New railway workshop to serve cross-border train corridor

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The government will establish Bangladesh’s third railway workshop in Rajbari to provide backward-linkage service to cross-border train communications through Padma Bridge.

Officials said Monday passenger coaches and wagons of trains plying route through the southwestern region would be repaired, among other engineering works, at the new workshop.

Ministry of Railway (MoR) officials said the state-owned Bangladesh Railway (BR) will prepare detailed design through conducting a feasibility study on the project.

Currently, the country has two railway workshops-one at Pahartoli in Chittagong and another at Saidpur in Nilphamari- which were constructed far back in the British era.

“We will conduct feasibility study soon. After the study, we will go for detailed design for the workshop. When the design will be completed, we will prepare a bidding document for hiring a contractor to set up the proposed workshop,” said a MoR official.

He said they had recently sent a Tk 473.1 million project to the Planning Commission (PC) for the feasibility study and detailed-design project for its seal of approval.

The fund for doing the groundwork has been sought from the government exchequer.

A BR official said since the Padma Bridge will change the entire transportation scenario, the third workshop for the railway will be very imperative for ancillary services to the upcoming train communications in the busiest rail corridor.

He said after construction of the Padma Bridge, the railway communications with the southwestern Bangladesh and cross-border transport would be strengthened manifold.

The government is constructing the 6.15-kilometre Padma Multipurpose Bridge through Mawa-Janjira points to connect the southwestern part of Bangladesh and set up the Trans-Asian Railway.

“The Dhaka-Padma Bridge-Khulna and Dhaka-Padma Bridge-Jessore-Benapole routes will be the busiest railway corridors after the Padma Bridge construction. So, the proposed workshop in Rajbari will help the BR ensure its smooth railway services,” said the BR official.

Currently, the government repairs the railway carriages and wagons at the existing Saidpur and Pahartali workshops.

Meanwhile, the government has taken initiative to upgrade the country’s first workshop, at Saidpur, to a full-fledged carriage-manufacturing unit.

Bangladesh’s first workshop was established way back in 1870 at Saidpur in northern Bangladesh and second one in 1947 at Pahartoli in Chittagong in the southeast.