The government is going to launch a nonstop intercity train service on Dhaka-Rajshahi route from Pahela Baishakh (April 14) -- the first day of Bangla new year, Railways Minister Nurul Islam said yesterday.
Besides, another new train on Rangpur-Dhaka route will be added within a month to prevent schedule delay, he informed reporters at a briefing in Kamalapur Railway Station.
“The prime minister will inaugurate the train service on April 14 marking Pahela Baishakh,” the minister said.
The train will start from Rajshahi at 7am and reach Kamalapur Railway Station by 11am. It will leave at 1:30pm and reach Rajshahi at 5:30pm.
This would be the third nonstop train while two others are now plying on the Dhaka-Chattogram route.
"We are also thinking of installing some ticketing booths on the major points of the city so that this station can remain less crowded for Eid holiday tickets," the minister said.
Besides, Bangladesh railway is going to launch an app for selling rail tickets within April, according to the minister.
“People will be able to buy ticket using the app from their home [through mobile banking payment system],” the minister added.
There is no IT section in the railway, mentioning this, the minister informed that a separate IT department will be opened soon.
“We are trying to upgrade the rail service to international standard. Our goal is to serve people; not just to make profit,” said the minister.
As part of modernisation of train services, the government has planned to set broad-gauge railways across the country.
“You will not see meter-gauge railways in any other country. We will upgrade all the meter-gauge railways to dual gauge gradually,” the minister said.
Around 550 coaches and 100 engines for meter gauge, and around 250 rail coaches and 40 engines for broad-gauge will be added to railway within a year or two, the minister said.
Last month, the minister expressed dissatisfaction over the rail service while visiting the station and ordered an upgrade to the service within one month.
About the changes, the minister said, “Everybody [railway staff] is working hard [to implement the changes].”
PPP TRAIN SERVICE WILL NOT BE RENEWED
Around 72 trains are operated by different private companies under public-private partnership system.
About this, the minister said, “We have decided that those contracts will not be extended once they end.”
The minister also spoke of several other initiatives including human resource appointment and modern passenger services as part of the government's initiatives to upgrade quality of railway services.
High ups of the railway ministry and Bangladesh Railway were also present during the briefing among others. 5445