We must strive to upgrade and expand country’s railway network

Published : 25 Sep 2023 08:45 PM

The incumbent government has taken various initiatives to upgrade and modernise the country's rail transport system. Also, the government is working to bring the whole country under rail network to facilitate transportation of people and goods at a cheaper rate.

It is encouraging to note that a mega project of 214.91 kilometres railway tracks from Bhanga junction (Faridpur) to Payra Port and Kuakata via Barishal is on the cards. As reported by this daily on Monday the government has planned to make a direct rail link from Dhaka to Payra port, and accordingly Tk 41,798 crore has been earmarked for this project. 

The government is working to bring the 

whole country under rail network 

to facilitate transportation of people 

and goods at a cheaper rate

It is disconcerting to note that Bangladesh Railway continues to incur losses despite receiving massive investments from the government over the years. It needs to be mentioned that one of the previous governments of Bangladesh took any initiative for the expansion of rail network in the country. Bangladesh Railway has been providing the services with a network which is not suitable for and oriented to the traffic requirements of the country. The railway network, inherited from British Indian railways, received a relatively meagre allocation of resources in the past decades comparing to the road sector. 

There is a need for a paradigm shift from continued investment in the road sector, to developing the railway network and improving its level of services. However, a modern railway does not mean new machinery and equipment only. For the new generation speedy trains we need good and solid tracks and digitalised signalling system as well as well trained manpower. While new generation trained manpower has to be recruited, the mindset of the old staff will need to be changed and they will need extensive training to be able to operate digitalised modern rail engines and signals.