Railway plans big for improving services

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 DHAKA, March 31, 2018 (BSS) – Bangladesh Railway (BR) has taken a big plan for improving its services to increase revenue, according to the Ministry of Railways.

Under the plan, BR will purchase 700 passenger coaches, 40 broad and 150 meter gauge locomotives and 1,075 wagons to strengthen its capacity for ensuring better and more reliable services for both carrying passengers and goods.

Among the 700 coaches, 600 will be bought for meter gauge line with finance from the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF) of South Korea, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Suppliers Credit. The rest 100 broad gauge coaches will be purchased under the Padma Bridge Railway Connectivity Project.

“BR is implementing various projects to improve its services,” Railways Minister M Mazibul Hoque told BSS.

He said under the projects 46 broad and meter gauge locomotives, 668 passenger coaches and 466 wagons for both broad and meter gauge lines were brought and rehabilitated.

The minister said that BR also rehabilitated 1,091 kilometers old lines and constructed over 284 kilometers new lines for expanding the railway network.

He said 249 kilometers track was also made dual gauge from single gauge on Dhaka-Chittagong route for ensuring safe and faster movements of passengers and goods between the capital city Dhaka and the country’s prime port city Chittagong.

In February, the railway minister told the Jatiya Sangsad that a process was underway for evaluation of a Request for Proposal (RFP) to launch a high- speed train service on Dhaka-Chittagong route via Comilla/Laksham.

He also informed the House that the proposed railway would enter Comilla through Daudkandi, reducing the current distance between Dhaka and Chittagong to 90 kilometers from 321 kilometers.

The railway authorities last year signed a memorandum of understanding with China Railway Engineering to construct a double track standard gauge line on the Dhaka-Chittagong section via Comilla at a cost of Taka 30,955 crore.

According to the project details, BR will implement the mega project by 2019 with project assistance of over Taka 24,764 crore from China.

Last year the government also signed a $300 million agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build a dual-gauge railway line, connecting Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar to promote trade and regional connectivity.

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