Cox’s Bazar is home to Bangladesh’s main tourist attraction, the world’s longest natural sea beach. Dhaka Cox’s Bazar rail link will connect Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka with the city of Cox’s Bazar. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates the Dohazari- Cox’s Bazar rail line of Dhaka Cox’s Bazar rail link today, November 11, 2023. She reached the Cox’s Bazar railway station at 11:35 am. The rail link will be opened to traffic on December 1, 2023.
Bangladesh Railway is implementing the Tk 1,852.35 crore project to build the 102km rail line from Chattogram’s Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar. This train service project has been funded by an Asian Development Bank (ADB) funding of $1.5 billion million and will reduce travel time.
In this article, we will provide readers with information about the benefits of this project as well as discuss any obstacles that may have delayed its completion. We will also share exciting features including iconic station designs, double-line dual-gauge rails, and more!
So, prepare for an informative ride on what promises to be Bangladesh’s most captivating railway journey yet!
- The Dhaka – Cox’s Bazar Rail Link is a 102km train service project funded by an Asian Development Bank (ADB) loan.
- It will reduce travel time from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar and provide commuters with faster routes at a low cost compared to road transportation.
- Progress on the project has been hindered by financing constraints, payment delinquency disputes between contractors and Bangladesh Railway as well as delayed equipment delivery.
- The rail link features double gauge tracks for efficient mixed traffic, an 82km track with an iconic station, a parallel highway for accessibility, and eco-friendly electric locomotives, contributing to the Belt & Road Initiative.
History of Dhaka Cox’s Bazar Rail Link
The construction of a railway link between Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar was first proposed in April 2010. However, it wasn’t until 2018 that the project indeed came to life as construction and implementation efforts got underway, representing a significant milestone in the realization of this ambitious transportation initiative.
The government’s initial allocation of Tk6,034 crore was vital in supporting the project’s early stages and infrastructure development. As the project progressed and various factors were considered, the estimated project cost underwent a revision, resulting in an adjusted budget of Tk1,852.35 crore to accommodate changes and additional requirements.
The substantial financial backing of $1.5 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in September 2016 was pivotal in advancing the project’s objectives. This ambitious endeavor involved laying down a 102-kilometer Dohazari- Cox’s Bazar railway track, designed as a dual gauge system, offering the flexibility to accommodate different trains and enhancing overall versatility in its operations.
Moreover, the project foresaw the construction of nine strategically placed stations along the rail route, serving as crucial points for passengers to embark and disembark, thereby significantly improving accessibility and convenience for travelers and tourists throughout the region. Additionally, you can also read about the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project.
Trial run on Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar
Bangladesh Railway (BR) conducted a trial run on the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar rail line on October 15, 2023.
During a visit to the old Kalurghat Bridge in the port city, Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan confirmed this development. He mentioned that the installation of the rail track on the bridge has been successfully completed.
At present, six inter-city trains operate between Dhaka and Chittagong, and they could be extended to Cox’s Bazar with the new route. As the required manpower, engines, and carriages are unavailable, it may take a few years to reap the full benefits of the Tk15,000 crore project.
Potential Benefits of Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link
The Dhaka Cox’s Bazar rail link has the potential to promote economic growth and improved transportation in Bangladesh.
The rapid construction of the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link is expected to benefit Bangladesh’s economy significantly. The economic development of Cox’s Bazar relies heavily on its tourism industry, and this region is now one step closer to becoming a fully connected transport hub with improved connectivity between production, service delivery, and consumption centers in Bangladesh.
Safety, reliability, and convenience are all priorities for the railway link that will provide low-cost travel options compared to road transportation while connecting coastal destinations along Bangladesh’s Bay of Bengal coast.
This enhanced access to marketplaces could open up new opportunities for business sector growth and job creation within the area and broaden the appeal of leisure activities, such as beach trips or visits to local attractions.
