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Dhaka Tribune

Luggage vans introduced in trains for first time

  • Modern luggage van facilities 
  • Perishable items can be transported
  • 125 air-conditioned vans will carry 10 different types of goods
Update : 25 Sep 2023, 09:19 AM

In a major boost for perishable goods supply, Bangladesh Railway (BR) on Sunday combined luggage vans with intercity trains. 

Modern luggage van facilities have been linked with railway communications aiming to provide diversified services to the common people, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said before inaugurating the service at Kamalapur Railway Station. The first van was combined with Sylhet bound intercity train "Joyantika Express".

Fresh vegetables, seasonal fruits, flowers, perishable items like fish, meat, milk and medicine could be transported through the railways now, he added. 

Sujan added that development works of Bangladesh Railway are continuously being progressed as per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina aiming to turn the railway communications system modern, cost-effective and up to date.

Initially, the BR installed 16 luggage vans, bought from China with the financial assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The vans will be operated by the Transport Division.

The installation of the facilities would financially benefitted the farmers to facilitate marketing of their agricultural products by connecting the intercity train services between the capital and other divisional and district towns, said the minister.

“Even the launching of the services would increase the revenue of the railways and also boost the economy of the country," Sujan explained.

"Our journey began with the introduction of modern, air-conditioned luggage systems, aimed at easing the transportation of medicines, agricultural products, flowers, fruits, medicines, vaccines, and other goods for the marginalized people," the minister added.  

A total of 125 air-conditioned vans will carry 10 different types of goods under the service under the project. Financed by ADB, a total of 75 meter gauge and 50 broad gauge vans will be procured from China at a cost of Tk359 crore. 

Explaining the usage of the vans the authorities said that 30 meter gauge and another 30 broad gauge vans will transport vegetable, fruits and flowers while the 16 metre gauge and 12 broad gauge vans will carry perishable goods, medicine and vaccine.

On the other hand, 10 metre gauge vans will be used to carry vehicles. 

Additionally, the BR will introduce four metre gauge and three broad gauge power cars to supply electricity. 

These vans have different carrying capacities, with metre gauge general luggage vans–capable of carrying 17.4 tons–and metre gauge AC vans with a capacity of 12.8 tons.

The luggage vans will be operated on Dhaka-Jamalpur, Dhaka-Dewanganj, Dhaka-Mohongonj, Dhaka-Kishoreganj, Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Sylhet, Sylhet-Chittagong, Mymensingh-Chittagong, Dhaka-Lalmonirhat, Dhaka-Kurigram and Dhaka-Rangpur routes. At the supply level, there are a total of 75 luggage vans available.

The Dhaka-Sylhet route of the Eastern Railway will include luggage vans on the Parabat Express train, and goods will be loaded and unloaded from Dhaka and Sylhet. Goods will also be transported to stations in Paharika and Udayan through the Parabat Express train, including Chattogram, Sylhet, and Sreemangal stations.

On the Bijoy Express, goods can be picked up and sent from Chittagong, Mymensingh, Gauripur, Kishoreganj, and Bhairab Bazar stations. On the Brahmaputra Express, luggage can be sent and picked up from Dhaka, Dewanganj, Melandah Bazar, Islampur Bazar, and Jamalpur stations. 

On the Hawor Express, luggage can be sent and picked up from Dhaka, Mymensingh, Netrakona and Mohanganj stations. On the Chattala Express train, luggage can be sent from and picked up from Dhaka, Chittagong, Narsingdi, Bhairab Bazar, Feni, and Laksam stations.

The users will have to buy ticket for goods transportation, the minister told reporters. 

The cost of the tickets has been fixed between Tk1.46 to Tk3.12 per kg depending on different routes.  

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