PPIAF has provided extensive technical assistance in support of the railways sector. Railways are an efficient transport mode and use a unique technology that has very low friction —based on steel wheels and steel rails and generally more fuel efficient than road transport. Railways are ideal to transport high volumes of bulk commodities or passengers. Governments worldwide try to reform state railway departments and agencies in an effort to reduce costs, improve services, and realize more effective investments.
Involving the private sector in the refom process is a dual-purpose strategy that seeks not only investors but also private sector operators, whose experience and skills can sharpen the commercial focus of railway enterprises. The private sector has much to offer railway reform efforts—capital is more abundant in the private sector and investors recognize that railways can offer opportunities for good returns.