The completion of the Dhaka Cox’s Bazar rail link will significantly improve transportation in Bangladesh, bringing numerous benefits to both locals and travelers. With stiff competition from heavily congested roads, a dual-gauge double-line railway running alongside roadways will enable quicker travel between cities that would otherwise take much longer to reach.
This improved train system is expected to reduce traffic congestion on highways throughout Bangladesh and ensure smooth accessibility between destinations with more frequent departures than the current system can offer.
Improved transport infrastructure has been observed worldwide to have positive results on economic development as well as journey times for commuters, allowing citizens greater opportunities by opening up new job markets or giving them access to education opportunities they may not have had previously.
Additionally, people nationwide can easily make day trips throughout regions near Dhaka thanks to faster travel options provided by rail links at an affordable price additionally, if you want to read an article on Dhaka Elevated Expressway.
Latest Updates on the Rail Link’s Completion
The project is 100% complete, with all the 102-kilometer railway tracks visible, and 7 of 9 new stations are built. This signifies a significant step toward improving accessibility and convenience for passengers and tourists. The addition of these stations enhances the overall infrastructure of the rail network.
The project envisions an initial fleet of 10 trains, which will soon be operational, providing a crucial mode of transportation for the region. The travel time from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar is estimated to be approximately 8 Hours, significantly reducing the time required for this journey.
With a daily passenger capacity of 100,000 people, the rail link promises to be a pivotal transportation option for many travelers, contributing to enhanced connectivity and tourism opportunities.
Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the Dhaka Cox’s Bazar rail link project today, but it will officially open for the general people on December 1, 2023. The rail link is well on its way to becoming a crucial component of Bangladesh’s railway system, opening new avenues for travel, trade, and tourism.
Challenges and Obstacles Faced
Construction on the rail link was delayed due to financing constraints and technical issues.
Construction of the Dhaka Cox’s Bazar Rail Link has been marred by unforeseen delays, caused primarily by financial concerns, payment delinquency disputes between contractors and Bangladesh Railway (BR) as well as obstructions to equipment delivery.
These issues have disrupted train services in the region leading to container congestion at Chittagong port; resulting in up to 30 days delay for some consignees. The road deck is also incomplete due to the delayed arrival of machinery parts.
BR submitted a new Detailed Project Proposal (DPP) with updated timelines arranged within this month, which should help resolve these issues going forward. In addition, PM Hasina’s government pledged over 3,000 crore BDT towards infrastructure projects such as national highways and metros continuously emphasizing improvement in railway connectivity due to dampened revenue from air traffic amid Covid lockdowns.
Features of the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link
|Project Approval Year
|Construction Start Year
|Government Allocation (Initial)
|Revised Project Cost
|Asian Development Bank (ADB) Funding
|Rail Line Type
|Number of Stations
|183 (39 bridges, 144 culverts)
|Visible Track Length
|Proposed Train Count
|Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar Travel Time
|Approximately 8 hours
|Proposed Daily Passenger Capacity
Table: Dhaka – Cox’s Bazar Rail Link Project Details
Double-Line Dual-Gauge Rail Lines
Double-line dual gauge is an effective solution for improving networks of railway systems. This is due to their innovative design which allows them to utilize two tracks instead of a single one while also allowing for mixed traffic, such as passenger and freight.
Consequently, this eliminates the bottleneck issue associated with traditional single-track solutions as dual-gauge lines allow trains of different sizes and loading capacities to pass without changing gauge or waiting time.
In the Dhaka Cox’s Bazar rail link project, a double-line dual-gauge rails system connects Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka through Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar District in southeastern Bangladesh covering a total distance of 327km.
Installing these dual gauge rails has immensely increased overall efficiency by providing a track suitable for both passengers & heavy cargo transports simultaneously within the same space.’ With continuous maintenance on roadways, plains drainage structures, and railway bridges, the cost of constructing a double line has been estimated at around Tk 18,034 crore, connecting Southern districts with improved faster movement using dedicated express services.
