Introduction of Dhaka-Ctg high speed train on the cards
e-News® | The NEWS Company…DHAKA, Oct 13, 2015 : The travel time between Dhaka and Chittagong would be brought down to only two hours from the existing six to seven hours with the introduction of high speed trains on the country’s most important route as the government has embarked on a mega plan to this end. Officials familiar with the plan said the cost of the project would be around US Dollar four billion, while five years will be required to complete the scheme.
To execute the plan, the government has given the task of conducting a feasibility study to China Railway Engineering Group which recently submitted its preliminary report to the government. Railways Ministry Secretary Md Feroz Salah Uddin made a power point presentation on the proposed Dhaka-Chittagong Express Railway Project in the presence of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official Ganobhaban residence here on October 8. Railways Minister Mazibul Haque, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader and State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid Bipu and advisers to the Prime Minister were also present on the occasion.
According to the sources, the project will need 3000 acres of land, while 100 megawatt uninterrupted electricity would be required to operate 10 trains simultaneously at a speed of 200 kilometres per hour. They said there would be arrangements for both transporting passengers and goods on the proposed route, but carrying of passengers would get priority. Eighty percent of total passengers who travel on this route would be interested in making journey in the high speed train. The high speed train would reduce both time and cost of the passengers as well as make their journey comfortable.
If Cox’s Bazar is linked with express railway, travelling to the tourist town would be easier. With the introduction of express railway, the sources said, an extensive communication would be established with the Chittagong Seaport side by side with creating a scope for inter-state communication. Multidirectional rail link would be set up instead of capital-centric unidirectional rail system. The travel cost will be less in the high speed train in comparison with air and bus routes. At present, the railway line between the two cities passes through Akhaurha in Brahmanbaria, but with the introduction of express line, the route could be shortened by around 90 kilometers.
If the project is implemented, the high speed trains would first go to Moynamati in Comilla via Fatullah of Narayanganj and Daudkandi and Mohanpur and then run parallel with the existing Comilla-Chittagong rail line. On the proposed route, 110-km new rail line will have to be built only up to Comilla from Dhaka through land acquisition, and the land of the existing rail line will be used for the remaining part.
The officials said if diesel-electric traction locomotives run over standard gauge tracks, the speed of the train would be 160 kilometres per hour, but the speed would increase to 200-kph if it runs entirely on electricity. They said a number of Chinese companies have expressed their eagerness to build the express railway between the country’s two major cities. With the launching of the high speed train on the route, it would open up a new horizon in Bangladesh’s communication system, the officials added. Speaking after the power point presentation on the proposed Dhaka-Chittagong Express Railway, the Prime Minister asked the authorities concerned to implement the scheme by considering the long-term benefits of the country and its people.
“The mega project will have to be executed considering the long-term benefits of the country and its people and whatever be the cost, the best one proposal will have to be chosen for the country’s better future,” she said. In this connection, Sheikh Hasina mentioned that the country’s present foreign currency reserve is over $ 26 billion, which could help move ahead with the project implementation.