Bangladesh Railway will carry out a test run of a special train on the Dhaka-Bhanga section of the under-construction Dhaka-Jashore rail link project through the Padma Bridge on Thursday.
The train will start its journey from Kamalapur Railway Station at 8:45 a.m., reach Bhanga Junction at 11:54 a.m., and return to Dhaka by 2 p.m., the Senior Information Officer of the Railways Ministry, Shirajud-Doula Khan, told the Daily Sun on Wednesday.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan, some lawmakers, the Secretary of the Railways Ministry, Mohammad Humayun Kabir, other project-related officials, and journalists will be on board the special train. “We hope the trial run of the special train will be conducted on Thursday from Mawa to Bhanga through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge,” Afzal Hossain, the Project Director of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, told news agency BSS.
The trial run is being conducted as part of the project officials’ relentless efforts to prepare the section for its formal opening. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina may inaugurate it on October 10, according to project officials.
Earlier on Wednesday, the special train, consisting of eight bogies, started from Bhanga Junction around 2:30 p.m. with specified seat arrangements for the dignitaries, according to railway officials. Trains will be able to run at a speed of 120 km per hour, but the speed of the train on the trial run will be limited to 80 km per hour.
Bangladesh Railway conducted a test run on the rail track of the Padma Bridge rail link between Faridpur’s Bhanga and the Padma Bridge viaduct at Shariatpur, the project director said.
“The project will be implemented by June 2024. We have already completed 99 percent of the work on the Mawa to Bhanga section. The construction of the rail link is progressing rapidly,” Afzal added.
Under the fast-track project, he said, Bangladesh Railway is constructing a 169km rail link from capital Dhaka to ancient southwestern town of Jashore through Padma multi-purpose bridge to reap the full benefit of the mega infrastructure project.
The government is spending a staggering Tk 392.47 billion where China Exim Bank is providing Tk 210.37 billion and the rest of the money is being borne from the state coffer.
Chinese government-nominated contractor China Railway Group Limited, known as CREC, is implementing the project under China G2G system as per the loan contract.
So far, the whole project from Dhaka to Jashore has seen 82 percent progress and in on track to be opened by 2024, project officials informed.
After completing the project, the railway connectivity will improve accessibility to the capital city Dhaka with central and south western regions of the country through Padma Bridge.
The project will bring new areas like Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur and Narail districts, where rail connectivity is absent at present, under railway network.
The project will establish alternate railway connectivity linking Dhaka-Jashore-Khulna with 212.05 km shorter route and improved operational facilities.
It will also establish another sub-route of Trans-Asian Railway Network in Bangladesh and introduce national, regional and international freight and BG container train service as this route will be free from speed and load restriction for carrying containers.
The government approved the construction of the 169-km railway line from Dhaka to Jashore in March, 2016 and it is listed as a fast-track project.
Source: The Daily SUN.