viable.

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He says one challenge remains to properly link Kingston with the rest of the rail system.

However, he says this can be overcome.

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Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Transport Ministry, Dr. Alwin Hales, says a pilot to use Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, to fuel Jamaica Urban Transit Company buses is still on track. He told last week’s meeting of the PAAC that they’re preparing a submission for Cabinet.

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Transport Minister, Mike Henry, announced the pursuit of the pilot as part of his contribution to Sectoral Debates earlier this year.

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