Monday, September 25, 2023

DEMU train service starts today

The Diesel Electrical Multiple Unit locomotives (trains) service on the
Dhaka-Narayanganj route will be launched today.
Though the Bangladesh railway was scheduled to launch two sets of these metre-gauge trains separately, it is going to launch a ‘rake’ or combined two-set DEMU trains.Rake is a physical railway train made up of coaches, or a coupled group of coaches.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, is scheduled to inaugurate the DEMU service at Kamalapur rail station at 11:00am, officials have said.
With its two engines at both end, and one compartment in the middle, the Chinese DEMU train is good for short-haul travels as these two engines, capable of moving either way, would save time (about 20 minutes) and would be able to maintain schedules.
Earlier 14-pair trains were running on the Dhaka-Narayanganj route but, from today, there will be 15-pair trains.
Each DEMU train, which costs Tk 20 crore, would provide comfortable space for 300 passengers — 149 seating and 151 standing passengers.
Earlier, two six-bogie local trains were on the same route — each providing space for about 1,000 seating and standing passengers.
One of these trains would be withdrawn today and put in service on another route.
Considering the demand of passengers, the railway minister decided to put in service on the route two-set DEMU trains which would have four engines and two bogies known as ‘rake’.
This arrangement, however, will render two engines in the middle ineffective.
Any distance below 33 kilometres will be considered the lowest distance and the Dhaka-Narayanganj route measures 16.1 kilometres.
The fare for the lowest distance was Tk 10 for the local trains. As the DEMUs are commuter trains, their lowest distance fare is Tk 15.
BR director (traffic) Zahirul Islam told New Age on Tuesday that there was also seating arrangement in the two-engine coaches.
He also confirmed that the gap between the platform and a DEMU train’s footstep is 2.5 feet to 3 feet.
Some railway officials expressed concern that it would be somewhat tougher for women, children and elderly people to get on these trains because of this gap.
The railway minister, Mohammad Mazibul Hoque, told New Age on Tuesday that if the passengers would face any problems in using this new train, the authorities would take initiatives to address the problem gradually.
‘We would also appoint one representative from Railway Nirapatta Bahini and the Government Railway Police forces when this train will run,’ he said.
The minister also said another rake would be launched on the same route within a few days and also on the Dhaka-Jaydevpur and the Chittagong Railway Station-Chittagong University routes.
Eight new DEMU sets have already reached the Chittagong port, said officials.
A DEMU train, having 460 horsepower engine, has a life span of 30 years and these are more nimble energy-efficient than locomotive-hauled trains.
Like the locomotives, its maximum speed is 80 kilometres per hour, said officials.
According to the railway’s train schedule, it normally takes 40 minutes for a train to reach Narayanganj from Dhaka.
‘The local trains used to take 50-55 minutes for a trip,’ said Zahirul Islam, adding ‘We are expecting that DEMU train would take less time.’
China’s Tangshan Railway Vehicle Company Limited won the bid for supplying the trains.

-With New Age input

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