New intercity train service threatened by 50-km of run-down tracks

12 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

KURIGRAM: A 50-kilometre stretch of rail track from Teesta in Lalmonirhat Sadar to Ramna station of Chilmari in Kurigram has fallen into disrepair, over which trains are forced to run at great risk to passengers.

Despite rail officials being aware of the problem, a new Kurigram-bound inter-city train service from Dhaka is set to be inaugurated on October 16, reports UNB.

Local people said the condition is poor enough that it is difficult to see how the new train service can be inaugurated.

Kabil Uddin, station master of Kurigram railway station, said at present a single train is running in Kurigram. It is running to and from Kurigram twice a day on two routes under two different names, he added.

Passengers have been facing extreme sufferings as the train is always running late due to poor condition of tracks from Teesta to Ramna station.

Visiting the rail tracks the UNB correspond found the trains are running much slower than normal speed due to removal of rail line slipper, stones and soil at different points.

Nuts and bolts are supposed to be there for connectivity between slippers and the track, but they are missing at many places.

In some places, there is no stone on the rail tracks. As a result, an hour and 45 minutes is needed for travelling only 30 kilometres from Kurigram to Chilmari’s Ramna station.

Train services remained snapped for some time as the rail tract near Chilmari was damaged due to flood in the month of July. Now trains are running on the route amid risks.

Railway sources said a total of Tk 10 crore has been estimated for repairing rail sleepers, procuring ballast cushion (stones) and fixing the route on 20 kilometres from Teesta to Kurigram.

Additional 30 kilometres of rail track need to be repaired for ensuring train service from Kurigram to Chilmar, said locals.

Contacted, Shafiqur Rahman, Divisional Railway Manager Western Zone Railway, said, “We informed the authorities about the condition of the rail tracks. We have sent an estimation of Tk 10 crore required for the repair work. If it is approved then the repair works on 20 kilometres rail tracks from Teesta to Kurigram will be executed.”

However, he expects massive changes in rail service on this rail route within the next two years.