Dhaka-Rajshahi nonstop train from today


The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway (BR) is all set to launch the non-stop fastest inter-city train ‘Bonolota Express’ today on Rajshahi-Dhaka route to provide people with passenger friendly railway service on this route. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the train from her official residence Ganobhaban through videoconferencing at 10am.

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan and Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor AHM Khairuzzman Liton accompanied by many other dignitaries will attend the inaugural ceremony to be held at Rajshahi Railway station before departure of the opening train at 11:10am on Thursday. Railway concerned said the nonstop train will be the country’s first train with modern high-speed coaches. The speed of the train will hit 140 kilometres per hour. Within only four hours the train will reach Dhaka from Rajshahi without any stoppage, cutting about two and a half hours from current travel time.

At present, three trains are operating on this route. Each train stops at 10-14 stations, which takes seven and a half hours or sometimes even more to travel 343-kilometre-distance between Dhaka and Rajshahi. The 928-seated modern train has 12 coaches, including two air-conditioned chairs and seven non-air conditioned chairs, bought from Indonesia under ‘procurement of meter gauge and broad gauge passenger carriage’ project with the financial help from Asian Development Bank.

The train will run with some modern facilities like bio-toilet, recliner chair, Wi-Fi and LED display. The train will operate every day excepting Friday, a weekly day-off, according to BR information. BSS reports: Khandakar Shahidul Islam, general manager of the BR West Zone, said, “We are almost ready to start the train tomorrow (today). The train has already been brought to Rajshahi Railway Station from Ishwardi Junction.”

Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan, MP, and Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor AHM Khairuzzman Liton accompanied by many other dignitaries will attend the inaugural ceremony to be held at Rajshahi Railway station before departure of the opening train at 11:10 am on Thursday. Shahidul Islam said the train will be a new addition to the existing three intercity trains -- Silk City Express, Padma Express and Dhumketu Express -- on the route.

According to the schedule, the train will start from Rajshahi at 7am and reach Kamalapur Railway Station by 11:40am. It will leave Dhaka at 1:15pm and reach Rajshahi at 6pm.

He said 50 high speed and modern coaches were imported from Indonesia to new trains on different routes including the Rajshahi-Dhaka one. Once the train service -- Bonolota Express -- is launched, passengers will be able to travel to Dhaka from Rajshahi within 4 hours and 45 minutes, around one and a half hours less than the current travel time.

Shahidul Islam also said the existing Padma Express which runs between Rajshahi and Dhaka will run between Chapainawabganj and Dhaka via Rajshahi from today (Thursday).