The government plans to transform the Bangladesh Railway (BR) into a world-class public train services introducing all modern technologies through a 30-year development project costing Tk 5,53,662 crore, said sources in the BR.
The longtime planning has been projected to develop the entire railway sector with the use of state-of-the-art technologies, equipment and machineries as well as to expand the network of train services, the BR official sources said.
The sources said, as part of the mega plan, the entire railway would be expanded, new railway tracks will be installed, metre-gauge tracks would be transformed into broadgauge lines, new railway stations would be constructed, and those shutdown earlier, would be re-launched.
Besides, new trains engines, coaches and locomotives will be added to expand the train services, said the sources.
It should be mentioned that at present the railway service is available in 44 among 64 districts of the country. The government is planning to extend the railway network to 63 districts by 2040.
According to official sources, activities to implement the master plan have already started. At least 25 kilometres of new railway tracks have been installed in 2020-20, many broken-down railway lines have been renovated.
During the current fiscal 30 railway bridges would be constructed and 14 railways bridges will be renovated. Besides, a process to purchase 10 broad-gauge railway engines and 136 passenger carriages in on.
According to sources, a major portion of new railway tracks will be installed in the Padma Multi-purpose Bridges connecting the entire country with South and Southwestern zones via Dhaka.
Officials said they are going to launch six trains by the names of Benapole Express, Kurigram Express and Jamalpur Express.
Under the mega plan, the officials said, around 2,581 kilometres of railway tracks, including 900 kilometres of duel-gauge lines, will be installed next year while 1,527 kilometres of tracks will be renovated, 31 locomotives and 100 passenger coaches will be imported and 222 digital signaling system of 222 stations will be installed.
Mohammad Faruq-uz-Zaman, Additional Secretary (Development) of the Railway Ministry, said that the improvement plan would cost Tk 5,53,662 crore which will be spent over the next 30 years.
“The activities for the implementation of the plan have already started,” he said adding that the entire railway sector would have a new look with high-tech technologies.
Meanwhile, Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujon informed that 10 broad-gauge railway engines (locomotives) are being added to the existing railway system in Bangladesh shortly.
The Minister said, “The engines are supposed to arrive in Dhaka by this month from India.”
It should be mentioned that the Bangladesh Railway (BR) has come forward for the welfare of traders, farmers and as well as for the mass people through transportation of various goods, food, agro-products and even the sacrificial cattle of the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha during the period of COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials of the BR are now hopeful of minimising their losses and turn to making profit through some changes in strategies.
According to sources, BR is carrying goods not only inside the country, bulk quantities of various goods are also transported to neighbouring India.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Railway is going to carry sacrificial animals for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha after 12 years.