As part of the government’s long-term plan to expand the railway network throughout the country, 1800 kilometres of new rail lines will be built by 2045.
All single rail tracks will be upgraded to double line and meter gauge rail lines will be transformed into dual gauge. The master plan will be implemented in six steps over a period of 30 years (2016-2045). Most of the development work of the railway master plan will be completed in the first five steps, according to the railways master plan.
As per the master plan, it is learnt that in the first phase, 438.52 kilometers of railway tracks will be laid. In this phase there is construction of 213 kilometers (km) of Bhanga-Barishal-Payra rail line, 10.01 km rail line of Akhaura-Agartola, 86.51 km Bogura-Jamtoil, Chilahati-Chilahati Border 7 km, Jalanihat-CUET-Kaptai 42 km, Chattogram Bay terminal connecting rail line 16 km, Darshana- Meherpur-Mujibnagar 26 km, Feni-Mirsarai Economic Zone 30 km, and Jamalpur Economic Zone 8 km.
In the second phase (2021-2025), 526 km rail tracks will be laid, of which, 230 km high speed railway between Dhaka-Chattogram, 100 km circular railway track around the capital city, 10 km Kushtia bypass rail line, six km Ishwardi-EPZ rail line, 18 km connecting rail line between Moheshkhali and Matarbari, 85 km Navaran-Satkhira rail line, 30 km Chhatakbazar- Sunamganj rail line, 15 km Satkhira-Munshiganj rail line and 32 km Jamalpur-Sherpur rail line.
The third phase (2026-2030) will be of 165 km, of which 25 km for Payra-Kuakata, 20 km bypass Bhairab-Abdulpur-Jamtoil-Kaonia rail line, 70 km Tungipara-Mongla-Fakirhat and 70 km Panchagarh-Banglabandha rail tracks will be laid. In the fourth phase (2031-2035) a total of 485 km rail lines will be laid, of which there will be 40 km underground subway between Narayanganj and Tongi, 100 kilometer circular railway around port city Chattogram, 60 km Nazirhat-Khagrachhari, 40 km Hathazari-Rangamati, 25 km Dohazari-Bandarban, 60 km Panchagarh-Chilahati-Hatiabandha, 80 km Rohanpur-Joypurhat and 80 km Jessore-Magura-Langalbandha-Pangsha.
In the fifth phase (2036-2040), a total of 115 km new rail lines will be laid to connect Joydevpur to Paturia via Dhamrai and Manikganj with 90 km rail line, Madhukhali and Jessore via Magura with 65 km rail line. Besides, in phase five, 1638.41 km rail line will be upgraded to dual gauge. In first phase, 177 km of Akhaura-Sylhet, 55.22 km Parbatipur-Kaonia and 33.31 km of Sylhet-Chhatak rail line will be upgraded.
In the second phase, 128 km Tongi-Bhairab Bazar, Bhairab to Akhaura 66 km, 159.2 km double rail line from Laksham to Chattogram will upgraded to dual gauge. Besides, 39.93 km Santahar-Bogura, 147 km Joydevpur to Jamalpur, 16.1 km Dhaka-Narayanganj, 40.60 Sholosahar to Dohazari single rail line will be upgraded to dual gauge.
In the third phase, a total of 364.2 km, in the fourth phase 214.64 km, and in the fifth phase, 84.33 km rail lines will upgraded to dual gauge in different routes across the country. The master plan added 946 km rail line in three phases. Inter Container depot at Dhirasram, Uttara EPZ, Mongla and Ishwardi, Darshana and Shahbazpur will be constructed.
Apart from these, six new workshops and six new railway bridges will also be constructed under the master plan. These workshops are- Narayanganj locomotive workshop, Narayanganj demo workshop, Saidpur new unit, Chattogram locomotive workshop, Rajbari locomotive workshop, Mymensingh carriage and wagon workshop.
Among the new railway bridges, the master plan includes bridge construction at Jamuna rail bridge, Karnaphuli rail bridge, Teesta rail bridge, Hardinge rail bridge, Padma rail bridge at Moukuri- Dhalarchar point, and Fulchhari-Bahadurbadghat rail bridge. Railways secretary, Md Moffazol Hossain, told Bangladesh Post, it is a long-term plan, but once it is implemented in totality, it will change the transportation scenario of the country. According to railway reports, more than 32 percent area of the country is in the railway network. The state-owned organization provides both passenger and cargo services through 502 stations.