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Double-decker train likely in cities

Munima Sultana | March 13, 2019 00:00:00

The rail authorities are contemplating double-decker commuter train service between short-distance towns, aiming to carry double the existing passengers.

Under the move, the Bangladesh Railway (BR) will conduct a feasibility study on the proposed intercity trains to meet high demand for such service.

"We'll conduct a feasibility study to assess the type of infrastructure and the cities that need the service first," said BR director general Kazi Mohammad Rafiqul Alam.

The state entity has no such infrastructure to run a double-decker train, he disclosed.

Sources said development of bridges, including overpass and footbridge, is the key roadblock to such commuter trains between Dhaka and its neighbouring cities.

The height of Moghbazar and Banani flyovers might stand way to a double-decker train, they cited.

They said the study would also find scope to introduce the service on long route.

The authorities would also survey the kind of double-decker services available in the world.

The BR, now operating age-old services, first brought a change through launching diesel electric multiple unit (DEMU) trains six years ago.

It runs between Dhaka and its adjacent cities, including Narayanganj and Gazipur.

This service, however, drew a lot of flak for its turning ineffective because of the breakdown of many DEMUs soon after they hit the tracks.

The state track developer has recently initiated to introduce high-speed electric train under its master plan, but that too is still under a feasibility study.

As planned, it has taken measures to expand rail tracks with double lines and dual-gauge lines to meet the growing demand for economical transport services.

Sources said the director general's office recently sat on the possibility of DEMU double-decker as proposed by the immediate-past railways minister.

As there is no such train service available in the world, they said, the BR has dropped the idea.

Several high-speed train services are operating globally with a speed of over 200 miles per hour (mph).

The BR has the capacity to run with a speed of 100 kilometres per hour (kph) but it can utilise much lower than its capacity.

It can run 80kph only in some parts on the Dhaka-Chittagong corridor.

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