Bangladesh Railway (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ রেলওয়ে) is the state owned rail transport agency of Bangladesh. It operates and maintains all railways in the country, and is overseen by the Directorate General of Bangladesh Railway. The Bangladesh Railway is governed by the Ministry of Railways and the Bangladesh Railway Authority. Its reporting mark is "BR".
The Bangladesh Railway system has a total length of 2,855 route km. In 2009, Bangladesh Railway had 34,168 employees. In 2014, Bangladesh Railway carried 65 million passengers and 2.52 million tonnes of freight. The railway made 8,135 million passenger-kilometres and 677 million tonne-kilometres.
|Bangladesh Railway |
|Department of the Government of Bangladesh|
|Industry||Railways and locomotives|
|Mohammad Amzad Hossain, Director General of Bangladesh Railway|
|Revenue||৳ 8,002 million (2014)|
|৳ - 8,015 million (2014)|
Number of employees
|Parent||Government of Bangladesh|
|Divisions||East Zone and West Zone|
|National railway||Railway ministry|
|Major operators||Bangladesh railway|
|Ridership||65 million (2014) |
|Passenger km||8,135 million|
|Freight||2.52 million tonnes|
|Double track||364 km|
|Metre gauge||1,838 km|
|Broad gauge||682 km|
|Longest bridge||Bangabandhu Bridge (dual gauge, 4.8 km)|
Hardinge Bridge (broad gauge, 1.8 km)
Rail transport in Bangladesh began on 15 November 1862, when 53.11 km of 5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm) (broad gauge) line was opened between Darshana in Chuadanga District and Jogotee in Kushtia District. On 4 January 1885, a further 14.98 km 1,000 mm (3 ft 3 3⁄8 in) (metre gauge) line was opened. In 1891, the Bengal Assam Railway was constructed with the assistance of the government. It was later run by the Bengal Assam Railway Company.
On 1 July 1895, two sections of metre gauge railway were constructed by English railway companies. One connected Chittagong and Comilla (149.89 km). The other connected Laksam Upazila and Chandpur (50.89 km).
In 1947, at the time of the Partition of India, the Bengal Assam Railway was divided into two parts. The 2,603.92 km of track located in East Pakistan, came under the control of the central Government of Pakistan. On 1 February 1961, the Eastern Bengal Railway was renamed the "Pakistan Eastern Railway". In 1962, control of the Pakistan Eastern Railway was transferred to the Government of East Pakistan. On 9 June 1962, by order of the president, the Pakistan Eastern Railway management was assumed by a Railway Board.
In 2005, the total length of the Bangladesh Railway was 2,855 km. There was 660 km of broad gauge track (mostly in the western region), 1,830 km of metre gauge track (mostly in the central and eastern regions) and 365 km of dual gauge track. In 1998, the Jamuna Bridge was built to connect the previously divided east and west rail networks in dual gauge.
In 2010, funding was received for a bridge over the Titas River. In September 2010, the Government of Bangladesh approved ten rail development projects costing 19·9 billion Bangladeshi taka including plans for new tracks and rolling stock.
In 2011, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, the Prime Minister of Bangledesh, officiated at the start of construction of a link which would cross several rivers to reach Cox's Bazar. The 100 km of gauge line started from the railhead at Dohazari, southeast of Chittagong. The plan was to reach Satkania, Dulahazra, Chakarin, Edgaon, Ramu and Cox's Bazar, with four major river bridges and a 28 km branch from Ramu to Gundum. In 2013, the Chittagong Circular Railway was completed.
From the end of the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 until 1982, the railway was governed by a Railway Board. It then came under the Railway Division of the Ministry of Communications. The Director General of the railway was the Secretary of the Railway Division of the Ministry of Communications. In 1995, governance of the railway was assumed by the "Bangladesh Railway Authority" which was chaired by the Minister of Railways. Inspections are made by an external government authority.
The features of Bangladesh Railway include the usage of several gauges and the division of the rail system by the Jamuna River, Brahmaputra into the Western Zone and the Eastern Zone of operations. Crossing the river is one bridge, the Jamuna Bridge which was completed in 2003.
The East Zone and the West Zone each have a General Manager who answers to the Director General of the Railway Authority. Each zone has its own raft of departments for operation, maintenance, and finances. Each zone is divided into two divisions with departments for personnel, transportation, commercial, finance mechanical, way and works signalling, telecommunication, electrical and medical services.
