Bangladesh Railway to add 250 new passenger coaches
11 November 2015, Nirapad News: 250 new passenger coaches is set to be added to its fleet by Bangladesh Railway as part of reform activities to provide passengers with modern, safe and quality services.
The project was approved at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting, which also approved nine other projects.
Of the estimated Tk1,374 crore cost of the rail carriage project, Asian Development Bank will provide Tk1,000 crore and the rest will come from the government’s coffer. Bangladesh Railway is expected to complete the project by June 2019.
“The government will procure 200 meter gauge rail coaches and 50 broad gauge rail coaches. Besides, Bangladesh Railway will also procure two train washing plants for cleaning the coaches quickly after every trip,” Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said after the Ecnec meeting.
Currently, Bangladesh Railway has 1,165 meter gauge coaches; but 591 of those are running with various defects and lack passenger amenities. On the other hand, out of Bangladesh Railway’s 324 broad gauge coaches, 78 have already crossed their economic life.
Highlighting the problems, the planning minister said: “Newly procured coaches will be used as intercity trains and replace over-aged coaches to fulfil the demand of the passengers with additional safety and amenities.
“The withdrawn old coaches from the intercity trains will be used as mail express and local passenger trains depending on their condition.”
Ecnec also approved another Tk734 crore project for purchasing 10 meter gauge diesel electric locomotives, two meter gauge and two broad gauge accident relief cranes and one locomotive simulator.
The meeting further approved the Western Bangladesh Bridge Improvement Project, at a cost of Tk2,912 crore, to replace and construct 61 small and medium sized bridges in 24 western and south-western districts.
Other approved projects include the construction of the office building for National Productivity Organisation and Department of Patents, Designs and Trademarks; bank protection work along the left bank of Padma River at Dhaka’s Dohar upazila and the construction of 448 flats for parliament secretariat employees.