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Handing over diesel locos by Indian Railways (IR) to Bangladesh Railways (BR) To further strengthen bilateral cooperation in promoting trade and connectivity

Indo-Bangladesh rail cooperation is a vital element of bilateral cooperation in promoting trade and
connectivity and in boosting the economic partnership. India and Bangladesh are jointly working to enhance
rail connectivity by developing some crucial railway projects as well as by restoring some old rail links with
Bangladesh. At present, the 4 operational rail links between India and Bangladesh connecting West Bengal
with Bangladesh are: Petrapole (India) - Benapole (Bangladesh), Gede (India) – Darshana (Bangladesh),
Singhabad (India) - Rohanpur (Bangladesh), Radhikapur (India) – Birol (Bangladesh).
Two passenger trains – Bandhan Express [Kolkata-Khulna] (2 days/ week) and Maitree Express
[Kolkata-Dhaka] (5 days/ week) operate between the two countries. Their movement at the moment been
temporarily suspended due to COVID pandemic
A total of 17 railway sector projects have been included in Line of Credit (LoC) assistance extended by
India to Bangladesh, with a commitment of US$ 2.44 billion. India has offered all LoCs to Bangladesh at a rate
of interest of 1% p.a., repayment over 20 years with a moratorium for 5 years.
Of these 17 railway sector projects, 9 have been successfully completed including supply of BG/MG
locomotives, flat wagons, railway bridges and signalling equipment, among others. Railway projects under
implementation using LoC assistance include – Kulaura - Shahbazpur railway line at a cost of US$ 78 million,
likely to be completed by end of this year; Khulna-Mongla railway line project worth USD 389 million (along
with the railway bridge) likely to be completed by June 2021. Three other projects at various stages of
implementation pertain to double line track, a conversion of meter gauge line to dual gauge line and a new
dual gauge rail line.
In addition, cross border rail link of approx. 12 Kms is being built under Grant-in-Aid between
Agartala and Akhaura town o­n the Dhaka - Chittagong trunk line. This is likely to be completed by
March 2021 and will further enhance freight and passenger connectivity between North Eastern states
of India with other states.
Salient features:
• Association of BR and IR began way back in 1996 with export of 10 MG locos from DLW.
• About 40 more BG locos exported over the years from 2001 to 2014.
• 120 passenger coaches also exported in 2016-17
• Now 10 BG locos of WDM3D type
• All locos have residual life of 28 years or more
• These are 3300 HP, designed for speed of 120 kmph
• Suitable for hauling freight as well as passenger trains
• Microprocessor based control system
• Ergonomic layout of driver’s cab for stress free driving and improved visibility for safer running
• Maintenance friendly features for quicker and easier maintenance
• IR has modified the locos to suit the maximum height restrictions in BR
• IR is keen to partner with BR for supply and maintenance of all types of rolling stock
• Theses locos would provide improved train operations within BR and also for interchange with IR and
strengthen the partnership between both railways further.

(Subhanan Chanda)
CPRO/N.F. Railway

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