Bangladesh to build 126 kilometres railway to India

BANGLADESH will build a 126-kilometre, US$500 million double-track
railway in the southwest to facilitate trade and passenger flow with
India using a second line of credit from India and financing from the
Bangladesh government.

The new railway will facilitate transit between India's Gede railway
station and Bangladesh's Khulna district, with the latter ultimately
being connected to the Mongla seaport reported IHS Media.

For shippers, there would be a 10 per cent reduction in transport
costs, compared to truck transport. The time saving would be one day
for the rail transport, compared to three weeks, due to road traffic
congestion and other delays by truck.

"The double line will help increase train trips and be faster. With a
single line, currently trains need to wait at crossings, which
increase the journey time," said Bangladesh Railway official Kalikanta

Mr Ghosh said currently Bangladesh's main rail connection to India is
through Darshana railway station in Chuadanga district. Everyday two
to three trains with passengers and cargo travel to India through
Darshana railway station. He said in 2017 Bangladesh's railway carried
72,000 TEU.

"Since the rail track is doubled, the frequency will also rise, since
both India and Nepal want to use Chittagong and Mongla ports," Mr
Ghosh noted.

India is interested in using the two Bangladeshi seaports for goods
transport to its remote, seven-sister states of Arunachal Pradesh,
Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura.

In addition, Nepal wants to use Chittagong and Mongla ports for its
external trade and bypass using Indian ports in Kolkata. A Nepalese
high-level delegation is scheduled to check the condition of the
transit route in Bangladesh next week, before sending cargo-laden
trucks toward Chittagong and Mongla ports.

Mr Ghosh said a trial-run container train completed its India-to-Dhaka
trip during the first week of April. Regular service, featuring two
trains a week, will start in the next week or two.