RAJSHAHI: The West Zone of Bangladesh Railway (BR) will be given 40 new locomotive engines aimed at improving the standard of passenger services through infusing dynamism into railway services.
Chief Mechanical Engineer of the zone Kudrat-E-Khuda said the engines will be procured from the United States of America (USA). Eight of those have already reached the country and the remaining 32 will be brought in four phases.
To remove the existing problems, the new engines are being purchased at a total cost of Taka 1,123 crore under the Bangladesh Railway’s Rolling Stock Operation Project.
Taking the overall situation into special consideration Railway authority had signed an agreement with the USA-based ‘Progress Rail Locomotive Incorporation’ related to purchasing 40 new BG engines in January, 2019.
The engines are being purchased with joint financial collaboration of Asian Development Bank and Bangladesh Government. Each of the engines cost Taka 28.39 crore.
Project Director Mijanur Rahman said each of the diesel electric engines contains 3,250 BHP along with 18.8 tonnes excel load and they are capable of commercial running speed at 130-kilometer per hour.
He said they are very much hopeful of adding all the 32 engines to the WZ railway until June, 2022.
He said the WZ, covering Rajshahi, Rangpur and Khulna divisions, has been operating 159 trains, including 50 intercity and some inter-country ones, on different routes, including the capital city of Dhaka and Kolkata of India at present.
Forty-six local or shuttle and sixty-three commuter or mail trains are also being operated on various routes which are very popular among the passengers, he added.
He stated that the number of passengers of intercity trains on various routes has increased significantly in the last couple of years.
Considering the benefit of the passengers in general, he said 31 major stations have been brought under the modern computerized seat reservation and ticketing system. Some of those including Rajshahi have launched ticket selling and seat reservation through online systems.