Railways minister Md Mazibul Hoque on Thursday said that they had taken an initiative to run a high speed train service on Dhaka-Chittagong route, which would take a maximum two hours to complete the journey.
‘The first-ever high speed train in Bangladesh will take between one and a half hours and maximum two hours,’ he said.
Attending a contract signing ceremony at Rail Bhaban, he also said that the train would run at a speed of 200-kilometre per hour.
On the Dhaka-Chittagong route, Suborno Express currently takes a minimum 5:10 hours and Mohanagar Express takes maximum 7:30 hours to reach the destination.
Bangladesh Railway usually runs trains in lower speed than its actual maximum speed, said officials.
Under the initiative, the distance of Dhaka-Chittagong rail route would be reduced to 230km from existing 321km, officials said.
The contract was signed to appoint consultancy services for feasibility study and detailed design for the construction of Dhaka-Chittagong via Comilla/Laksam high speed railway project.
The contract was signed between BR and China Railway Design Corporation, China and Mazumder Enterprise, Bangladesh consortium at a cost of Tk 102.1 crore and funded by the government.
After 18 months of the consultancy services, Dhaka-Chittagong route’s distance would be reduced by 91km when the main project would be implemented, said the minister.
The present route goes through Tongi-Bhairab Bazar-Brahmanbaria-Comilla while the new route will go following Dhaka-Comilla/Laksam-Chittagong route.
By increasing railway’s passenger and goods carrying capacity, the proposed high speed train would play an important role in the country’s development, Mazibul said.
They would request the prime minister to arrange funds for the project, he said.
Within one month they would start construction works of the Padma Rail Link project, he added.
BR director general Md Amzad Hossain said that they had decided to run freight trains at night or late hours to facilitate both passengers and businesspeople.
Project director Md Quamrul Ahsan and CRDC international business department business manager Liu Weichao signed the contract on behalf of respective sides.
The initiative was taken to increase the competitive edge of national business activities with foreign countries, establish regional connectivity, strengthen sub-regional connectivity and meet growing demands of passengers and businesspeople.
Under the consultancy service, 196 international and 534 local experts would conduct feasibility study along with social and environmental study and prepare detailed design, cost estimate and detailed project proforma for the investment project.
BR organised the ceremony which was also attended by railways ministry secretary Md Mofazzel Hossain and CRDC senior engineer and director of overseas business department Hao Liwei.
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