Railways moving forward with development
Published: 21:19 17 August 2020
Graphics: Daily Bangladesh
Under the 30-year master plan, Bangladesh Railway has undergone major changes in the last few years. Several steps have already been taken to improve the quality of technical and passenger services, as a result, the work is underway in full swing as planned.
During the tenure of the present government, the railways started massive development work. The work was further streamlined through the master plan in 2017.
According to Bangladesh Railway, 46 new locomotives, 230 new carriages or bogies, 179 new railway bridges, 236.87 km new railways, 248.50 km meter-gauge (MG) has been converted to dual-gauge (DG) railway in the last few years. Besides, 106 new trains and 30 train services have been extended.
Among the newly constructed 236.87 km railway line, 35 km from Tarakandi to Bangabandhu East Bridge, 86 km from Tongi to Bhairab Bazar (64 km Main Line, 22 km Loop Line), 81 km from Laksam to Chinki Astana (61 km Main Line, 20 km Loop Line), 10 km from Faridpur to Bhanga, 22 km on Ishwardi-Pabna-Dhalarchar, and 2.87 km on Chattogram Station Yard.
248.50 km railway line has been converted from MG to DG. Of these – 85km of Dhaka-Joydevpur, 16km of Dinajpur-Panchagarh, 147.05 km of Parbatipur- Kanchan-Panchagarh and Kanchan-Biral sections are notable.
During this time 1090.43 km of railways have been developed/rehabilitated/renovated. These routes are – 95km of Lalmonirhat-Burimari, 82km of Kalukhali-Bhatiapara section, 48.25km for the rehabilitation of the mainline sections, 62m of Syedpur-Chilahati section, 39.05km of Pachuria-Faridpur-Bhanga, 92km of Rajshahi-Rohanpur, 20.8km of Dhaka-Narayanganj, 78.64km of Gauripur-Jaria-Jhanjail, 37.50km of Fauzdahat-CGPY, 104.87km of Mymensingh-Jamalpur-Dewanganj Bazar, and 57.89km of Sholashahar-Nazirhat section.
Besides, 48km of Teesta-Ramna Bazar, 51km of Laksam-Chandpur, 18km of Syedpur Workshop, 21km of Poradaha- Goalanda, 198km of Chinki-Astana-Ashuganj, 11km of Pahartali Workshop, and 19.63km of Darshwardi-Ishwardi railway has been developed/rehabilitated/renovated.
67 new station buildings have been constructed. Besides, 160 station buildings were developed/rehabilitated /renovated. 179 new railway bridges have been constructed and 597 railway bridges were renovated. A total of 46 locomotives have been collected in seven years – 20 of these are MGs and 26 are broad-gauges (BG). Besides, 20 state-of-the-art Diesel Electric Multiple Units (DEMUs) have been procured.
230 carriages or bogies have been added to the railway – 130 of these are BGs and 100 are MGs. 288 carriages have been rehabilitated – 214 are MGs and 74 are BGs.
518 railway wagons have been collected – 270 of these are MG flats, 165 are BG tanks. And 81 are MG tanks. Besides, 30 brake vans have been collected. 26 railway wagons have been rehabilitated.
The signaling system of 59 railway stations has been modernized and developed in seven years. The signaling system of 9 stations from Kalukhali to Bhatiapara has been rehabilitated. 106 new trains have been launched. 30 train services have been extended during this time. A wheel lathe has been installed for dual gauge and two cranes are also procured. Two load monitoring devices have been procured to ensure the safety of the Bangabandhu Bridge.
Currently, Bangladesh Railway has a total route of 2910.2 km. Of these, MG railways are 1656.17 km, BG are 718.84 km and DG are 535.19 km. At present, there are 86 intercity trains, 126 local, mixed and P&V trains, 132 mail, express, commuter and demo trains and 2 friendship trains – the total number of trains is 348.
Secretary of the Ministry of Railways Md. Selim Reza said a comprehensive plan has been taken through the project to increase the quality of passenger service. If the works are implemented, the appearance of this sector will change. “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, we want to build an improved railway system in this country. Everyone’s cooperation is needed for this,” he also said.
Additional Secretary (Development) of the Ministry of Railways Mohammad Faruquzzaman said a 30-year master plan has been formulated for the development of railways from 2016 to 2045. “We have already started working on this issue. If the master plan is implemented, the appearance of railways in Bangladesh will change,” he added.