The modern signalling system will ease congestion and improve efficiency of rail-based movement from Dhaka
The stage is set for boosting capacity on one of the busiest sections of Bangladesh Railway's network with the signing of a contract for computer based interlocked signalling system for the Dhaka-Tongi-Joydebpur rail line.

This is for 'Package 2' of the project being implemented under a Line of Credit (LoC) extended by the Government of India to the Government of Bangladesh. The signalling contract is part of the construction of the third and fourth Dual Gauge Railway Track in the Dhaka-Tongi section and doubling of the Dual Gauge Track in the Tongi-Joydebpur section.

Under the contract, design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of computer-based interlocked signalling system at seven stations would be taken up. According to information provided by the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, the work includes interlocking of selected level crossings, installation of optical fibre cable-based telecommunication system for block operation and Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) interface work. The contract will also entail installation of signalling warning system at 37 existing manned-level crossing gates.

With this project, the line capacity on this critical stretch will increase from 112 to 250 trains in the Dhaka-Tongi section and from 44 to 90 trains in the Tongi-Joydebpur section. It would also become possible to introduce trains with a longer length. In addition to this, the journey time would be reduced by 20 minutes, thereby making travel from Dhaka to Joydebpur possible in one-and-a-half hours.

"The project and this modern signalling system will ease congestion and improve efficiency of rail based movement between Dhaka and the northern and western parts of the country. Overall, the project will contribute directly to making passenger and freight train movement faster, safer, more efficient and more comfortable,' the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said.

The contract signing ceremony held at Rail Bhaban in Dhaka on Sunday (July 23, 2023) was joined by Minister of Railway of Bangladesh Md. Nurul Islam Sujon as chief guest and High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Pranay Verma as special guest.

Speaking on the occasion, India's High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pranay Verma highlighted the priority accorded by Governments of India and Bangladesh in collaborating to build critical connectivity infrastructureand enhancing connectivity links that can strengthen bilateral economic, cultural and people-to-people ties. He noted that the India-Bangladesh bilateral relationship had touched new heights across all sectors in recent times.

The Indian High Commissioner pointed out that Bangladesh was India’s largest development partner both in terms of value and number of projects, with nearly USD 10 billion extended under concessional financing, of which more than USD 2 billion has been contracted till date. He expressed appreciation that India had emerged as the fastest and largest disburser among the development partners of Bangladesh despite the challenges posed by the pandemic.

High Commissioner Verma emphasized the importance of Indian-assisted projects in the railway sector in Bangladesh, with 17 projects worth approximately USD 2 billion accounting for 20% of the total commitment under Indian concessional loans being in Bangladesh’s railway sector.