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Dhaka Tribune

Express railways the way forward

Update : 22 Nov 2014, 08:37 PM

We welcome news that a feasibility study is being carried out by a Chinese state-owned railway engineering company, CREEC, on building a new high-speed railway between Dhaka and Chittagong.

The feasibility report on a proposed $3.30bn double-track train service between Dhaka and Chittagong comes out of an MOU signed between Bangladesh and China in August, and is due to be submitted to the Ministry of Railways within the next month.

The 231.90km-long Dhaka-Chittagong Express Railway Project is planned to be funded by the Chinese government. It will run from Dhaka via Narayanganj-Daudkandi-Mohanpur-Moinamoti and Laksam to Chittagong instead of the existing Tongi-Bhairab-Brahmanbaria-Akhaura and Comilla to Chittagong.

It plans to provide speeds of up to 160km per hour and to cut at least three hours off the current 7-10 hour journey times. 

The plan to build an entirely new route will help improve reliability as well as shortening the track distance by 90 kilometres. The design includes facilitating freight transports to the sea port and an electrification reserve option along with diesel traction.

A new high-speed railway would potentially enable services to be provided every 20 minutes and be a much needed step forward for our economy.

The plan should be taken forward and spread across the country.  Upgrading the railways is an environmentally and economically sustainable way to move large numbers of people and goods around the nation. It would also help reduce pressure on Dhaka by facilitating decentralisation and enabling more business and investment to spread around the country.

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