Nepal to use Chinese gauge standards for domestic railway system

6 March 2019 (Last Updated March 6th, 2019 12:38)

Nepal has decided to use the Chinese track gauge standard for its railway system in a bid to reduce costs.

Nepal has decided to use the Chinese track gauge standard for its railway system in a bid to reduce costs.

China is currently working on plans to build a railway line between Tibet and Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The line will utilise the 1,435mm measure standard.

The rail link will be further extended to the southern part of the country to connect Pokhara city and the pilgrimage site Lumbini.

Last year, India proposed constructing a 1,676mm broad-gauge railway link between its border town of Raxaul and Kathmandu.

“Preparation of a detailed project report for the railway line and its funding modalities will be discussed.”

However, Nepal Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Raghubir Mahaseth told news agency Reuters that the government will work with India to revise construction plans and build the 130km line using standard track gauge.

In May, railway officials from Nepal and China are scheduled to meet to devise plans to build the 70km rail link between Gyiron in Tibet and Kathmandu.

Mahaseth said: “Preparation of a detailed project report for the railway line and its funding modalities will be discussed.”

The line is part of China’s Belt and Road initiative and will improve connectivity between the two countries, as well as enable Nepal to access Chinese ports.

In another development, China announced plans to roll out self-developed driverless magnetic-levitation trains early next year.

The trains are designed to operate at a speed of 200km/h. Chinese firm CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive is leading the development project.