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Dhaka Tribune

Bangladesh Railway outlines security boost to tackle vandalism

  • Plans to introduce modern technology called ACS 
  • 2,700 Ansar men will be deployed
Update : 22 Dec 2023, 09:24 AM

Bangladesh Railway (BR) is taking a number of measures to improve security on its network, following a spate of vandalism and accidents in recent months amid the ongoing anti-government movement by BNP and like-minded parties.

One of the key measures is the introduction of the Automatic Simulation System (ACS). Another measure is increasing the number of security personnel deployed on trains.

ACS technology

ACS technology relies on simulation analysis based on numerical and object-oriented models for high-speed trains.

The ACS is designed to automatically stop a running train in case of a line cut or obstacle, utilizing an automatic block system.

While experts believe that the implementation of ACS technology could significantly reduce accidents, they acknowledge that its adoption poses challenges in terms of difficulty and cost.

"The introduction of ACS is a positive development," said Buet Professor Dr Shamsul Haque, a safety expert. "This technology has been shown to be effective in reducing accidents in other countries."

He said: “In China and Japan, this technology has reduced accidents to zero. However, in the case of Bangladesh, if this technology is to be effective, the computer testing of the block system and higher training of the drivers must be ensured first.”

Salimullah Bahar, chief planning officer of the Ministry of Railways, provided insights into the progress of implementing ACS technology. 

He said that the process of online control for the entire railway structure is already in progress to facilitate the introduction of ACS technology. 

Bahar highlighted the effectiveness of ACS technology in preventing accidents, particularly in high-speed railway systems.

Once this process is completed, the authorities plan to initiate pilot testing of the technology, he added.

The railway official also emphasized the importance of training locomotive operators to use the technology seamlessly.

Increase in security personnel

The railway authorities are taking measures to address the issue of vandalism. Over 300 hazardous spots have been identified along more than 3,000 kilometres of railway lines across the country, with Dhaka Railway District alone having over 50 such spots.

To boost security on trains and at stations, Bangladesh Railway plans to increase the number of security personnel.  The railway has requested 2,700 Ansar members from the Home Ministry to help patrol the railways.

Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan confirmed that the Ministry of Home Affairs has approved this request, and the additional manpower is expected to be deployed to the railways shortly.

These measures are being taken in response to a number of recent incidents of vandalism and accidents on the Bangladesh Railway network. 

Since October 28, there have been at least 30 major and minor accidents on the railway, as a result of hartals and blockades called by the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

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