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Dhaka-Ctg double-track railway upgrading completed

Will boost capacity, save time

Published : 19 Jul 2023 09:59 PM

The dual gauge double rail line project from Akhaura in Brahmanbaria to Laksam in Comilla, spanning a length of 72 km, has been successfully completed. 

This completion marks the upgrade of the entire Dhaka-Chittagong railway section, totaling 321 km, to a double-line track. 

As a result, trains will no longer need to cross paths on this route, and the capacity for train operations will double.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the operation of trains on the double line through a video conference from Ganobhaban on Thursday, July 20.

Railway sources indicate that the implementation of the double line throughout the Dhaka-Chittagong railway section will enable at least twice as many trains to operate on this route compared to the current capacity. Both passenger and freight trains are expected to save at least one and a half hours of travel time. 

Consequently, the increased train operations will lead to higher revenue for the railways. Additionally, officials state that trains will be able to travel at speeds of up to 100 km/h on the new railway line.

Akhaura-Laksam Dual Gauge Double Rail Line Project Director Md Sabuktagin, emphasized that the completion of the double line will bring benefits to passengers and increase railway revenue. The capacity for transporting goods by train will also improve. 

Subsequently, there are plans to implement a dual gauge from Tongi to Akhaura and from Laksam to Chittagong in the future, further enhancing the travel experience by train. The government's revenue from the Eastern Railway is expected to increase as a result.

The project to install the dual gauge double line on the Laksam-Akhaura railway section began in January 2017 with the aim of ensuring uninterrupted train movement on the Dhaka-Chittagong railway. As part of this project, new infrastructure, platforms, culverts, and bridges have been constructed at several stations, including the construction of new infrastructure at Kasba railway station in Brahmanbaria and two platforms at Akhaura railway station. The estimated cost of the entire project is Tk 6500 crore.

However, construction of Kasba railway station and the Saluda River bridge faced delays and complications due to international border law issues, as they are in close proximity to the border with India. After extensive discussions between the two countries at high level, the construction of the affected portions resumed in March of this year. The project encountered delays due to various obstacles, including the COVID-19 pandemic and complications arising from border laws.