Bullet train design awaits approval

The design of the first-ever bullet train of the country on Dhaka-Chattogram route is expected to get final approval this month, officials said. 

Bangladesh Railway Chief Engineer (East) Md Shubaktogin said, “Representatives of China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC) are likely to arrive here in December. The project design will go to ECNEC for approval following the CRDC approval of the design and the estimated amount of expenditure.”

Bangladesh Railway, CRDC and Majumdar Enterprise of Bangladesh jointly conducted the feasibility study and design work of the project.

As per the existing railway route, the distance between Dhaka and Chattogram is 321 kilometres (KMs). But the distance will be reduced by 94 km in the proposed bullet train project. There will be six stations on the route-Dhaka, Narayanganj, Cumilla, Feni, Pahartali, and Chattogram.  

Now it takes about six to seven hours to reach Chattogram from the capital city. Once the project is implemented, passengers will be able to travel to the port city from Dhaka in just 55 minutes. 

If the bullet train stops at each station for three minutes another 18 minutes will be added to the total travel time ie 73 minutes.

The government is developing passenger-friendly railway system in the country and attaching a top priority to this sector to make railway an economic and safe mode of transport. It has also plan to extend the bullet train up to Cox’s Bazar.

The high-speed bullet train project from Dhaka to Chattogram was approved in March, 2017. The possible estimated cost of constructing the Dhaka-Chattogram route will be approximately Tk 100,000 crore. A total of 668.24 hectares of land will be required for the implementation of the mega project. Of this, only 464.2 hectares have to be acquired.  

Officials concerned said the train will be able to carry some 50,000 passengers each way per day at a speed of 300 km per hour.  Each passenger will have to count Tk 2,000 for a ticket.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina first came up with the idea of a high-speed rail link during a visit to the Ministry of Railway on October 24, 2014.

Project Director Md Quamrul Ahsan expressed hope that the work of the mega project will get momentum with the arrival of the CRDC representatives.