Category Archives: Transportation

Why People in Dhaka Do Not Walk

It is high time; people of Dhaka city seek for comfortable travel pattern for daily activities. Recent measurements includes, banning rickshaw from three important roads of the city. Well, there are advantages of this decision but it is not easier for those people who are habituated on this travel behavior. Significant number of people use rickshaw for short distance travel. Question may arise why people would bear unnecessary travel cost when that travel can easily be done through walking, free of cost. Even, walking has good health advantage and many people do have habit of walking in morning or evening, yet they use rickshaw for daily activities.

The first reason is people do not have walking environment. This not only includes footpath being occupied by hawkers. Actually, it is quite common in Dhaka that footpaths are blocked by temporary or permanent hawkers, tea s talls, restaurant stove or grill, construction material and used as parking for cycle and motorcycle. Another concerning issue is footpaths are not connected properly. In many areas, access road to residential unit are used as passing road for outsider vehicle. Such as, to avoid traffic jam of Green road many people use Free School Street. These narrow roads which are hardly 6 feet wide mostly serve residential unit. Even, many residential buildings are giving their garage on hire to outsider for CNG, car, pick-up truck and so on. As these heavy vehicles along with private cars are roaming around in front of people’s building, they hardly feel safe for their children to walk. Because most of the time, motorized vehicle causes street accident and also children are not careful all the time. Also, parents are concerned about environment of walking. There are reports of harassment, hijacking, accidents due to reckless driving of motorized vehicle upon footpath and so on. All these discourages city dwellers walking, specially guardians to allow children walk if they have capacity to support alternative mode; car, rickshaw, motorcycle. As a result, whole generation is growing the habit to avoid walk.

In Dhaka, people even walk regularly for health purpose in different open spaces, parks and lakes. Environment and aesthetic view always contributes to explore city by walking. Our country has failed in many ways to resolve this issue. Still, many people are using footpath as public toilet space, garbage dumping zone and kiosk of cigarette and betel. There are many cases where people got hurt as garbage or heavy objects have been thrown from up above. Water logging also discourages people to walk.

Even after all these issues, significant number of people are walking as they have no other choice. It would be hard to find people who walks with satisfaction from their heart. Not all the areas of Dhaka have same scenario. Authority has kept beautiful example for creating pedestrian friendly spaces. However, it is a long way to go  for making Dhaka pedestrian friendly.

Bangladesh Railway

Information about Bangladesh Railway:

BANGLADESH RAILWAY is a Government-owned and Government managed transportation agency of the country. It covers a length of 2835 route kilometers managed by 27971 regular employees.

The network:

Bangladesh Railway has a total of 2,835 route kilometers. East Zone has 1,266 route kilometers of MG track and 34 route kilometer of DG track. West Zone has 535 routes kilometers of MG,   659 route kilometers of BG and 375 route kilometers of DG track. The total length of running track including track on double line, in the yards sidings is 3,974 kilometers.BG and MG indicate Broad Gauge (5‟-6‟‟ or 1676 mm) and Meter gauge (3‟3-3/8‟‟ or 1000 mm) respectively.   The abbreviation DG indicates Dual Gauge (Broad Gauge and Meter Gauge combined). The Map below shows the rail network of Bangladesh.


Route length by Civil Districts:

Bangladesh Railway is not connected with all the Civil Districts of the country. At the end of 2007-2008 only 44 Civil District of the country could be connected by Railway.


Bangladesh Railway had a total of 440 stations. These include one block hut,   thirteen train halts and four goods booking points.


There are a total 3,452 bridges of which 2,928 are minor and 524 are major ones. Feet over bridges are provided in important cities and district towns.

Passenger Trains in Bangladesh

There are total 339 trains in Bangladesh operating now under Bangladesh Railway. Among them there are 86 Inter-city trains, 52 Mail Expresses, 64 Commuter trains, 135 Local trains and two international trains.

Bangladesh Railway is one of the principal modes of transportation in the country. During 2004–2005, about 42 million passengers were transported by Bangladesh Railway.  Bangladesh Railway introduced Intercity Train services in 1985. At present there are 54 Intercity Trains running. Around 38.5% of the total passengers of Bangladesh Railway are being carried by the Intercity trains which contribute approximately 73.3% of the total earnings of passenger traffic.

A typical Train from Bangladesh Railway
A typical Train from Bangladesh Railway (BR)

Organizational Structure

After independence, the railway was first supervised by a Railway Board which was abolished in 1982. Thereafter, the BR came under the jurisdiction of the Railway Division of the Ministry of Communications with the Secretary of the Division working as the Director General of BR. In 1995, instead of being the part of the Ministry, BR came under control of a professional Director General supervised by the Bangladesh Railway Authority that is chaired by the Minister of Railways.

Bangladesh Railway is divided into two zones, East & West, each under control of a general manager who is accountable to the Director General of Bangladesh Railway. The two zones have their separate departments for operation, maintenance, and finances. Each zone is divided into two divisions that contain departments for Personnel,Transportation, Commercial,Finance Mechanical, Way and Works Signaling & Telecommunication, Electrical, Medical, etc. Each zone also has its Workshop Divisions, located at Pahartali and Saidpur respectively. A locomotive workshop is located at Parbatipur for broad and metre gauge locomotives.

Bangladesh Railway manages its own Railway Training Academy. A separate Directorate under the Ministry of Communications is charged to inspect different works of BR in relation to safety.

Some Historical moments about Bangladesh Railway

15 Nov. 1862: Construction of 53.11 Km of Broad Gauge line between Darsana and Jagati of Kushtia District by Eastern Bengal Railway.

1985   : Construction of Dhaka-Mymensingh Railway section by Dhaka State Railway.

23 June-1998:   East-West Railway connectivity over the mighty river Jumana was established from the day one, the day of formal opening of Jamuna Mulipurpose Bridge, after completion of construction of Broad Gauge track from Jamtoil to Ibrahimabad.

14 Aug-2003: Direct Communication between Dhaka (Joydebpur) and Rajshahi over Jamuna

Mulipurpose Bridges was established by introducing first intercity passenger Train after Completion of construction of new Dual Gauge track from Ibrahimabad to Joydebpur.

14 April-2008: Direct Communication between Dhaka & Kolkata was established by introducing “Maitree Expreess” Train.

08 April-2017: Nine years after the inauguration of the Maitree (friendship) Express passenger train service between Kolkata and Dhaka, the first Khulna-Kolkata train chugged in to the Petrapole Railway station On the India-Bangladesh border on Saturday. According to Railway officials regular passenger train services are expected to begin from July.

India and Bangladesh are all set to reopen defunct trans-border rail connection to India which will connect Nepal and Bhutan too. This initiative is believed to boost the inter country trade and tourism. This is also going to be a part of Trans-Asian Railway Network. The rail links that will be restored pass through the crossing points on the Indo-Bangla border Chilahati to Haldibari, Biral to Radhikapur, Benapole to Petrapole, Rohanpur to Singhabad, Shahbazpur to Mahisasan, and Burimari to Changrabandha.

Bangladesh Railway Information Book 2015


155 years