Dhaka, Oct 16 (UNB) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday launched the much-coveted intercity train 'Kurigram Express' on the Kurigram-Dhaka-Kurigram route.
She also opened the new coaches of Rangpur Express and Lalmoni Express to provide better services to the passengers.
The Prime Minister flagged off Kurigram Express through a videoconferencing from her official residence Ganobhaban in the capital.
Bangladesh Railway (BR) has introduced the direct train service to fulfill the long-standing expectation of the people of Kurigram. It will cut the railway distance between Dhaka and Kurigram by 120 kilometres and save two hours.
The train will have stopovers at stations including Lalmonirhat, Kaunia, Rangpur, Badarganj, Parbatipur, Joypurhat, Shantahar, Tongi and Dhaka Airport.
The train will leave Kurigram Railway Station at 7:20am and reach Dhaka at 5:25pm. It will depart from Kamalapur Railway station at 8:45pm and reach Kurigram at 6:20am. The train will not be operated on Wednesday.
It has 653 seats of four types – Shovon chair, AC chair, AC seat, AC berth — and the fares are TK 510, Tk 972, Tk 1,168, Tk 1,804 respectively. The annual revenue from the train is expected to be Tk 25 crore.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister opened the newly imported passenger coaches of Rangpur Express and Lalmoni Express, currently running on the Rangpur-Dhaka route and Lalmonirhat-Dhaka route, to improve the services and facilities for the passengers.
The railway is importing 200 passenger coaches from Indonesia at Tk 620 crore, and of them, 50 have already arrived in the first consignment. The price of each coach is Tk 3.03 crore.
Later, the Prime Minister exchanged views with different stakeholders of the trains through the videoconferencing.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi and Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed were present at the event.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan also spoke at the launching function joining the videoconferencing from Kurigram.
Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman moderated the launching function, while Railways Secretary Md Mofazzel Hossain made an audio-visual presentation highlighting the development of the country railways sector in the last 11 years.