To make Bangladesh Railways a profitable organisation by overcoming the loss, the authorities concerned want to increase freight transport besides passenger transport.
To this end, Railways ministry has prepared a table to increase the number of goods-laden transport with a view to bringing every port of the country under railway network.
Railways sources said only four percent of goods are carried by train from Chattogram port which is about half of the income from the passenger trains. If railways could have carried 30 percent goods from Chattogram and other ports and ensured fastest delivery, the revenue earnings would be accelerated. At present, 43 projects are ongoing under the mega plan of railways.
All ports including Payra and Mongla Ports will come under the railway network as the government has undertaken mega plans to spread rail connection across the country.
Read more: Govt keen to stop wildlife trade
It is expected that freight trains’ income will be five times more compared to passenger trains’ income once Payra and Mongla ports are brought under railway network.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan told Bangladesh Post, “We are constructing new railway connectivity to connect ports. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been giving special importance to railways. Under her direction, railways are being connected to every port.”
“Construction of railway line up to Khulna-Mongla port is in progress. A new railway construction project has been taken up on Dhaka to Kuakata via Payra Port. If the railways are connected to Payra and Mongla ports like Chattogram port the overall scenario will change radically. If only 30 percent of the goods could be transported by rail from these ports, the revenue of the railways would be several times, added the railways minister.
If the railway is connected to Payra port, it will be connected with Dhaka. It will be possible to deliver goods to Dhaka in just three hours from the Payra port. The freight train will run at a speed of about 70 kilometers per hour. The products will be delivered within the stipulated time as there is no traffic jam on the railways.
“We have completed the survey, design and preparation of tender documents. Various countries, including Saudi Arabia, are showing interest in financing,” according to project officials.
Secretary of Railways Ministry Selim Reza said, “We have planned to build separate lines for freight train operations only.”
“The 215-km railway line from Dhaka to Payra via Kuakata will be the most profitable route for freight trains. Radical changes will be visible once the rail line is completed,” he added.