General

Bangabandhu Railway Bridge to become key part of int’l, regional rail network: Japan

Japanese Embassy in Dhaka has said the new Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge (4.8 km) will become a key part of the international and regional rail transport network.

The Embassy mentioned the Trans Asian railway network, SAARC Corridor and BIMSTEC railway network as part of the rail transport network.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge Project is one of the five projects included in the “Japan- Bangladesh Comprehensive Partnership” joint statement and was specifically requested by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her visit to Japan in May 2014.

This new railway bridge will be built at the location 300 meter upstream of the existing Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge.

The existing Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge with single rail line was constructed under co-financing by JICA, World Bank and ADB in late 1990s, has some restrictions like weigh load, size and speed of train movements.

With the highest permitted speed of 20kmph, currently it takes about half an hour for a train to travel from the east side station of the bridge to the one on the west.

The delays in schedule of trains frequently occur due to restrictions on load and speed on the Bangabandhu bridge, said the Japanese Embassy.

Great potentials of this railway route, especially for freight transport with the neighboring countries, has not been fully utilized because of such restrictions of the existing bridge.

Therefore, it said, construction of another railway bridge dedicated to the railway at this location is indispensable to meet the increasing and sub-regional traffic demand.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of construction work for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Railway Bridge through videoconferencing on Sunday.

It is being implemented with JICA’s financial assistance.

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh ITO Naoki and Chief Representative of JICA Bangladesh Office Hayakawa Yuho participated in the ceremony.

Under this project, a 4.8-kilometer-long dedicated railway bridge over the river Jamuna will be constructed by Bangladesh Railway.

Once completed in 2024, this dual-gauge double-track bridge would be the largest dedicated rail bridge in Bangladesh, said the Embassy.

The bridge would drastically improve the capacity and safety of rail transportation between the capital and western part of the country, it said.

Source: United News of Bangladesh