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This strategic framework for connecting Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) railways is the rst step in developing and implementing an integrated railway system in the subregion. All the GMS countries have independent plans to develop their railways. Yet all desire to see an integrated sys- tem that would move their freight and passengers seamlessly around the subregion and beyond.
To date, the individual countries have focused on the investments needed for line construction, with little attention to the other aspects of infrastructure, let alone the many requirements of cross-border traf c—such as compatible and mutually recognized immigration, customs, and health clearances; tech- nical and operational standards; and/or procedures and facilities, such as axle change at borders— that also need to be addressed.
This strategic framework, based on a study requested by the GMS countries, develops a practical approach to GMS railway integration, provides the GMS countries with an initial framework for achieving integration and interoperability, identi es priority initiatives, builds a platform for further dia- logue and discussion between and among GMS countries, and provides a context for evaluating future projects.