Cox's Bazar Express Train

Fulfilling a hundred years of dreams, Cox’s Bazar-Dhaka train service is starting

Finally, the dream train journey is starting from the tourist city of Cox’s Bazar to Dhaka. The train named ‘Cox’s Bazar Express’ will leave the iconic railway station of Cox’s Bazar for Dhaka on Friday (December 01). This luxury train imported from South Korea will have 15 coaches. These compartments have 780 seats. All the seats have already been sold. Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina officially inaugurated the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar railway line on November 11.

It is known that at the end of the 19th century, the British government realized the importance of the railway connection between the port city of Chittagong and Arkan (now Myanmar’s Rakhine state) and carried out the first survey work. The survey started in 1890 and was carried out in different phases in 1893, 1903, 1917 and 1919. But this work remains limited to carrying out surveys.

British in 1757 Bengal, Bihar, Orissa; Chittagong was captured in 1760 and Arkan in 1860. After Pakistan became independent in 1953, the East Pakistan Provincial Government conducted a survey to estimate the possible cost of this project. But as some inconsistencies were observed in the survey, survey work was again carried out in 1957. Later the project did not go ahead. After independence, the railway project was limited to the promises of various political parties, but in 1998, a proposal to implement it as a second route of the Trans-Asian Railway with the financial support of the German government was not accepted. On September 11, 2000, four companies participated in the tender for the appointment of consultants for the feasibility study. When Awami League lost power the following year, the railway project was again put on hold. After the Awami League came back to power in 2009, the movement started again with the project. In 2010, an initiative was taken to construct a meter gauge railway line from Dohazari to Ramu to Cox’s Bazar and from Ramu to Ghumdhum on the Myanmar border. The project (DPP) was approved in July of that year.

Officials of the Eastern Railway said that the Dhaka-Coxabazar train service is starting from noon on Friday. For this reason, Cox’s Bazar Express train tickets are sold online as well as over the counter from November 23 at 8 am. All train tickets have already been sold. The train will halt at Chittagong for 20 minutes. Seats have been reserved for Chittagong passengers. As a result, passengers will be able to fly. The train will not stop at any other station. It will take eight hours and 10 minutes to reach the capital from Cox’s Bazar.

According to railway sources, the luxury Cox’s Bazar Express train imported from South Korea will have 15 coaches. It will have total seats of 780. Out of this, there will be 330 seats in six AC compartments. Seven non-AC coaches will have 420 seats and two dining compartments will have 15 and 30 seats each.

Divisional Commercial Officer (DCO) of Eastern Railway Tarek Mohammad Imran said, ‘The train is ready at Cox’s Bazar railway station. It will leave for Dhaka at 12:40 pm on Friday. All preparations have already been completed by the railways to run the train.

Train departure schedule

According to the schedule given by Eastern Railway, the train will depart from Cox’s Bazar Iconic Station at 12:40 PM on December 1. Will reach Chittagong at 3:40 PM. It will leave at 4 pm with a 20 minute break. Will reach Dhaka at 9:10 PM. Similarly, it will leave Dhaka at 10:30 PM and reach Chittagong at 3:40 PM. It will leave at 4 pm with a 20-minute break and reach Cox’s Bazar at 6:40 am. However, the train will be closed weekly from Dhaka on Monday and Tuesday from Cox’s Bazar. Passengers can travel to one-way destinations on these two days. The Railways has decided train number 813 from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar and train number 814 from Cox’s Bazar to Dhaka.

Where can I get tickets?

Officials of the Eastern Railway said that the sale of Cox’s Bazar Express train tickets has started from 8 am on November 23. Tickets are available online and at the counter. As per railway rules advance ticket sale starts 10 days before the journey. But even though the first train ticket of Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar route was announced to be sold from last Tuesday, it was not possible. Because a few days ago, the ministry approved the proposal regarding fixing the ticket prices. It took time to order from the railway building to the concerned department and the online service provider Sahaj. After that complete the easy online ticket sale process. As all the processes are over, the tickets are available from the morning of November 23.