The East Zone has a workshop division in Pahartali. The West Zone's workshop division is in Saidpur. The railway has a central locomotive workshop for broad and metre gauge locomotives in Parbatipur. It also has a Railway Training Academy. There is are diesel workshops in Pahartali, Dhaka and Parbatipur. Maintenance on coaches and wagons is carried out at the "C and W" shop in Saidpur, Nilphamari and at the "C and W" shop Pahartali.
Bangladesh Railway's fleet of diesel locomotives includes both diesel-electric and diesel-hydraulic machines. In 2007, there were 77 broad gauge diesel-electric locomotives. In 2012, Bangladesh Railway ordered 16 new broad gauge locomotives of 3100 hp from Diesel Locomotive Works, India. There were also 208 metre gauge diesel-electric locomotives including those of Class 2000, Class 2600, Class 2700, and Class 2900. The total number was 285.
|Dhaka Railway HQ||Nippon||2-8-2||Metre gauge|
|Saidpur Works||W. G. Bagnall||2-4-0T||2 ft 6 in (762 mm)|
|Saidpur Works||Vulcan Foundry||0-6-0||5 ft 6 in (1,676 mm)|
|Paksey Railway HQ||Vulcan Foundry?||2-4-0T||2 ft 6 in (762 mm)|
The 762 mm gauge locomotives are from the Rupsa – Bagerhat railway which was the only 762 mm gauge line in East Pakistan in 1947. It was changed to 1,676 mm gauge in 1970.
As a national carrier, Bangladesh Railway is obliged to carry essential commodities such as grain and fertiliser to remote parts of Bangladesh at discounted rates. Bangladesh Railway transports containers from the Port of Chittagong to Dhaka Inland Container Depot, where there are customs facilities. The rolling stock to carry containers was manufactured from existing stock. On 5 August 1991, a container-only train came into service. A goods train operates from Singhabad and Petrapole, India to Rohanpur and Benapole, Bangladesh.
Rail is a principal mode of transport in Bangladesh. In the 2005 financial year, 42 million passengers travelled on the Bangladesh Railway. Inter-city services, contribute to over seventy percent of Bangladesh Railway's revenue. In 2014, the railway owned 312 broad gauge coaches and 1,164 metre gauge coaches.
Two times per week, a passenger train operates a service to India. In April 2008, the Maitri Express between Dhaka and Kolkata came into operation on the Gede – Darsana route. On 9 November 2017, a new weekly train, the Bandhan Express, came into operation between Khulna and Kolkata via Petrapole and Benapole (172 km).
Tickets for Bangladesh Railway services are available at all stations. Most stations are computerised and tickets which can be purchased within four days of departure, are printed. Full refunds (excluding clerical charges) are available up until two days before departure. The railway reserves ten percent of tickets for online sales. Of these tickets, fifteen percent are reserved for mobile phone sales.
Bangladesh Railway has three main passenger classes, "Air conditioned", "First" and "Second". Most trains do not provide the "Air conditioned" class. On inter-city and long-distance trains, a restaurant car and a power car are included at the centre of the train. All inter-city trains are partially air-conditioned, feature padded leather seats and provide passengers with on-demand sheets, pillows, blankets, as well as meals in a dining car. Some diesel–electric trains provider commuter services.
First class AC
|This is the most expensive class. This air-conditioned coach is used only on popular Inter-City routes. The coaches are carpeted, have sleeping accommodation, ample leg room and have privacy features like personal coupes.|
|First class (প্রথম শ্রেণী)||This class is relatively luxurious, but not air-conditioned; has sleeping berths, and ample leg room.|
|First class Chair
(প্রথম শ্রেণী চেয়ার)
|Chair car or day coach with a total of five seats in a row on broad gauge trains and four seats in a row on metre gauge trains, used for daily travel.|
|2nd Class-Shovon Chair
(২য় শ্রেণী-শোভন চেয়ার)
|The 2nd Class Shovon Chair is basically a chair car preferred by most middle-class passengers. Has a total of five seats in a row on broad gauge trains and four seats in a row on metre gauge trains.|
|One of the cheapest classes; seats are not very comfortable.|
(২য় শ্রেণী- সুলভ)
|The cheapest accommodation, with seats made of pressed wood or steel and are cushioned. Only found in sub-urban and short-distance routes. Although entry into the compartment is guaranteed, a seat is not guaranteed. These coaches are usually very crowded.|
Kamalapur Railway Station is the central railway station in Dhaka. In 2015, Bangladesh Railway serviced 489 railway stations. These include one block hut, thirteen train halts and four goods booking points.