July 24, 2024, 5:18 am


2020-05-01 06:30:37 BdST

Amid COVID-19 pandemicBR to operate three special parcel trains from today

Bangladesh Railway (BR) has decided to operate three special parcel trains for transporting food, perishable goods and daily essentials from different districts to Dhaka amid the countrywide shutdown.

Railway Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said, “We have decided to reopen the luggage van service, its success depend on businessmen. If we do not get enough products to transport, it will be tough to continue.”

Railway Ministry Secretary Mofazzel Hossain confirmed on Thursday that the luggage van service of Bangladesh Railway would resume from 01 May, 2020 (Friday) in order to transport vegetables, fruits and agro-products.

He said: “The luggage van service will operate on three routes, namely, Dhaka-Chittagong, Dhaka-Jamalpur-Dewanganj and Dhaka-Jessore-Khulna.”

The train on Dhaka-Chittagong route will leave Chittagong at 10 am and reach Dhaka at 8.30 pm.

The train on Dhaka-Dewanganj route will leave Dewanganj at 7 pm and reach Dhaka at 3:15 pm.

This two train will run seven days in a week.

The train on Dhaka-Khulna route will leave Khulna at 4:45 pm and reach Dhaka at 3:30 pm. It will be operated on Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays.

BR plans to resume passenger train services

Bangladesh Railway is mulling a resumption of intercity train services after May 5 if social distancing instructions are relaxed.

Raiwlay Minister Nurul Islam Sujan said: “We are preparing to resume our train services if the lockdown rules are relaxed; otherwise it will not be possible to run train services as Bangladesh Railway is a state-run service.” 

BR officials held a couple of meetings in this regard this week.

According to the sources, during the meeting officials agreed to resume operations in two phases. 

At first, on a limited scale between May 5 and May 15 and then in full swing after May 15 if the coronavirus situation improves across the country. 

However, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) has projected that Bangladesh may see 50,000 coronavirus cases and 1,000 deaths by the end of May.

BR plans to operate passenger train services while maintaining social distancing. 

According to the plan, BR will not sell all the tickets of intercity trains at first to prevent overcrowding on trains.

Its officials are drafting seating plans for each coach to ensure social distancing. The mechanical department has been working towards coming up with a proper seating plan while maintaining social distancing. 

Tickets will only be sold online to prevent crowds from gathering at the ticket counters in stations. 

But such a method will not be applied to mail or local train services as BR will not resume such services immediately. 

BR suspended all manner of passenger train services across the country on March 25 when the government decreed a public holiday to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.

BR has counted losses of more than Tk170 crore from March 26 to April 26 due to the suspension of train services. 

BR earned Tk167.58 crore in April last year, of which Tk84.25 crore income was generated from passenger trains, Tk41.67crore from freight and wagon services, while Tk42 crore was earned from different sources.

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