The Double-Lane Road on the Same Deck
The Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link will feature a double-lane road on the same deck as the rail lines, which allows for efficient and convenient transportation for both road users and rail passengers.
This innovative design feature enhances safety through improved vehicle and train visibility in opposite directions. Also, it reduces vehicle crossing times due to two lanes available instead of one.
Another advantage is that it decreases traffic congestion since there now are two tracks operating simultaneously rather than just one when both railway lines are handling single-direction traffic.
Route and Stations
The Dhaka Cox’s Bazar rail link will include a double-line and dual-gauge line system from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar that includes an iconic station at the destination.
The railway project between Dohazari and Cox’s Bazar is a significant transportation initiative that promises to connect these regions efficiently. As for the route and stations, here’s an overview:
The railway route extends from Dohazari in Chittagong to Cox’s Bazar and has been further expanded to the Ghumdhum border near Myanmar. However, it’s essential to note that the current construction phase focuses exclusively on the Dohazari-Cox’s Bazar section, with the 28-kilometer stretch from Cox’s Bazar to Myanmar not currently under construction.
Along the 102-kilometer route, nine stations are planned to enhance accessibility and transportation in the region. The following stations have been strategically located:
- Cox’s Bazar Sadar
As of the latest updates, the construction of 7 stations has been successfully completed, and the remaining 2 stations are scheduled to be finished by next December. Work on these stations is progressing rapidly, bringing this essential infrastructure closer to full operation.
Electric Train Service on the Dhaka-Chittagong Route
The Dhaka-Chittagong electric train is planned to be a key component of the country’s transportation infrastructure, improving connectivity between major cities and increasing access to railway services for rural communities.
The operation of this electric train will impact other projects such as the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar rail link by providing travelers with easier and more reliable access to that region, boosting tourism in Bangladesh.
Installing a fully electrified double line dual gauge rail system would drastically reduce travel time and help connect 9 new stations along the 102 km route from Dohazari to Cox’s Bazar.
International Cooperation and Recognition
The Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link has received international recognition, with the Asian Development Bank providing funding for rural road improvement and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina leading efforts to implement a metro rail network.
ADB’s Funding for Rural Road Improvement
The Bangladesh government has entered into a $1.5 billion funding agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to aid the development of a new railway line. This funding represents the third installment of a $1.5 billion funding provided by ADB for the Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Railway Project under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation.
On top of that, due importance is also given to climate resilience and safety measures such as bridge construction and rehabilitation works while undertaking this project. This aims not only at improving connectivity but also to make commuting safer throughout these areas by transforming them into well-interconnected urban routes equipped with adaptive storm systems.
Such efforts are crucial both from an economic perspective as well as international recognition associated with Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link completion scheduled for 2023. If you’re interested you can also read on Dhaka Metro Rail.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now, let’s explore some frequently asked questions about Dhaka Cox’s Bazar Rail Link.
1. What is the Dhaka Cox’s Bazar Rail Link?
The Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link is a proposed railway route that will run between Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and Cox’s Bazar, a popular beach destination in the Chittagong Division.
2. Where will the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link connect?
The Dhaka Cox’s Bazar Rail Link will connect Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to Cox’s Bazar, a popular tourist destination and city along the southeastern coast.
3. What is the significance of the Cox’s Bazar station building?
The Cox’s Bazar station building is an iconic structure, symbolizing the significance of this railway station in the project.
The Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link is an important project not just for Bangladesh, but the whole South Asian region. This rail link will reduce travel time between Dhaka and Cox’s Bazar to just four hours, offering a faster alternative means of transportation and boosting economic growth in the area.
Additionally, it is likely to revolutionize transport as we know it by providing high-speed commuting options that have never been seen before in Bangladesh. The completion of this project will also improve its connectivity beyond borders – stimulating regional trade and commerce as well as facilitating international relations with other countries.
All things considered, the opening of the Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Rail Link promises to bring enormous benefits and have lasting impacts on local communities and organizations across different sectors.