July 14, 2024, 6:50 pm

BR aims to modernise signal system to prevent accidents

  • Update Time : Thursday, May 23, 2024
  • 18 Time View
Photo: Collected

TDS Desk:

Bangladesh Railways (BR) has initiated a comprehensive modernisation of its signal system, with the aim to transition entirely to broad gauge tracks by 2050. This initiative is expected to eliminate collisions and enhance overall safety.

In an exclusive interview with this correspondent, Sardar Shahadat Ali, director general of Bangladesh Railway, elaborated on the ongoing and future projects.

“We have taken steps to modernise the signal system progressively across all areas. Though the traditional lamp signals are old, they are time-tested; implementing a digital system is a costly affair,” Ali stated.

The Bangladesh Railway DG acknowledged the recent increase in train collisions, attributing them to faulty signal systems. “Until 2030, we will procure locomotives for meter gauge, but after that, we will cease their acquisition. By 2050, the complete transition to broad gauge will prevent such collisions,” he assured.

Discussing the current locomotive scenario, Ali mentioned that the existing broad gauge locomotives sufficiently meet demand. “We plan to bring in 46 more locomotives for broad gauge and 50 for meter gauge. Additionally, the Chattogram-Dohazari project includes the acquisition of 30 more locomotives. However, we are facing a slight shortage of meter gauge locomotives.”

Highlighting the advancements, Ali pointed out, “A tender for the digital signal system from Abdullahpur to Parbatipur has been issued and is under evaluation. The Padma Bridge Rail Link Project will see a digital system operational by June. Areas like Tongi, Joydebpur, Dinajpur, and the eastern and western sides of the Bangabandhu Bridge, will transition to an interlocking system once the ongoing non-interlocking projects are completed.”

Ali also touched upon the challenges of maintaining meter gauge locomotives, which involve transporting them over the Jamuna Bridge to the central locomotive workshop that is facing workforce shortages. “We expect to resolve these issues by 2030 with the arrival of new locomotives,” he noted.

Addressing locomotive defects, the railway DG said, “We have identified some issues with the 3000 series locomotives. Our service engineers are addressing these, and during the warranty period, we aim to rectify all identified problems.”

Regarding the lack of skilled personnel, he said, “It is not possible to immediately hire skilled personnel. First, we need to recruit people and then train them to become skilled and proficient. As employees retire, new ones will be hired and trained to become proficient – this will be a continuous process.”

To improve railway services, Ali stated, “We are focusing on timely train departures and arrivals, cleanliness, and food quality. There are no longer ticket black markets, and tickets can be easily purchased online or at stations. Despite high demand, train journeys remain comfortable.”

When asked about expanding train connectivity, he confirmed, “The government is committed to improving train communication across the country. We are increasing the number of trains and coaches as needed, and new locomotives will be purchased to meet future demands.” Source: UNB


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