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Trinidad : $15b T&T railway to start by 2007

Port of Spain 20 Dec. 05 [AlterPresse] --- Construction of a $15-billion railway system for T&T will not begin until early 2007, says Works and Transport Minister Colm Imbert.

In an exclusive interview, Imbert disclosed that the Government was still to decide on the kind of system.

“There is no decision or commitment on a fixed design at this point, and that will determine whether it is a monorail, light rail or heavy rail,” Imbert had said last week.

“I have been working with the consultants to fast-track the implementation of the railway system.

“We have made a number of decisions that have allowed us to speed up the process.
“We will be inviting proposals within the next three to four months. We are hoping that we can select a preferred provider in the first quarter in 2006.”

In his 2006 Budget presentation last October, Prime Minister Patrick Manning said the Government “shall invite proposals for the first trial phase of our new light rail system” next year.

In his 2005, Manning said priority would be given to the development of a light rail mass transit system from Arima to Diego Martin and from Port-of-Spain to San Fernando.

He had said a full feasibility study for the light rail system would be complete by July, 2005, “at which time an investment decision would be taken.”

On October 17, 2004, then Works and Transport Minister Franklin Khan said the Government had intended to go out “almost immediately to invite proposals for a design, finance, construct,” very early in 2005.

“Construction of the infrastructure of the railway track itself will begin in January, 2007,” Imbert said last week. [Exilus Deceyon apr 20/12/2005 13:30]