Friday, June 14, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Trains to begin running on Khulna-Mongla route on Saturday

  • Necessary steps and preparations completed
  • Khulna-Mongla railway project was initiated in 2010
  • Rail line inaugurated on November 1, 2023
Update : 30 May 2024, 12:18 PM

Passenger trains will start running on the Khulna-Mongla route on Saturday.

Khulna Mongla Port Railway Project Chief Engineer Ahmed Hossain Masum confirmed: “Trains will start running on this route on June 1. Betna Express will enter Mongla via Phultala between 11am and 11:30am on June 1. This will officially open train movement on this route.”

The necessary steps and preparations, including hiring permanent manpower, have been completed to launch passenger trains.

A local train named Betna Express runs from Khulna to Benapole via Jessore. That train will travel from Phultala Junction in Khulna towards Mongla on the way back from Benapole. At that time, the train from Phultala to Mongla will be named “Mongla Commuter”. Only one train, the Mongla Commuter, will ply this new route.

The train schedule is as follows: it will leave Khulna at 6:15am, reach Benapole at 8:30am, then leave Benapole via Phultala and arrive in Mongla at 12:35pm. On its way from Phultala, the Mongla Commuter will stop at Mohammadnagar, Katakhali, and Chulkati Bazar railway stations. The train will depart from Mongla at 1pm and reach Benapole at 4:30pm. Trains are closed weekly on Tuesdays.

The Khulna-Mongla railway project was initiated in 2010 and approved by the National Economic Council Executive Committee (Ecnec). The project has been implemented in three phases.

The total length of the railway track, including the main line, is 86.87km, with 64.75km of broad gauge railway. A 5.13km railway bridge has been constructed over the Rupsa River. The project's initial cost, including land acquisition, railway line, and bridge construction, was estimated at Tk1,721 crore.

In 2015, the revised development project proposal increased to Tk3,801.61 crore. Both time and cost were extended again in 2021, with the final cost standing at Tk4,260.88 crore, and the project's completion date extended to March 31, 2024.

The project includes a 5.13km bridge over the Rupsa River, 64km of track from Phultala to Mongla, a 91km road including double lines at stations, nine platforms, 107 small bridges, and nine underpasses. Signalling and telecommunication works have also been completed.

Mongla, the country's second-largest seaport, was established on December 1, 1950. The port is located at the confluence of the Pasur and Mongla rivers, 48km south of Khulna city in Bagerhat district.

The commencement of train services on this route will fulfil a long-held dream of the people in this region. It will also enable traders to transport goods through Mongla Port quickly and at a lower cost, significantly enhancing transportation facilities.

This marks the first time in 73 years that Mongla, the second largest seaport in Bangladesh, will be connected by rail.

On November 1, 2023, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the railway line virtually.

A trial run from Phultala to Mongla was conducted on October 30, 2023.

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