Train services will begin on the proposed railroad from Dhaka to Faridpur the day the Padma Bridge, now under construction, opens to traffic, Railway Minister Mujibul Haque has said.
"The construction work on Dhaka-Faridpur rail line will start from Gandaria Railway Station soon," the Minister told journalists Saturday while visiting the railway station in Old Dhaka.
He also briefed about progress in the work on Padma rail link, its survey, design and tender activities.
The government has initiated the project to construct the railway from Dhaka to Jessore via Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur and Narail.
The first phase of the two-phase project covers the trail track from Gandaria to Bhanga. The total project cost has been estimated at Tk 25,960.69 crore.
The construction work of the first phase measuring 82.32 kilometres from Gandaria of Dhaka to Bhanga of Faridpur will begin shortly, which is scheduled to complete by 2018, the Minister said, adding that the railway from Paturia to Faridpur has been rehabilitated with the finance of the government.
If the whole project is completed, one can go to Jessore from Dhaka by train within three to four hours.
Around 90 per cent survey and 85 per cent design work of the first phase have already been completed under the RCIP Consultant Agreement with the Asian Development Bank finance.
The consultant firm submitted the probable technical draft and the primary draft design reports to the government on February 1 and June 4 in 2015.
The social and environment surveys are going on. In August this year, the final report will be submitted.
Seven new railway stations will be constructed at Keraniganj, Nimtola, Sreenagar, Mawa, Janjira, Shibchar and Bhanga. Besides, the building and yard of Gandaria Railway Station will be remodelled.
About 16.77 km long elevated railway and 2.02 km ramp, 23.368 km of viaduct will also be constructed for the first phase.
A proposal was also in place to construct 40 underpasses, three overpasses and five level crossing gates.
According to Bangladesh Railway officials, about 360.95 hectares of land will be required for the completion of first project.
Of those, 86.27 hectares will be taken from the Roads and Highways Department, 18.69 hectares from the Bridge Authority and 10. 27 from the government wet land while the rest 245.72 hectares will be acquired from the general public.
The second phase of the rail line project will be from Bhanga to Rupdia of Jessore.
For the Bhanga-Rupdia rail line, eight new stations will be constructed at Bhanga, Nagarkanda, Muksudpur, Maheshpur, Lohagara, Narail, Jamdia and Paddabila.
The consultant firm submitted the draft survey report for the second phase on February 1. The study on social and environment aspects goes on.
On January 28 this year, a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed with China Railway Group Ltd to implement the project.