Tuesday, 26 October, 2021

Railway to renovate 100 old coaches

Railway to renovate 100 old coaches

Bangladesh Railway has moved to renovate some old coaches to address the shortage of passenger carriages in the western region.

As part of the initiative, Railway is going to implement a Tk 1.38 billion project to rehabilitate a total of 100 old passenger carriages--- 50 each of broad-gauge and meter-gauge coaches.

The state-run railway service provider has placed a project proposal, which is now under scrutiny by the Planning Commission before placing it at the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) meeting for approval.

The rail coaches will go through the renovation at the Saidpur railway workshop by June 2024 after the approval of the scheme. 

“Once the project is implemented, the availability of passenger coaches for both broad gauge and meter gauge lines will increase in the western zone of Bangladesh Railway,” Physical Infrastructure Division of the Planning Commission Member Mamun-Al-Rashid said.  “This will also help Bangladesh Railway carry more passengers and improve its passenger train service in the zone,” he added.

Currently, the western zone of Bangladesh Railway operates with a fleet of 467 broad gauge and 253 meter-gauge coaches. But the coaches’ schedule can not be maintained for lack of budget, manpower, expired plants and machinery.

Besides, 245 passenger carriages, including 120 broad gauge and 125 meter-gauge rail coaches, have not gone through scheduled general overhauling (GOH) for a long time, causing a severe passenger carriage shortage in the zone.     

Of these passenger carriages, 100 have been selected for rehabilitation in the next three years.

There is a plan to turn meter gauge rail lines into broad gauge lines in the western zone. However, Bangladesh Railway wants to repair 50 meter-gauge coaches as full execution of the plan may take 20 to 25 years.

The coaches not overhauled for a long time have become very risky to operate, according to railway officials.

Apart from ensuring a safe journey for passengers, the rehabilitated coaches are expected to help the state-run rail operator to earn more revenues. Earlier, Bangladesh Railway rehabilitated 160 passenger coaches under two separate projects. The Planning Commission has already recommended the proposed project for Ecnec approval as the implementing agency has complied with Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) suggestions about the new project made earlier.

Under the proposed scheme, foreign and local materials will be collected to rehabilitate the rail coaches through the existing workforce of the Saidpur railway workshop.

Some 50 tools and plants and machinery will be procured and installed under the scheme, while 47 electrical tools and plants and machinery will be procured and installed.

Besides, 366 mechanical spare parts for the broad gauges coaches and 321 mechanical spare parts for meter gauge coaches will be collected alongside electrical spare parts.