Train Fare

Distance from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar is 346 km. In the Cox’s Bazar Express train, the fare of Shovan chair has been fixed at Tk 695 including VAT, AC chair fare is Tk 1,325, AC seat fare is Tk 1,590 and AC berth (sleeping seat) fare is Tk 2,380.

Divisional Commercial Officer (DCO) of Eastern Railway Tarek Mohammad Imran said, ‘Cox’s Bazar Express train tickets will be sold from 8 am on November 23. In the first stage the train has two types of seats. AC and Non-AC. Among them, the AC seat fare from Cox’s Bazar to Dhaka is Tk 1,325 inclusive of VAT and the non-AC seat fare is Tk 695.

Seven more trains are planned to run on the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar route

In the first phase, one train will come and go, but at the beginning of next year, seven trains will be added to this fleet, said the chief transport officer of the eastern region of the railway. Shahidul Islam. He said, ‘For now, Cox’s Bazar Express will run on the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar route. In the beginning, no seats were reserved for the passengers of Chittagong. But later allotment was given. The train will go from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar every day, from there it will take passengers to Dhaka. It will not stop at any station except Chittagong in between. There will be a 20-minute halt at Chittagong. However, trains will be closed from Dhaka on Monday and from Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday.

Referring to the plan to run seven more intercity and commuter trains on the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar route, Shahidul Islam said, ‘We are thinking of starting two commuter trains from Chittagong, one more from Dhaka, one from Rajshahi, one from Sylhet, one from Chandpur and one from Chittagong. we are A total of seven more trains are planned to be launched early next year. But the matter is not finalized yet. No more trains can be run until the stations are completed and manpower is recruited.’

Chittagong Railway Station manager Ratan Kumar Chowdhury said, ‘Cox’s Bazar Express train will have a total of 15 compartments. One is AC and the other is non-AC. Out of this, 115 seats will be for Chittagong passengers. There will be 55 AC seats and 60 non-AC seats between the two compartments.

The railway line is fully prepared

When asked how ready Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar railway is for train movement, Additional Director General (Operation) of Railways Sardar Shahadat Ali said, ‘The railway line is fully ready. Earlier we saw the test train running. No problem was found on the line.’

The Project Progress

When asked about the progress of the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar railway project, the project director said. Subaktgin told Bangla Tribune, ‘Dohajari-Cox’s Bazar railway is ready for train movement. Trains can now be taken through Kalurghat Bridge. However, some of the infrastructure work of the project is left. I hope to finish them by December. In addition, the work of the railway line is 100% complete.

Superintendent of Police (SP) of Chittagong Railway Mohammad Hasan Chowdhury mentioned that all kinds of safety measures have already been ensured on the railway line for train movement. He told the Bangla Tribune, ‘Train movement is starting on Cox’s Bazar route from Friday. We have already ensured all kinds of security. A suspicious passenger will be searched at the counter. Proposals for two police stations and six police outposts from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar have been sent to the police headquarters. They are not approved yet. However, we have ensured maximum security.’

Initially, the railway line area up to Cox’s Bazar will be under the jurisdiction of Chittagong Railway Police Station, said Chittagong Railway Police Officer-in-Charge (OC) Shahidul Islam. He said, ‘A police team of 10 members has already reached Cox’s Bazar. They will perform security of railway line including Cox’s Bazar station, platform and other works. Besides, there will be another 10-member police on the Cox’s Bazar Express train.

Officials related to the project said that the work of 100 km railway line project from Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar has been implemented for 18 thousand 34 crore 47 lakh taka. On April 3, 2011, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone for the railway construction project up to Dohazari-Ramu-Cox’s Bazar. Of this, 88 km from Dohazari to Ramu and 12 km from Ramu to Cox’s Bazar. The construction of dual gauge and single track railway project started in 2018, almost seven years after the inauguration by the Prime Minister. Initially, the project cost was estimated at 1 thousand 852 crores. Later, due to revision of the project proposal, the cost increased to 18 thousand 34 crore 47 lakh taka. It has been financed by Asian Bank and Bangladesh Government. It is included in the priority (fast track) scheme of the government.

News Source : Bangladesh Bulletin

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