Dhaka Metrorail started formal test run from Uttara to Pallibi in the capital on Sunday, sparking much enthusiasm among the city people as their wait for the modern transportation system is nearing an end.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader inaugurated the test run of the dream metro rail in a ceremony at Uttara around 12:00pm by waiving a green signal flag. The authorities conducted the test run of a set of train with six coaches on the elevated track. The train stopped at four stations from Uttara to Pallabi stretching more than six kilometers. MAN Siddique, Managing Director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), said the metro train ran at a speed of 25 kmph on the first day without facing any problems.
The mega metro rail project is scheduled to end in 2024. However, the authorities will start operation of the metro rail on a portion of 11.73km track from Uttara to Agargaon from December next year.
Work on the metro rail project had been suspended for six months following the Holey Artisan attack in Gulshan. Later the work was further delayed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The rail track will be expanded to Kamlapur. Some 68.49 percent work of the mega metro rail project has already been completed, says the progress report of DMTCL.
Construction work of 17 metro rail stations is progressing fast while the erection of viaduct stretching 16.56 kilometers out of total 20.10 kilometers has been completed.
Electrical work of the metrorail system is almost complete while 15.5 kilometre rail track has been set up on the viaduct, according to the project data. Four sets of metro train have already arrived in Dhaka from Japan. Engineers have already completed 19 types of trouble shooting of the coaches. Metrorail coaches are made of stainless steel. The coaches are light having high durability. They are equipped with interior and exterior CCTV cameras.
The metro rail will be connected with modern communications-based train control system which enables high-density traffic in train operations.
It will also have energy storage system (ESS) developed by Toshiba for storing regenerative electricity through train braking and efficient power supply, the official said.
Japanese companies got the contract to manufacture and delivery of trains, construct of train depots and station buildings, and supply of equipment for the project.
Kawasaki Heavy Industries of Japan will manufacture 144 rail cars. The first set of six cars was shipped from Kobe port on March 3 and arrived in Dhaka on April 21.